Zepos & Yannopoulos advises Piraeus Bank on the first securitisation of Greek commercial backed NPEs

Zepos & Yannopoulos advises Piraeus Bank on the first securitisation of Greek commercial backed NPEs

Piraeus Bank, a Greek systemic bank, agreed to sell to Bain Capital Credit, an international financial investor, a portfolio of commercial backed NPEs with gross book value of €1.45 billion. 

This pioneer transaction marks the long awaited opening of the secured NPE market in Greece following a series of legislative initiatives and regulatory NPE reduction targets in the last few years aiming to establish a liquid market for the nearly €100 billion of NPEs of the Greek banks. 

The legal structure of the deal applied the securitisation technology’s optimum features and it is expected to constitute a benchmark for transactions to come and pave the way for the sale of other similar portfolios from Greek systemic banks. The transaction construction combined the Greek securitisation law with the Greek law on servicing of loan and credit receivables and included the establishment by Piraeus Bank of a licensed servicer under Greek law 4354/2015 which was also agreed to be sold to the investor. The transaction is subject to customary conditions, regulatory and other approvals by the respective authorities in Greece, including the consent of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund.

The Zepos & Yannopoulos team was led by partner Christina Papanikolopoulou assisted by senior associate Kely Pesketzi and associates Mary Nigritinou, Athina Palli and Paris Tzoumas. Tax advice was provided by partner Daphne Cozonis and senior associate Katerina Vagia. Partners Nikos Christoforidis and Prof. Emmanuel Mastromanolis advised in relation to enforcement and insolvency laws, respectively. 

Christina Papanikolopoulou commented: “The Amoeba deal attests the Greek banks’ commitment to actively deleverage their balance sheets, as well as international investors’ interest to invest in Greek NPEs. The team worked very hard to propose and implement a seamless legal structure that would be familiar to the international investor community and which would serve as a robust and flexible toolbox for future transactions. Moreover, the number of investors that took an interest in the transaction went far beyond what would be expected in a first-time NPE deal, which is a very positive sign for the coming Greek NPE sales.”