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Portrait of Gurgen Gortsunyan

Gurgen Gortsunyan

Corporate | Head of M&A

Naberezhnaya Tower, block C
Naberezhnaya Tower Block C - 10 Presnenskaya Naberezhnaya
123112 Moscow
Languages English, Russian

Gurgen Gortsunyan is a counsel in Corporate practice and the Head of M&A at SEAMLESS Legal. Prior to joining the firm, he has been with other major international law firms and worked in-house as Head of Legal / Chief Legal Officer at the companies like Philips (in Russia) and Ozon, Russia’s leading e-commerce platform. Gurgen has been practicing law for over 19 years.

Gurgen specialises in corporate transactions and has advised clients in connection with a number of mergers and acquisitions, investment projects, private equity transactions, venture capital transactions and general corporate matters. His experience covers a wide variety of industry sectors, including retail, pharma, transportation, technology, and emerging growth.

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Relevant experience

  • International frozen foods producer – on the sale of share to the Russian company.
  • Foreign insurer – advising the management on the MBO of a Russian subsidiary of a foreign insurer including M&A, regulatory and merger clearance issues.
  • International transportation holding – on business restructuring.
  • Ozon – in connection with USD 50m investment from Princeville Capital and several rounds from Baring Vostok and Sistema PJSFC. 
  • Philips’ Lighting Solutions – in the course of the global split into Philips and Philips Lighting (now known as Signify) groups of companies.
  • NefteTransService – on its participation in bidding process and the USD 300m acquisition of railcar operator EvrazTrans.
  • Industrial Investors – on the USD 1.3bn disposal of its controlling stake in the Russian transport group FESCO to Summa Group.
  • International Paper – in its approximately USD 1.5bn acquisition of a 50% equity interest in Ilim Pulp.
  • Renaissance Capital – on the acquisition and sale of a 41% stake in VSMPO-AVISMA, a producer of titanium and magnesium metals.
  • Arcelor SA – in its approximately EUR 12bn proposed acquisition of Severstal in the context of creation of ArcelorMittal.
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Awards & Rankings

