|"I came to the practice of international law by seeking new opportunities in the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of communism. Our clients needed us to apply American (and later Anglo-American) models of corporate and financial transactions to local circumstances as they restored their economies and developed modern laws and regulations. The key to developing that kind of practice is to be open-minded but at the same time well-grounded in the very basic tools of the transactional lawyer – contracts, secured transactions, remedies, conflicts of laws, negotiation skills – all of which are core elements of a Marshall-Wythe legal education."|
Stephen J. Horvath III (1984)
Partner and Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Dewey & LeBoeuf, London; Board of Trustees, Marshall-Wythe School of Law Foundation
Stephen Horvath is a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf in London, where he serves as head of the Mergers & Acquisitions practice and a member of the firm's European Council. His practice includes advising on mergers and acquisitions, corporate and project finance, privatization and commercial transactions. He is responsible for the firm's Central European practice and works closely with its Warsaw office. He is responsible for several ground-breaking acquisition, finance and privatization transactions in the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe.
While at Marshall-Wythe, Steve was a member of the Law Review and Order of the Coif. Following graduation, he clerked for Judge John D. Butzner, Jr. at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. He then spent many years at Hunton & Williams, relocating to Europe in 1996, and last served as managing partner of its London office. Steve joined Dewey in 2002.
A few of Steve’s many accomplishments include:
- Advising Polish media entrepreneur Zygmunt Solorz-Żak on the PLN 18.1 billion ($ 6.6 billion) acquisition of Polkomtel, Poland's second-largest mobile network operator. The transaction is Europe's largest leveraged buyout since 2008, the largest acquisition ever made in Poland, one of the largest in the history of Central and Eastern European M&A and one of the largest European telecom sector buyouts in years;
- Advising Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) on the €490 million acquisition of a 70% share in Polbank EFG (Polbank), the Polish banking business branch of the Greek bank EFG Eurobank (EFG). The transaction requires that Polbank be transformed from a branch of EFG Eurobank into a stand-alone bank under a novel branch-to-bank transformation. In addition, EFG and RBI will transfer their shareholdings in Polbank to RBI's Polish subsidiary bank RBPL, and EFG will become a 13% shareholder in RBPL;
- Advising Central European Distribution Corporation, the NASDAQ and Warsaw listed alcoholic beverages firm, in acquisitions to expand its business in Russia and Central Europe, including in excess of $1 billion of investments in Russia to acquire the Russian Alcohol Group, producer of Russia's top-selling vodka, the Whitehall Group, the leading spirits and wine importer in Russia, and the producer of Parliament vodka, one of the leading brands in Russia, as well as on financing and other aspects of its acquisition of Polmos Bialystok, producer of the world famous Zubrowka vodka;
- Advising 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;
- Advising Cosmote, the mobile phone subsidiary of Greek telecom operator OTE, on the €190 million sale of its Cosmofon business in FYROM to Telekom Slovenije, and the €48 million acquisition of minority interests in Albanian Mobile Communication Sha;
- Playing a key role on the team that resolved Italian banking leader UniCredit's dispute with the Polish government over UniCredit's ownership of two banks in Poland, and then advising UniCredit on the spin-off of part of the business of Bank BPH into Bank Pekao and the €625 million sale of UniCredito's remaining investment in BPH to a unit of GE;
- Advising Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (CME) on the $900 million acquisition of TV Nova in the Czech Republic;
- Representing Citibank in the $800 million acquisition of Bank Handlowy in Warsaw, and in the issue of €436 million of bonds exchangeable for Bank Handlowy shares;
- Advising the National Property Fund of Slovakia on the sale of Slovenska Poistovna, the country's leading insurance company, to Allianz for €145 million, and the sale of Istrobanka to BAWAG for 1.8 billion Slovak crowns;
- Representing Telekomunikacja Polska S.A., Poland's largest telecom operator, in its debut $1 billion bond offering, €2 billion EMTN Program and over $1 billion in syndicated financing facilities;
- Leading a team of the firm's lawyers representing Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A. on financing, corporate, contract and project development matters, including the restructuring of its business in preparation for its merger with the BOT Group of power companies to form PGE, an integrated utility company;
- Advising PKN Orlen S.A., the largest petrochemicals concern in Poland, on its €500 million credit facility, its bid in the privatization of Petrom in Romania and in connection with its proposed merger of equals with MOL Rt.; and
- Advising the governments of Romania and Ukraine on the development of regulatory systems and privatization strategies for the electric power sector.