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SBH has advised the EBRD and Zubr Capital on their investment in the Mila group of companies, a wholesale distributor of beauty and personal care products that sells these products through its chain of Mila stores. Revera reportedly advised Mila on the deal and Bird & Bird reportedly worked with both sides.

Baker McKenzie Budapest has advised Hungarian entrepreneur Stefan Fritsch on his sale of 61% of the 11 Entertainment Group to the Genesis Private Equity Fund III, a private equity fund advised by Genesis Capital. Kinstellar advised Genesis Capital on the deal.

CMS Bulgaria has helped Robert Bosch, a subsidiary of the German Bosch Group, secure a multi-million public procurement contract with EVN Bulgaria District Heating for the supply, installation, and operation of 19+1 MW water heating boilers.

Act BSWW has advised the Kliny Hospital in Krakow, Poland, on its purchase of an online training simulator from Intuitive Surgical for surgeons performing procedures with the da Vinci robot. The SimNow simulator is the first online training tool of its kind in Poland.

Walless has advised the Baltic Horizon Fund on its EUR 20.7 million acquisition of the North Star business center in Lithuania from the UAB Prosperus Strategic RE Fund. Cobalt reportedly advised the Prosperus Strategic RE Fund on the deal.

Sorainen has helped DappRadar, a Lithuanian platform for discovering and analyzing blockchain-based decentralized applications, raise USD 2.33 million in seed funding from Naspers (through its Naspers Ventures division), Blockchain.com Ventures, and Angel Invest Berlin. TGS Baltic advised Naspers on the investment.

WKB has advised the CEZ capital group on Polish aspects of its acquisition of a majority of shares in Euroklimat, a provider of building installation services, from its founders and shareholders. The Czech Republic's Skils law firm was lead counsel to CEZ, and Grant Thornton advised Euroklimat and its shareholders on the deal.

Sayenko Kharenko has acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to the EBRD on its grant of an up-to EUR 5.3 million financial package to Bank Lviv under the EBRD's Women in Business Programme.

Redcliffe Partners and Clifford Chance Amsterdam have advised the Netherlands Development Finance Company, the Green for Growth Fund, and the Norwegian Guarantee Institute for Export Credits on EUR 37.8 million financing to Scatec Solar for the construction of a 54 MWp solar PV plant in the community of Bohuslav, in the Kyiv region of Ukraine. Integrites and Trinity advised Scatec Solar on the transaction, which closed in July 2019.

Former Nobles Partners Artem Nagdalian and Roman Shulyar have joined Marchenko Partners in Kyiv.

Aurelija Rutkauskaite has been promoted to Partner and Head of Data Protection & TMT at Triniti in Lithuania.

Former TENK Law Firm Senior Associate Eszter Zadori has joined Dentons Budapest as a Partner.

Andris Lazdins has been promoted to Associate Partner as Ellex Klavins and will Co-Head the firm's Dispute Resolution practice in Latvia with Partner Daiga Zivtina.

IT company AIGO has hired Milica Topic as its Manager of Department for Legal and Personnel Affairs in Belgrade.

Former Wierzbowski Eversheds Sutherland Partner and Head of Energy Lukasz Jankowski has joined DLA Piper Warsaw as Counsel in the firm's Litigation & Regulatory practice.

Former Clifford Chance Counsel Rafal Zakrzewski has joined Baker McKenzie Warsaw as a Partner.

Former A&O Head of Competition in Slovakia Juraj Gyarfas has joined Dentons as a Partner in the firm's Corporate and M&A, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, and Competition & Antitrust practice groups.

Former CMS Partners Marek Sawicki and Jakub Marcinkowski have moved, along with a team, to DLA Piper in Warsaw.

It has been clear for some time that Hungary is in breach of EU law by not allowing the refunding of VAT on bad debts. The fact that cases of Hungarian taxpayers have now been brought before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has forced Hungarian lawmakers to move on the issue. While the package of tax amendments submitted last week provides an opportunity to reclaim such VAT, in certain cases – due to the planned administrative restrictions – it will still only be possible to enjoy this right with reference to EU law.

