Stephen J. Horvath III

Stephen J. Horvath III

Shareholder

Stephen J. Horvath III focuses his practice on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, corporate and project finance, and privatisation transactions. He has a broad range of experience in the financial institutions, telecommunications, media, energy and consumer goods sectors. Stephen has been responsible for several groundbreaking acquisition, finance and privatisation transactions in the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe.

Prior to joining the firm, Stephen was a partner with a leading global law firm, where he was the head of the European M&A practice group and responsible for leading the Central European practice.

Concentrations

  • Cross-border mergers and acquisitions
  • Corporate and project finance
  • Privatisation transactions
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Capabilities

Experience

  • Advised Société Générale S.A. on its agreement to sell Euro Bank S.A., its retail banking subsidiary in Poland, to Bank Millennium S.A. The reference transaction price for the sale is PLN 1.83 billion. The transaction involves the sale of Euro Bank in the entirety, unlike other recent transactions in the Polish banking sector involving a demerger of the business separated from the foreign currency mortgage business of the bank, and it includes unique risk sharing arrangements in respect of the Swiss Franc denominated mortgage loan portfolio of Euro Bank.
  • Advised BNP Paribas Group on its acquisition of the core banking operations of Raiffeisen Bank Polska from Raiffeisen Bank International for PLN 3.25 billion (approximately €775 million). The transaction was implemented by a demerger of the transferred business directly to Bank BGŻ BNP Paribas, BNP Paribas's Polish subsidiary, in November 2018. Also advised BNP Paribas Group on the related equity investment of PLN 430 million (approximately EUR 100 million) by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development through the acquisition of a circa 4.5 percent stake in BGŻ BNP Paribas from Raiffeisen Bank International AG and BNP Paribas SA.
  • Advised Deutsche Bank AG on the sale of its Polish private and commercial bank business to Santander Bank Polska (formerly known as Bank Zachodni WBK), in a transaction supported by Banco Santander, for approximately PLN 1.29 billion.  The transaction was implemented by a demerger of the transferred business directly to Santander Bank Polska, in November 2018. The transaction was unique on the Polish market as the transferred business was directly migrated to the IT systems of Santander Bank Polska simultaneously with the completion of the transaction.
  • Represented Alior Bank in connection with the acquisition of Bank BPH’s core business from affiliates of GE Capital. Value of the transaction was PLN 1.5 billion.
  • Represented AnaCap in connection with the acquisition of FM Bank PBP.
  • Advised BNP Paribas Group on the PLN 4.2 billion (€1 billion) acquisition of the Polish Bank Gospodarki Zywnosciowej from the Rabobank Group, the merger of BGZ with BNP Paribas Bank Polska and the transformation and merger of Sygma Banque Poland into Bank BGZ BNP Paribas.
  • Advised AIG on the disposal of its investment in Santander Consumer Bank (Poland) to Santander Consumer Finance S.A.
  • Advised Raiffeisen Bank International AG on the €490 million acquisition of a 70% share in Polbank EFG, the Polish banking business of the Greek bank EFG Eurobank.°
  • Advised AIG on the disposal of its Polish consumer finance and banking business to a unit of Banco Santander, and the retention of a significant investment in their combined Polish businesses, in transactions valued in excess of $800 million.°
  • Advised UniCredit on the spin-off of part of the business of Bank BPH into Bank Pekao and the €625 million sale of UniCredit's remaining investment in Bank BPH to a unit of GE.°
  • Represented Citibank in the $800 million acquisition of Bank Handlowy in Warsaw, Citibank and Bank Handlowy on the sale of their Polish asset management business to Legg Mason, and Merrill Lynch and the founding shareholders of Dominet Bank in the €235 million sale of Dominet Bank to Fortis.°
  • Advised Cyfrowy Polsat, the Polish media group, in two transactions for the acquisition of Polkomtel, the operator of the Plus mobile network in Poland. Cyfrowy Polsat acquired the majority of Metelem Holding Company Limited, the sole owner of Polkomtel, in exchange for Cyfrowy Polsat shares valued at PLN 5.15 billion ($1.7 billion), and the remainder from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in exchange for Cyfrowy Polsat shares valued at approximately $327 million.
  • Advised Polish media entrepreneur Zygmunt Solorz-Zak on the PLN 18.1 billion ($6.6 billion) acquisition of Polkomtel, Poland's second-largest mobile network operator. The transaction was the largest leveraged buyout ever made in Poland, and one of the largest transactions in the history of Central and Eastern European M&A.°
  • Advised Cosmote, the mobile phone subsidiary of Greek telecom operator OTE, on the €190 million sale of its Cosmofon business in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to Telekom Slovenije, the €48 million acquisition of minority interests in Albanian Mobile Communication SH.A. and the €380 million sale of its investment in Telekom Srbija.°
  • Advised Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (CME) on the $900 million acquisition of TV Nova in the Czech Republic.°
  • Advised Madison International Realty LLP, a global real estate private equity firm, in the indirect acquisition of a controlling, 65.99 percent stake in Capital Park S.A. from Patron Capital Partners. Capital Park manages a portfolio of properties with a total area of 304,000 square miles and is the developer of the ArtN complex in Warsaw.
  • Advised Forum IX Fundusz Invwestycyjny Zamknięty and other shareholders on the sale of Willson & Brown, a European manufacturer of point of sale displays with headquarters in Poland, to Array Canada Inc., a Carlyle Group portfolio company, in 2018.
  • Advised CVC Capital Partners on the acquisition of Żabka Polska from Mid Europa Partners in 2017. The sale of Żabka is the largest transaction in the Polish food retail sector and the largest private equity exit in Poland.
  • Advised Anheuser-Busch InBev on Polish aspects of the sale to Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. of the businesses formerly owned by SABMiller Limited in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania in 2017 for an agreed enterprise value of EUR 7.3 billion.
  • Advised Venture Fundusz Inwestycyjny Zamknięty, managed by TFI Trigon S.A., in connection with the acquisition of a noncontrolling stake in Seed Labs Inc., a U.S.-based start-up involved in the development of smart lighting.
  • Advised Central European Distribution Corp. (CEDC), at the time one of Europe's largest alcoholic-beverages firms, in acquisitions to expand its business in Russia and Central Europe, including its co-investment with Lion Capital to acquire the Russian Alcohol Group, and the $600 million buyout of Lion to take control of RAG; the completion of a $310 million equity placement and $950 million high-yield bond offering by CEDC to fund the RAG transaction; the $250 million acquisition of the Russian wine and spirits importer Whitehall Group; the $200 million acquisition of the Russian producer of Parliament vodka; the financing and other aspects of its acquisition of Polmos Bialystok from the Polish State Treasury; and the acquisition of the Polish operations of Bols.°
  • Advised Baring Corilius Private Equity on the sale of a 56% stake in Poligrafia S.A., the listed Polish printing firm, to RR Donnelley.°
  • Counseled PepsiCo's snack-foods unit on the acquisition of Star Foods Romania and Star Foods Poland from the founding family and private equity investors.°
  • Represented Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A. (formerly PSE S.A) on financing, corporate, contract and project development matters.°
  • Advised PGNiG S.A., the Polish oil and gas company, on its corporate and financial restructuring, including restructuring of the company's debt prior to its IPO.°
  • Advised PKN Orlen S.A., the largest petrochemicals concern in Poland, on several financings and potential mergers and acquisitions.°
  • Advised the governments of Romania and Ukraine on the development of regulatory systems and privatisation strategies for the electric power sector.°

