The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed agreements with Kesko Oyj of Finland on December 21, 2001 to finance the launch by Kesko of a major greenfield rollout of do-it-yourself (DIY) stores and hypermarkets (large food stores) in Latvia and Estonia. Kesko is the largest operator of retail food and DIY stores in Finland, and is aiming to become the second-largest operator of DIY and hypermarket stores in Latvia and Estonia within the next few years. The value of the project was approximately €80 million, of which approximately €62 million was provided by EBRD. The project had its first equity and debt disbursement in March 2002.
Kaz Brunicki, Amy Kho and Marina Nesterenko of Clifford Chance LLP in London acted as counsel for Kesko under the direction of in-house counsel Anne Leppälä-Nilsson. McCarthy Tétrault LLP acted as special counsel for EBRD with EBRD in-house counsel Christoph Sicking. The McCarthy Tétrault team was comprised of Brian Kelsall, Christopher Langdon and Rejane Frey.