Recent developments in the Ukrainian energy sector open up new opportunities for strategic international investors. First is “green” auctions – starting 2020, new projects in power generation for renewable sources will develop under the price formed through an open auction system. The new law on auctions adopted in 2019 will allow investors to make long-term plans in the sector and attract project financing. Second is the launch of the open electricity market on July 1, 2019.

If somebody dies unexpectedly, it’s not only a terrible loss for the grieving family and friends, but can also be a tragedy for the company of which the deceased was a member. At such times, the company can find itself unable to make decisions, even if the deceased only held a small share in the business. However, solutions do exist to enable the testator not only to make provisions for family members in the event of his or her death, but also to make sure that the company can continue to make decisions.

During the last decade, Albania has undertaken several initiatives to liberalize the electric energy sector and increase local generation capacities. Such measures have created a lively market, especially in the renewal energy segment.

It has been over a year since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation became mandatory across Europe, marking a seismic shift in the way that companies collect, process, and handle personal data. Countries across the European Union and beyond have adapted their national laws to meet the requirements of the GDPR – with many introducing local derogations as permitted by the GDPR.

Under Austrian law, incorrect land register entries may trigger public liability. But the Austrian Supreme Court recently held that such incorrect entries only create public liability claims for of a certain group of people, thereby potentially increasing the risk management costs of mortgage-backed loans.

The fiscal aspects of the hydrocarbon sector in Albania will be soon governed by a new law. The new draft “On the Fiscal Regime for Petroleum Operations” law (the “New Draft Law”) was initially published in the Electronic Register of Public Announcement and Consultations on April 4, 2019 and has been circulated for comment among stakeholders, chambers of commerce, and experts’ associations in Albania.

The enforcement of pharmaceutical patent rights in Russia is a multi-aspect issue. One such aspect, well known to the industry and patent owners, is the attempt to prevent pharmaceuticals that may infringe on prior patent rights from being registered by the Russian healthcare authorities.

In late 2018, the Competition Council of the Republic of Latvia published the final report on its most recent in-depth sector inquiry on the distribution practices of reimbursed medicines on the wholesale market and potential competition restrictions therein. The sector inquiry had lasted for almost two years, during which the Competition Council gathered information from both the public and the private sectors, approaching seven producers, twelve wholesalers, and several public institutions, such as the State Agency of Medicines and the Health Inspectorate, among others. Although the Competition Council proclaimed that the main goal of the sector inquiry was to analyze potential competition restrictions on the wholesale market, which could be apparent because of the vertical integration of wholesalers and leading pharmacy chains and the exclusivity status of the wholesalers, no infringements proceedings were initiated as a result. Notwithstanding the lack of subsequent infringement proceedings, however, some crucial conclusions were drawn.

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Things continue apace in Romania, according to Schoenherr Partner Matei Florea. "It’s not slow, let me put it like this,” he says. "It’s the current new normal, with very diverse projects running at very diverse speeds. We’ve had it for a couple of years and it's professionally both challenging and satisfying.”

Earlier this year, CEE Legal Matters reported that Herbst Kinsky Rechtsanwalte had advised Marinomed Biotech AG on its February 1, 2019 debut on the Vienna Stock Exchance, with Weber & Co. advising Erste Group Bank AG (as sole global coordinator) and Goetzpartners Securities Ltd (as co-lead manager) on the IPO. Marinomed’s was the first successful IPO in Austria since BAWAG’s in 2017.

Igor Andries is the Head of Legal & Regulatory at Orange Moldova.

On July 25, 2019, CEE Legal Matters reported that Competera, a Ukrainian pricing platform for e-commerce and omni-channel retailers, had established its headquarters in the United States. We reached out to Competera's Senior Legal Counsel Denis Boshko for details.