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COBALT advised DNB on the creation of Luminor – largest ever transaction in the Baltic banking market


Luminor, the joint venture of DNB and Nordea started operations on 1 October 2017 after receiving regulatory approvals from the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Financial Supervision Authorities. COBALT advised on all legal aspects of the deal and was assigned a leading role in applying for merger clearance from the European Commission, obtaining a new banking licence from the European Central Bank and carrying out the closing of the transaction across the Baltics.

The project involved merger of the existing DNB and Nordea banking, leasing and pensions businesses in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Erkki Raasuke, the CEO of Luminor Group called the transaction “unprecedented” and “something that the market has not seen before“. Mari Mõis, the Head of Legal commented: “The role of COBALT cannot be underestimated. The management team relied on them in the most significant legal work streams. We put them under extreme pressure and they did an excellent job. We are thankful for their hard work and dedication to this challenging transaction.”

Pan-Baltic financial regulatory work stream and closing team was led by partner Kristel Raidla-Talur. Senior associate Heleri Tammiste was responsible for closing preparations and project management across jurisdictions. Pan-Baltic merger control work stream was led by partner Elo Tamm.

The assignment involved significant contribution by the following team members: