Corporate/M&A - Finland
THE FIRM Hannes Snellman remains at the forefront of the market thanks to its formidable reputation and breadth of service. It continues to act on the most prominent private equity and industrial deals, recently advising ThyssenKrup on the EUR2.7 billion sale of stainless steel unit Inoxum to Finnish company Outokumpu.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Johan Aalto is a noted force in major Finnish transactions, acting as lead partner on ThyssenKrup's sale of Inoxum to Outokumpu. He also represented EQT Infrastructure Fund in its EUR200 million acquisition of Fortum’s Energiaratkaisut and Termest businesses.
Mikko Heinonen is highly reputed amongst interviewees who describe him as hardworking and experienced. He is the managing partner of the Helsinki office.
Riikka Rannikko moves up the rankings thanks to glowing praise from sources and a strong caseload. Clients particularly appreciate her strong negotiation skills.
Klaus Ilmonen focuses on public and private M&A. He recently advised Ahlstrom on the EUR170 million sale of several of its businesses to Suominen.
THE FIRM Roschier continues to be one of the leading firms for corporate work thanks to its involvement in major cases such as Finnair and Flybe’s joint acquisition of Finnish Commuter Airlines from Fincomm. It also represented Swedish company Vattenfall in the recent EUR1.54 billion takeover of its heating and energy distribution assets by an international consortium, thus demonstrating the firm's pan-Nordic and international strength.
Sources say: “Roschier works like a machine. There’s a lot of talent throughout the organisation, and it's particularly good for large international deals.” “The team is very commercial – the lawyers identify the important issues and give clear advice.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS The “very skilful” Paula Linna is the firm's most established figure. She couples a strong background in public M&A with sterling capital markets expertise.
Head of the M&A practice Jouni Salmi continues to build an impressive reputation among Finnish and international clients.
Of late Jon Unnérus has increased his prominence in the field. His private equity experience is especially valued by interviewees, and clients also highlight his ability to identify potential risks.
Jan-Anders Wik focuses on public M&A, but is equally strong in corporate advisory work.
Sources identify rising star Toni Siimes as a "pragmatic and easy-going" lawyer who is one to watch for the future.
THE FIRM This firm holds its own in the rankings, thanks to a full-service practice that allows it to undertake cases of high complexity and to act for a range of domestic and international clients from a variety of industries. It recently advised the Moventas bankruptcy estate on the EUR100 million sale of assets to Clyde Blowers Capital. This headline-grabbing case spanned several jurisdictions, with bidders from as far afield as India, China and Japan.
Sources say: “One of the firm’s strongest points is its ability to solve problems innovatively.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jyrki Tähtinen continues to command respect amongst interviewees, particularly in private equity assignments. Sources laud his stellar negotiation skills and add that he is "diligent and overall a lawyer that one could always trust. He's an all-round good performer."
Jari Vikiö recently demonstrated his cross-border prowess acting for Japanese drug maker Takeda Pharmaceutical on its EUR9.6 billion takeover of Swiss company Nycomed. Market observers say he is "very business-minded."
Clients appreciate department head Ari Kaarakainen's "trustworthy and efficient" working style, alongside his capabilities in M&A, banking and finance.
Andreas Doepel is recognised as an up-and-comer to watch. He focuses on M&A, and also advises on contract and company law.
Ari-Pekka Saanio remains a well-regarded name in this field. His broad experience encompasses M&A, capital markets and private equity.
THE FIRM Market observers acknowledge this firm's flourishing practice and its lawyers' unrivalled experience. It serves an esteemed clientele, ranging from international names such as 3i and Deutsche Bahn to significant Scandinavian clients including engineering group Sweco and financial services group Pohjola. It recently represented Unilever in its acquisition of Ingnam Ice Cream, and on the domestic side it acted for media entertainment company Rovio on its USD42 million financing.
Sources say: “We were very satisfied with the firm. On issues where we needed quick advice and someone to talk to and work something out without delay, the lawyers were always there.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources consider Jan Kuhlefelt to be the firm’s most established presence in M&A. He recently represented Flybe in its highly publicised joint venture acquisition with Finnair of Finnish Commuter Airlines.
Pekka Jaatinen is held in high esteem for his significant transactional experience. Alongside his work in restructuring and insolvency, he acts on large-scale M&A assignments such as advising Pohjola Group on its EUR1.3 billion acquisition of Skandia Life Assurance’s Finnish business.
Head of the M&A department Jan Örndahl is praised as being “easy to work with and hands-on in his approach.”
The “hard-working and extremely brilliant” Heidi Paalanen-Koev offers an international perspective. She is the key contact for the firm's Russia desk.
Since publication, Jari Sonninen has retired from this practice.
THE FIRM This team has further cemented its strong reputation of late, acting on major domestic cases such as the Republic of Finland's majority acquisition of transmission system operator Fingrid, a matter valued at EUR650 million. The practice's impressive stature is demonstrated by its varied workload, which ranges from mid-market Finnish deals to larger-scale cross-border work. International highlights include assisting Japanese company Murata Manufacturing with its purchase of VTI Technologies from EQT Partners.
Sources say: "This firm complements us in terms of quality, proactivity, asking the right questions, and getting the deal done in an extremely challenging timeframe."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Leading figure Mika Ståhlberg gains plaudits from market observers. One interviewee says: "He's pragmatic and interacts well with the counterparties in deals."
The "very intelligent" Kimmo Mettälä is a new addition to the rankings, following widespread praise. He led the firm's representation of Murata Manufacturing in its acquisition of VTI Technologies.
Of late Samuli Palin has been especially active in the firm's real estate M&A transactions.
THE FIRM This Finnish firm is known in the market for its strength in corporate law, providing a high-quality M&A practice to its largely international client base. The team excels in advising on the Finnish aspects of cross-border transactions. In a case of note, it acted as local counsel to HgCapital on its EUR300 million sale of Mondo Minerals, a global talc mining company.
Sources say: "What I especially like about this firm is the attention to detail it provides; not in a sense that would be costly for the customer, but in managing all possible risks and areas that need to be covered."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Market observers speak at length about Jan Waselius' extensive knowledge and experience, saying he is "bright and pragmatic." He maintains a significant presence in major transactions, working as part of the team acting for HgCapital on its recent sale of Mondo Minerals.
Mikko Eerola is building a powerful reputation for his transactional work. He receives glowing praise from sources, who believe that he can be "trusted with anything" and appreciate his ability to explain Finnish law to global companies in the context of international deals.
THE FIRM This group brings a high-profile international angle to its M&A work. The firm uses its global network to act on deals such as Luvata's sale of its Rolled Products Division, a transaction spanning various jurisdictions including the USA, China and Italy. In addition, the firm has significant domestic clout, recently working on mandates such as Talvivaara Mining Company's EUR60 million acquisition of additional shares in Talvivaara Sotkamo.
Sources say: "The firm is the best for large-scale, complex international transactions. This is thanks to its global network, but also the background and experience of the local lawyers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Considered by sources to be the driving force behind the firm's M&A practice, Petri Haussila recently led the team's involvement in forest product giant UPM-Kymmene's EUR900 million acquisition of Myllykoski Group and Rhein Paper, a transaction encompassing Finnish, German and English law.
Timo Airisto ascends the rankings thanks to ample feedback and a significant caseload covering private and public M&A. Interviewees say he "has a great reputation and is a really capable lawyer."
Risto Ojantakanen retains a significant presence at the high end of Finnish and international transactional work, frequently representing clients of such stature as Vaaka Partners and Clyde Blowers Capital.
Market observers are impressed with Janko Lindros, who advises Finnish and international clients. In a notable case, he advised on Accel Partners' EUR8 million investment into computer games manufacturer Supercell.
THE FIRM This recently formed firm is carving out an impressive reputation thanks to its high-quality team, which includes some of the biggest names in Finnish corporate M&A. The well-renowned partners act for a range of prestigious clients, such as Bridgepoint Capital, Solidium and Intera Equity Partners. The team advises on domestic and cross-border transactions, and also provides advisory services on public and private M&A.
Sources say: "An extremely knowledgeable practice, given the senior partners' background. The firm goes the extra step for a client, and even on smaller assignments it provides a very good senior team."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ulf-Henrik Kull is revered for his stellar reputation as one of Finland's leading M&A lawyers. Sources enthuse about his "ability to manage complex situations and to see the threats to the client," adding that he is "able to find innovative ways out of seemingly dead-end situations."
Carl-Henrik Wallin is well respected for his transactional work. He frequently works with industrial clients.
Touted as a rising star, Mathias Lindqvist handles M&A and contract law. He has impressive international experience, having previously worked in Copenhagen, New York and St Petersburg.
THE FIRM This international firm makes full use of its global network and full-service approach to provide a strong M&A practice. Recent work highlights include representing MetsäBoard in its sale of Plastiroll shares to Sponsor Capital, a significant transaction in the fast-growing cleantech industry. Other key clients include AAC Capital Partners, pension insurance company Ilmarinen and used car retailer Kamux.
Sources say: "One of the team's strengths is that the lawyers have clear specialisations, and are very knowledgeable in their respective fields."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients say the highly experienced Matti Ylä-Mononen "is extremely helpful and knows the ins and outs of M&A."
Managing partner Jori Taipale recently advised on MB Funds' acquisition of Cramo's modular space production and space rental businesses.
Harri Hynninen is highlighted for his work in private equity. He represented Vaaka Partners in the acquisition of the share capital of Finnish rainwater system and roof safety product manufacturer Nesco Group.
THE FIRM This firm has built a full-service corporate advisory and M&A practice, covering everything from multi-jurisdictional deals to public takeovers. The firm's cross-border strength was recently displayed when advising Swedish private equity house Ratos on its EUR116 million acquisition of pan-Baltic movie theatre group Finniko from Sanoma. It counts Pfizer, Capgemini and McDonald's among its esteemed clientele.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "extremely skilful" Jan Ollila is the firm's leading M&A practitioner. He led the team assisting international copper producer Aurubis with the Finnish aspects of its acquisition of Luvata Group's Rolled Products Division.
Anders Carlberg consistently works with clients of high stature. In a highlight, he advised One Equity Partners on its USD1 billion sale of Vacuumschmelze.
Interviewees especially value Antti Kuusimäki's client care skills. He recently represented Swedish insurance house Folksam in its majority share purchase of Aktia Skadeförsäkring.
Wilhelm Eklund is active on a range of deals, recently advising on the Finnish aspects of AstraZeneca's USD1.8 billion sale of Astra Tech to DENTSPLY International.
THE FIRM This firm is known in the market for its strength in domestic M&A, but is also able to advise on international deals. In one such example, it assisted with Suominen's EUR170 million multi-jurisdictional acquisition of Ahlström's Home and Personal business. Other key clients include Neste Oil, Sanoma and Skanska.
Sources say: "The team handled a complex case very well. The whole experience was very positive."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The experienced and revered Pekka Merilampi is mainly recognised for his activity in corporate advisory work, and for his role as chair of a number of AGMs for listed Finnish companies.
Managing partner Jani Ylä-Autio is highly sought after for his abilities in M&A, and his market-leading real estate work is also recognised.
Ari Keinänen recently advised Sanoma on its EUR27.5 million sale of bookstore chain Suomalainen Kirjakauppa to Otava. He has a broad practice, encompassing M&A, private equity and corporate transactions.
THE FIRM This new addition to the rankings has a rapidly growing M&A practice, and receives widespread praise acknowledging its strong focus on client service. Recent work highlights include advising Finland's five biggest real estate agents on the acquisition of the Jokakoti real estate portal business from MTV. The team has also handled a number of notable transactions in the industrial, pharmaceutical and cleantech sectors.
Sources say: "World-class in client service." "A pragmatic and hands-on team."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources admire Bjørn Nykvist because he "is business-oriented and thinks about the client." Interviewees also appreciate his capability to deal with complicated, multifaceted transactions, highlighting his foreign language skills as a key strength. He recently advised the shareholders of outdoor retail company Partioaitta on its sale to Swedish listed company Fenix Outdoor.
THE FIRM Formed as a result of a two-firm merger in 2011, Peltonen LMR's practice services a broad client base. It is prominent in mid-market domestic transactions, frequently advising on the local law aspects of large-scale international deals. Recent highlights include assisting with chemical producer OM Group's USD1 billion acquisition of German VAC Group.
Sources say: "The firm is accurate and efficient in its work, and the team listens to you very closely."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Petri Morelius heads the M&A department. He recently advised Domtar on the Finnish aspects of its USD180 million acquisition of Attends Healthcare.
Attorneys-At-Law Juridia Ltd's Mika Taberman has been especially active of late, advising Ruukki Group on the EUR9 million share sale of its Finnish pallet business Oplax to a group of investors including Russian Capital Management.
Tomas Lindholm splits his time between dispute resolution and high-end corporate advisory work at boutique firm Lindholm Wallgren Attorneys Ltd. He is universally revered in the Finnish corporate world.
Since publication, Tomas Lindholm has passed away.