  • The Kommersant 2019, Top 50 Legal Directors
  • The Kommersant 2019, Top 1,000 Russian Managers
  • Legal 500, General Counsel Powerlist 2019
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  • 2004, Russian Foreign Trade Academy (VAVT)
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SEAM­LESS Leg­al ad­vises Mayr-Mel­nhof Group on di­vest­ing its Rus­si­an busi­ness
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Emer­ging Europe M&A 2021 activ­ity re­bounds with deal value soar­ing
Find­ings from the CMS Emer­ging Europe M&A 2021 re­port, pub­lished today in co­oper­a­tion with EMIS, show that 2021 was a year of re­bound and re­cov­ery for deal-makers in emer­ging EuropeEm­er­ging Europe in­cludes Al­bania, Be­larus, Bos­nia and Herzegov­ina, Bul­garia, Croa­tia, Czech Re­pub­lic, Es­to­nia, Hun­gary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, North Mace­do­nia, Mol­dova, Montenegro, Po­land, Ro­mania, Rus­sia, Ser­bia, Slov­akia, Slov­e­nia, Tur­key, and Ukraine.de­fault.  Not only did the re­gion re­cov­er from its dip in 2020, with 2021 trans­ac­tion levels rising to 2,015 deals (up 18.2%), but emer­ging Europe saw over­all deal value reach its highest level since 2013 – in­creas­ing to EUR 94.27bn (up 55.1%). Horea Popes­cu, Head of CEE Cor­por­ate M&A prac­tice, CMS, com­ments: “M&A activ­ity in emer­ging Europe ex­per­i­enced a re­sur­gence in 2021, with buy­ers and sellers ap­pear­ing to re­cov­er their con­fid­ence at the pro­spect of the pan­dem­ic be­ing brought un­der con­trol. The year got off to a strong start with deal num­bers re­cov­er­ing sharply in the first three months of the year, reach­ing levels sim­il­ar to 2019 – a trend that then con­tin­ued through to the au­tumn.” Stefan Stoy­an­ov, Head of M&A Data­base at EMIS, says: “In 2021, we saw deal-makers ad­apt to the pan­dem­ic’s new nor­mal and push on with M&A. The find­ings in this year’s re­port demon­strate the re­turn of deal-maker con­fid­ence, as quarterly deal val­ues ex­ceeded EUR 20bn for five quar­ters in a row and mega­deals firmly re­turned to the agenda – with each of the year’s top ten deals priced at more than EUR 1bn.”  PE activ­ity con­tin­ued to grow and IPOs took off   Private equity is now firmly em­bed­ded in the deal­mak­ing cul­ture of emer­ging Europe. Build­ing on 2020’s buoy­ant num­bers, private equity activ­ity rose fur­ther with deal num­bers at an all-time high (399) and val­ues up 18% (EUR 23.75bn).  IPOs also en­joyed a bump­er year as the num­ber of list­ings surged to 116 (up from 26) and val­ues jumped to EUR 13.47bn (up from EUR 4.79bn). These fig­ures re­flect the suc­cess of re­gion­al stock ex­changes, such as Warsaw, Bucharest and Istan­bul, in at­tract­ing new list­ings, while those in Lon­don, Am­s­ter­dam and New York con­tin­ued to ap­peal to com­pan­ies seek­ing in­ter­na­tion­al in­vestors.  Lead­ing sec­tors Tele­coms and IT topped the deal tables once again and ac­coun­ted for five of the ten biggest deals of the year. Trans­ac­tion num­bers rose to 450 (up from 333) and the sec­tor saw the over­all highest deal value at EUR 23.4bn. Sig­ni­fic­ant Tele­coms deals in­cluded the sales of Polkomtel In­frastruk­tura and UPC Pol­ska in Po­land, and the sales of České Ra­di­okomunikace and a 30% stake in CET­IN in the Czech Re­pub­lic. Mean­while, not­able soft­ware deals in­cluded the EUR 7.3bn sale of Avast Soft­ware in the Czech Re­pub­lic and the EUR 1.6bn pur­chase of game de­veloper Nex­ters Glob­al by Kismet, both with roots in Rus­sia. Real Es­tate and Con­struc­tion was the second busiest sec­tor, ex­per­i­en­cing 340 deals (up from 310) and a 3.8% rise in deal value (EUR 9.83bn). Des­pite ex­per­i­en­cing a 19% drop in deal num­bers, of­fices re­mained the top real-es­tate sub-sec­tor. Sim­il­arly, Ware­hous­ing and lo­gist­ics also main­tained its sub-sec­tor rank­ing, re­flect­ing the on­go­ing shift to e-com­merce. Man­u­fac­tur­ing was the third busiest sec­tor with 253 trans­ac­tions (up from 236) and second by value at EUR 18.26bn. Mean­while, Min­ing, Oil and Gas was the third largest sec­tor by value at EUR 10.59bn, though it was one of the few sec­tors where deal num­bers de­clined (down to 105 from 124). Grow­ing in­vestor in­terest in cli­mate ac­tion helped drive up the over­all num­ber of en­ergy and util­ity deals to 122 (from 73), and the sec­tor ac­coun­ted for 6% of over­all trans­ac­tions (up from 4.3%). The re­new­ables sub-sec­tor saw par­tic­u­larly im­press­ive growth in both deal activ­ity and value, num­ber­ing 81 deals (up from 44) and a fourfold in­crease in value.  