°The above representations were handled by Mr. Horvath prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

  • Partner, Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, 2002-2012
    • Executive Partner, 2012
    • Head of London M&A Practice, 2007-2012
  • Partner, Hunton & Williams LLP, 1992-2002
    • Associate, Hunton & Williams LLP, 1985-1992

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, Chambers Global, Corporate/M&A - Poland, Expertise based abroad in UK, 2019
  • Listed, IFLR1000, "Highly Regarded," 2017-2019
  • Recognised, Finance Monthly, 2016-2019
    • "Game Changer," 2018
    • "Deal Maker of the Year," 2016-2017, 2019
  • Team Member, PERE Global Awards, Law Firm of the Year: Fund Formation in Europe, 2018 
  • Recognised,Acquisition International, 2017
    • "Best M&A Law Firm," 2017
    • "Most Trusted International Corporate Finance Lawyer – UK," 2017
  • Board of Trustees, College of William and Mary Law School Foundation, July 2008-present (President, July 2016-June 2018) 

Credentials

Education
  • Executive Education Program, Harvard Business School, Leading Professional Services Firms, March 2011
  • J.D., William & Mary Law School, 1984
    • Order of the Coif
    • Contributing Editor, William and Mary Law Review
  • B.S., cum laude, Northern Illinois University, 1981
    • Chemistry Department Honors
Clerkships
  • Law Clerk, Hon. John D. Butzner, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, July 1984-July 1985
Admissions
  • Registered Foreign Lawyer, England and Wales
  • New York
Not admitted to the practice of law in England and Wales.