Dmitri Kovalenko has practiced law in Skadden’s Moscow, Chicago and Paris offices since 1994 and currently is co-head of the firm’s Moscow office.


Mr. Kovalenko is ranked in the top tier for Russia M&A and Russia capital markets work by Chambers Global and Chambers Europe, as well as for private equity in Russia by Chambers Europe. He also is listed as a leading individual in IFLR1000, The Legal 500 EMEA and Who’s Who Legal. Mr. Kovalenko also is the only Russian attorney recognized as one of the world’s leading lawyers for corporate investigations in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2016 and 2017.

Mr. Kovalenko represents international and Russian clients on a broad range of mergers and acquisitions, private equity and joint venture transactions in Russia and other countries covering various industries and sectors.

Mr. Kovalenko’s M&A and private equity experience has included advising:

  • Horus Real Estate Fund in its acquisition of Morton Group, the largest Russian residential real estate developer, and the subsequent sale of Morton Group to PIK Group;
  • United Capital Partners Group on the US$1.47 billion sale of a 48.01 percent stake in VK.Com Limited (the holding company of, Russia’s largest social online networking service, to Mail.Ru Group Limited;
  • Tele2 Russia in its merger with the mobile operations unit of Rostelecom OAO. Both Tele2 and Rostelecom are providers of telecommunications services. This deal received the M&A Deal of the Year award from in 2014;
  • CJSC Trade Company Megapolis, a distributor of tobacco and consumer goods, in the concurrent US$750 million sales of 20 percent stakes in its subsidiary, Megapolis Distribution BV, to Philip Morris International, Inc. and JT International S.A.;
  • Renault-Nissan Alliance in a series of matters relating to its investments into AvtoVAZ, the leading Russian car manufacturer, including:
    • the strategic acquisition by Renault of a 25 percent stake in AvtoVAZ, and the subsequent recapitalization of AvtoVaz by its shareholders via contribution of equipment, technology and cash with the total value of more than €950 million; and
    • the creation of a joint venture between Renault-Nissan Alliance and Russian Technologies, giving Renault-Nissan Alliance control over AvtoVaz and the multibillion ruble recapitalization of AvtoVaz.
  • Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR) in connection with the US$56 billion sale of TNK-BP to Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft. This deal was awarded "M&A Deal of the Year" at the IFLR Europe Awards 2014;
  • Svoboda Corporation in several acquisitions of Russian businesses, including the acquisition of a controlling stake in the holding company for Rive Gauche Group, a perfume and cosmetics retailer, from Finstar Financial Group;
  • Dixy Group OSJC in its acquisition of 100 percent of the shares in the Victoria Group retail chain for RUR 25.6 billion (more than US$900 million);
  • the seller in the sale of 100 percent of OJSC TD Kopeyka to X5 Retail Group N.V. for US$1.65 billion;
  • the owners of the Paterson supermarket chain in the sale of Paterson to X5 Retail Group N.V.;
  • the shareholders of Pokupochka in the sale of part of its business in the Samara region of Russia, comprising of 116 stores, to X5 Retail Group N.V.;
  • the controlling shareholders of Edinaya Evropa-S.B., the owner of the Ile de Beauté chain, in the formation of a joint venture with Sephora S.A. and the sale of the controlling stake in Ile de Beauté to Sephora;
  • the sellers in the sale of a 51 percent stake in Dixy Group to Trade Company Megapolis;
  • the shareholders of JSC Trade House KOPEYKA in the sale of a 50 percent stake to URALSIB;
  • OAO Svyazinvest and OAO Rostelecom in connection with the multibillion-dollar merger of seven Russian regional telecom companies controlled by OAO Rostelecom into Rostelecom;
  • Daimler AG in connection with its initial acquisition of 10 percent of the share capital of Kamaz Incorporated, and the subsequent increase of Daimler’s stake in Kamaz, together forming the strategic partnership between Daimler AG and Kamaz;
  • International Paper in connection with its US$620 million acquisition of a 50 percent interest in Ilim Holding, and subsequent 50:50 joint venture (Ilim Group) with Ilim Holding, valued at US$1.6 billion;
  • Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company in its acquisition of 100 percent stake in A. Korkunov;
  • TPG Capital in connection with several of its investments in Russia; and
  • Lion Capital LLP, a private equity house, in its investments in Russia.

Mr. Kovalenko represents international and Russian clients on a broad range of investments and financings in Russia and other countries, and he has substantial experience in corporate finance transactions. Mr. Kovalenko has served as the lead Russian counsel for issuers and underwriters in many debt and equity placements by Russian issuers, as well as for the borrowers on a number of secured and unsecured debt facilities.

Mr. Kovalenko’s corporate finance experience has included advising:

  • JSC Gazprom in its listing on the Singapore Stock Exchange effected by the introduction of up to 4 billion global depositary shares, representing up to 8 billion ordinary shares of JSC Gazprom. This was the first listing “by introduction” of depositary receipts on the Singapore Exchange, and the first listing by a Russian company on the Singapore Stock Exchange;
  • the underwriters to Lenta Ltd. in connection with its:
    • US$1 billion initial public offering of GDRs. This was the first dual listing of GDRs on the London and Moscow stock exchanges;
    • US$275 million public offering of new and existing GDRs; and
    • US$225 million secondary public offering by way of a placement of 35.2 million GDRs, representing newly issued shares, on the London Stock Exchange (LSE);
  • Ros Agro PLC, a food processor with agricultural operations, in its US$330 million initial public offering of GDRs, which were listed on the LSE;
  • O’KEY Group S.A., an owner of one of the largest Russian retail chains, in a US$420 million initial public offering with a listing of GDRs on the LSE; and
  • the underwriters in the US$1 billion secondary offering of shares and GDRs of JSC “Uralkali,” including the exercise of a greenshoe option.



  • LL.M., Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, USA, 1996 (with honors)
  • Law Degree with Honors, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Russia, 1994


  • New York
  • Russia


  • English
  • Russian

Dmitri V. Kovalenko

Partner, Mergers and Acquisitions; Private Equity; Capital Markets