Coun­try hot­spots Three not­able M&A hot­spots in­cluded Croa­tia, Ro­mania and Ukraine, whose deal num­bers each ex­ceeded those achieved pri­or to the pan­dem­ic. Croa­tia saw deal num­bers and val­ues hit re­cord highs of 69 (up 60.5%) and EUR 1.8bn re­spect­ively (387.4%). Mean­while, deal activ­ity in Ro­mania also made the re­cord books (195 trans­ac­tions, up 43.4%), how­ever, deal value was down by 9.6% (EUR 2.37bn). Ukraine’s deal num­bers strongly re­covered (up 57.1% to 143) and the coun­try’s over­all deal value doubled to EUR 1.72bn.   For­eign and re­gion­al in­vest­ment reaches new heights  The United States was the most act­ive for­eign coun­try in­vestor. US deal num­bers rose to a dec­ade high of 154 (up from 94) and val­ues more than doubled to reach a re­cord high of EUR 9.17bn. European in­vestors also demon­strated a keen ap­pet­ite for deals in emer­ging Europe and, by deal activ­ity, the top three European in­vestors were the UK (106 deals), Ger­many (81 deals) and France (54 deals). These same three coun­tries also topped the charts for European in­vestor deal value; Ger­many led the pack (EUR 3.13bn), with the UK (EUR 2.08bn) and France (EUR 1.91bn) fol­low­ing in second and third place re­spect­ively. The UAE moved up the for­eign in­vestor rank­ing to se­cure tenth po­s­i­tion for its deal num­bers, the highest out­side the US and Europe. Cross-bor­der M&A re­mained buoy­ant, with deal num­bers up 28.9% (985 deals) and val­ues up 59.8% (EUR 56bn). Mean­while, do­mest­ic deal val­ues reached EUR 38.3bn (up 48.1%), with deal num­bers up 9.5% (1,030). Rus­sia was the largest single in­vestor coun­try over­all, with 564 deals worth EUR 37.3bn – al­most all (96%) of these be­ing do­mest­ic trans­ac­tions.  Out­look for 2022  Ra­divo­je Pet­rikić, CEE Cor­por­ate Prac­tice, CMS, com­ments: “M&A pro­fes­sion­als have shown they are cap­able of ad­apt­ing to whatever chal­lenges 2022 might throw at them. Al­though un­cer­tainty about the im­pact of new vari­ants and the pro­spect of eco­nom­ic fal­lout from high­er in­fla­tion has led to a more cau­tious end to the year, our find­ings show that deal-maker con­fid­ence has largely been re­stored. In 2021, the main drivers of deals were long-term un­der­ly­ing trends, such as di­git­al­isa­tion, and with the pace of change and shift to di­git­al con­tinu­ing to ac­cel­er­ate, the fun­da­ment­als for an act­ive deal­mak­ing mar­ket re­main firmly in place.” Artashes Ogan­ov, Cor­por­ate prac­tice, CMS Rus­sia, says: “After an ap­prox. 20% drop in tur­bu­lent 2020 the Rus­si­an M&A mar­ket showed an im­press­ive re­cov­ery in 2021.  With Oil & Gas, Chem­ic­als, Re­tail and Real Es­tate & Con­struc­tion be­ing the key drivers of M&A mar­ket growth in Rus­sia, the ag­greg­ate deal value has al­most doubled com­pared to 2020. However, un­like oth­er emer­ging mar­kets, the role of in­bound in­vest­ments in such growth re­mains re­l­at­ively small. Key do­mest­ic play­ers, in­clud­ing state-owned con­glom­er­ates from Nat­ur­al Re­sources, Bank­ing and In­vest­ment sec­tors, con­tin­ue to hold the pre­vail­ing share in the over­all deal volume. Due to the spe­cif­ic pro­file of the Rus­si­an eco­nomy where the state plays a ma­jor role wheth­er as fin­an­cing party or a stake­hold­er, de­creased busi­ness activ­ity after the COV­ID-19 out­break in 2020 and, hence, de­valu­ation of as­sets in many seg­ments of Rus­si­an eco­nomy al­lowed ma­jor loc­al in­vestors who have ac­cess to fin­an­cing from state-owned banks to cap­it­al­ise on the mar­ket situ­ation through ac­quis­i­tion of com­pet­it­ors and con­sol­id­a­tion of the mar­ket share in 2021. Also, the volume of out­bound in­vest­ments and activ­ity of Rus­si­an play­ers on the for­eign mar­kets showed a sur­pris­ing growth in 2021.”Gur­gen Gortsun­yan, Head of M&A, CMS Rus­sia, sums up: “The cur­rent deals pipeline gives us op­tim­ism that the Rus­si­an M&A mar­ket will main­tain at least the same level of deal-mak­ing activ­ity in 2022 des­pite the cur­rent geo­pol­it­ic­al con­text and in­ter­na­tion­al pres­sure put on the coun­try by the con­tin­ued sanc­tions.”The CMS Emer­ging Europe M&A 2021 re­port can be found here.