Maria Protopapa
Maria Protopapa represents clients in a variety of international capital markets transactions, including SEC-registered and other types of initial public offerings, privatizations, public and private offerings of equity and debt securities, rights offerings, exchange offers and tender offers as well as acquisition finance, spin-off and restructuring transactions.

Bio

Ms. Protopapa advises companies across a variety of industries on an ongoing basis, assisting with corporate governance matters and interactions with security holders, stock exchanges and other regulatory bodies. She has extensive experience advising on privatizations, initial public offerings, and equity and debt matters relating to Greece, Russia, Scandinavia and other jurisdictions.

Significant transactions include advising:

  • Roust Corporation in its prepackaged restructuring, involving a high-yield issuance, which received court approval at the sole hearing in the case just seven days after the debtors filed for Chapter 11 relief. This matter was named Global Finance Deal of the Year: Insolvency and Restructuring (U.S.) at the 2017 American Lawyer Global Legal Awards;
  • EVRAZ North American Limited, a subsidiary of United-Kingdom based EVRAZ plc (a steel producer), in its proposed initial public offering of ordinary shares; and EVRAZ Inc. NA Canada, a subsidiary of United-Kingdom based EVRAZ plc (a steel producer), in its US$350 million Rule 144A/Regulation S high-yield offering of 7.5% senior secured notes due 2019;
  • QIWI plc (Russia), a provider of electronic payment services, in its US$212 million initial public offering of American Depositary Shares with a listing on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, and its listing of ADSs on the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange. QIWI plc is the first Russian company to complete an IPO under the U.S. JOBS Act, and the first foreign company to list on a Russian stock exchange; Ms. Protopapa also advised QIWI plc in its US$288 million secondary public offering of American Depositary Shares; its US$319 million combined primary/secondary offering of American Depositary Shares; and in its US$167 million acquisition of the Contact money transfer system and the Rapida payment processing system from Otkritie Holding JSC;
  • Roust Trading Limited (Bermuda), the ultimate shareholder of Russian Standard Bank, in a United Kingdom court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement to restructure two series of Eurobonds in the amount of US$550 million. The bonds were issued by Russian Standard Finance S.A., a Luxembourg-based special purpose vehicle, to fund related loans to Russian Standard Bank. This is the first time that an English scheme of arrangement has been used to implement a restructuring to address capital adequacy issues for a Russian bank;
  • Stena AB (Sweden), a provider of shipping and offshore drilling services, in its US$350 million Rule 144A/Regulation S high-yield offering of 5.75% senior secured notes due 2024 and a US$650 million term loan; and its US$600 million Rule 144A/Regulation S high-yield offering of 7% senior notes due 2024;
  • Central European Distribution Corporation, a producer and distributor of alcoholic beverages, in its prepackaged Chapter 11 reorganization plan filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The restructuring included an exchange of bonds;
  • IBS Group Holding Limited (Russia), a provider of information technology services and products, in its reorganization through a scheme of arrangement executed through a court process in the Isle of Man;
  • Alpha Bank S.A. (Greece) in its €4.6 billion recapitalization effected through a €457 million rights offering of common shares, a €93 million private placement of common shares to institutional investors and a €4.2 billion contribution in kind by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund of notes issued by the European Financial Stability Fund to the share capital of Alpha Bank in exchange for new shares of Alpha Bank; and in a subsequent €1.2 billion Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of ordinary shares;
  • the underwriters in two SEC-registered secondary offerings, aggregating $811 million, of American depositary shares listed on the NYSE, representing preferred shares issued by Mechel OAO, a leading Russian mining and metals company;
  • the underwriters, including UBS, in a US$625 million SEC-registered offering of American depositary shares, representing preferred shares issued by National Bank of Greece S.A., listed on the NYSE; and in two Rule 144A/Regulation S rights offering by NBG that resulted in aggregate proceeds of €4.25 billion;
  • O’KEY Group S.A. (Luxembourg), an owner of one of the largest Russian retail chains, in an US$420 million IPO with listing of GDRs on the London Stock Exchange;
  • the government of the Republic South Africa in the $487 million privatization, via an initial public offering and listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the NYSE, of Telkom SA Limited, the largest telecommunications provider in Africa;
  • the managers of the initial public offering and listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange and Nasdaq of ordinary shares of Telenor ASA, Norway’s leading mobile and fixed telephony operator;
  • the managers in three privatization offerings by the Hellenic Republic of ordinary shares of OPAP S.A., listed on the Athens Exchange that raised an aggregate of €2.5 billion;
  • the managers in the $127 million initial public offering of OAO Irkut Aircraft Corporation, the largest offering by a Russian issuer with solely a domestic listing;
  • the managers in the US$435 million offering by OJSC “Magnit” together with an offering by Lavreno Limited;
  • the advisers of OAO “Volga TGK” (TGK-7) in connection with US$467 million pre-emptive rights offering of 14.8% of its primary shares;
  • the managers in connection with three bond offerings by Open Joint Stock Company “Vimpel-Communications,” the leading GSM operator in the Russian Federation, that raised an aggregate of €1 billion and in Vimplecom’s $600 million exchange offer;
  • Alapis S.A. (Alapis), a Greek pharmaceutical maker, in its €451 million Regulation S rights offering, comprising a public offering in Greece under the EU Prospectus Directive and an institutional offering outside Greece and the United States;
  • the financial advisors in the US$3 billion pre-emptive rights offering and public placement of shares by JSC “OGK-3,” a Russian wholesale electricity generation company;
  • the underwriters in the US$400 million Regulation S initial public offering of ordinary shares and global depositary receipts of OJSC TransContainer, an intermodal container transportation and logistics company, including a listing on the London Stock Exchange;
  • Brunswick Rail in connection with its US$600 million 6.55% high-yield bonds due 2017. This deal was awarded “2012 Deal of the Year for Central and Eastern Europe” by Euromoney magazine;
  • Angara Mining plc in the $50.1 million convertible bond offering listed on the Professional Services Market of the London Stock Exchange, the first pre-IPO convertible bond by a U.K. issuer; and
  • the managers in a $300 million bond offering of MMK Finance S.A., a subsidiary of OJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, a leading Russian ferrous metal producer.

Credentials

Education

  • LL.M., University College London, 1996

Admissions

  • New York

Languages

  • Greek

Maria Protopapa

Counsel, International Corporate Finance
maria.protopapa@skadden.com