Established in 1957 in Vienna, Wolf Theiss is now one of Austria’s largest and leading firms with a network of offices across Central and Eastern Europe spanning 13 countries. The Austrian office employs some 140 lawyers, including around 40 partners.
Focusses / specialisms
The firm has relationships with Austria’s leading banks and advises these lenders on a variety of corporate finance and real estate finance transactions, both nationally and cross border to borrowers in the wider region.
In the capital markets area the firm is one of the most active in the country on the debt side. The firm often advises its bank clients on debt programmes and in recent years has established itself as the most experienced firm on the market for regulatory capital issues by local lenders, working on the vast majority on either the buy or sell side.
Structured finance and securitisation work with an Austrian originator is rare but the firm is one of the few on the market with experience of work of this type, and picks up work on deals with an Austrian element.
The firm’s M&A practice is active and always generally present on a few of the country or region’s largest deals. It’s experienced on deals involving financial sponsors on the buy and sell side.
The firm’s projects team is among the market’s best. It has experience on deals relevant to all key industries and on PPPs.
In the restructuring area the firm is experienced too and has had roles on several large Austrian cases advising debtors recently.
The firm has advised internationally renowned clients such as Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, Raiffeisen Bank International and Erste Bank. The firm has also worked closely with locally important clients, like Miba, Boehringer Ingelheim and Vienna International Airport.
Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)
In banking and finance the firm often advised borrowers on project and acquisition financing. It advised banks in project financing mandates, as well as advising borrowers and lenders in cross border lending.
The firm was particularly active in debt capital markets, usually advising issuers but also book runners, in bond issues. It advised banks and companies on local and international bond issues. In equity work the firm advised Addiko bank in its IPO.
The firm was very active in cross border M&A, advising buyers and sellers in their activities. This included advising the buyers in the purchase of an NPL (non-performing loan) portfolio and advising in joint ventures. It advised in a range of industries from retail, logistics, hotels, technology and telecoms. The firm also worked private equity funds and hedge funds in the sale and acquisition of targets.
In project development work the firm advised on public procurement for both the state and private clients, as well as advising investors on urban development projects. It worked with developers on the establishment of various production and research facilities.
The firm worked with indebted parties on restructuring mandates, advising on restructuring debt and companies. It also advised creditors on insolvency proceedings and notably acted for Stienhoff in its restructure.
Recent staffing changes include the hire of partner Florian Kusznier, an addition for the corporate M&A department, from Schoenherr. The firm saw the departure of a counsel and consultant from the banking and finance team, Michaela Zakharian and Gerhard Dilger respectively.
Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)
Addiko Bank IPO
Blackstone €1.64 million acquisition of European distribution unit
DDM Group and B2 Holding €800 million acquisition of NPL portfolio
InterGlobe acquisition of K&K Hotels Group.
KELAG-Kärntner Elektrizitäts-Aktiengesellschaft €250 million financing
Miba acquisition of Voltlabor
Raiffeisen Bank €750 million 0.375% bond issue issuer
Raiffeisen Bank International €500 million 1.5% bond issue
Stienhoff Europe Restructure
Volksbank Wien €500 million 0.375% bond issue
Warburg Pincus and Duravant acquisition of Motion06
Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)
Capital markets: Debt
“Very responsive, excellent know-how in capital markets and very present in the CEE region.”
"Very knowledgeable in capital markets, on top of things and give market-leader, authoritative advice."
Financial services regulatory
“Availability, deep knowledge and have an understanding of client's business and needs.”
“Wolf Theiss is an international law firm with partner firms in numerous European countries. As a result, even complex issues relating to different legal areas as well as cases with a foreign focus can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.”
“Great responsiveness, practical hands-on approach, business thinking combined with in-depth knowledge of the legal framework.”
“Understands the CEE region extremely well.”
“The firm has a market leading position in CEE and could provide specific input on very short notice while handling multiple dependencies.”
“The firm really understands the markets in CEE very well.”
“Highly professional, service oriented and provide a high quality work in the entire CEE/SEE region.”
Restructuring and insolvency
“Ability to act quickly in multiple CEE jurisdictions with 'one stop shop' policy under supervision of one partner. Pragmatic approach and good value for money.”
“He is extremely competent, kind, supportive, always has a good solution and is always available. We trust him.”
“Superstar with unusually high EQ and genuine industry and client management leadership experience. Solved a crisis for us and smiled all the way through it.”
“Dr. Gordon has shown great commitment in the course of the sales process and she pays attention to details without losing sight of the goal. What I particularly value about her is her intelligence, her ambition, her perseverance, her sympathetic nature in combination with her outstanding professional skills and her ability to keep an overview even in times of particularly high work pressure and to answer all inquiries immediately and extremely carefully.”
“Excellent legal know-how, very good knowledge of our business, pleasant to communicate with, excellent problem solving attitude and focused.”
“A market-leading personality, problem-solver who provides authoritative and practical advice. She is very fee conscious and a real business partner.”
“Excellent knowledge of the business.”
“Horst really understands what is important, organizes the team well behind him but always understands what is going on and delivers sophisticated, value-add advice in a timely manner.”
“Excellent availability, communicates with clarity and brevity, as well as, identifying and focusing easily on key issues. Offers "hands - on" advice beyond formal legal work and takes control whilst providing calm, focused guidance in crisis situations.”
“Excellent in delivering the total firm to clients.”
“Knows M&A and the CEE region.”
“Incredibly responsive, thoughtful, helpful, provides sound valued advice and clearly takes a keen interest in developing the team at Wolf Theiss.”
“Profound knowledge, professional, pro-active and communicative.”
“Knowledgeable and always available.”
“Very open minded and solution focused plus an exceptionally good team player.”