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Over the past few years CMS advised the OTP Bank Group on an extensive series of acquisitions across Bulgaria, Moldova, and former Yugoslavia. This series of separate deals was shortlisted for CEE Legal Matters’ CEE Deal of the Year in each of the countries involved, actually winning the 2018 Deal of the Year for Bulgaria and the 2019 Deal of the Year Award for Montenegro. We reached out to Eva Talmacsi, who led CMS’s multi-jurisdictional team, to learn more about the firm’s impressive work on OTP’s behalf.

“The pandemic situation is overrun with both uncertainty and challenges, but also opportunities,” says Jola Gjuzi, Partner at Kalo & Associates in Tirana. “I believe that the situation is the same for the Albanian Government as is it for businesses in the country.”

Wolf Theiss has advised joint lead managers Banca IMI, Citi bank, JP Morgan, and Raiffeisen Bank International on the Republic of Albania’s EUR 650 million seven-year international bond issuance of June 9, 2020.

On March 11, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Kinstellar had advised Austria’s European City Estates – a group of companies owned by the Austrian Humer Private Foundation – on its acquisition of the 22,000-square-meter Rosum office complex in Bratislava from Penta Real Estate, which was advised by Skubla & Partneri.

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner has advised a consortium of UniCredit Bank Austria, BAWAG P.S.K, Commerzbank, Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberoesterreich, and HYPO Vorarlberg on the reorganization proceedings of the Huber Group, an Austrian lingerie manufacturer.

Brandl & Talos has advised BTOV's Industrial Technologies Fund on its participation in ToolSense's three million euro financing round that also included AWS Grunderfonds, Segnalita Ventures, Martin Global AG, and Dr. Georg Hoblik GmbH.

“Politics are always challenging, in both Belarus and around the world, especially given the current state of affairs,” says Ulyana Kavalionak, Partner at BNT Attorneys in Minsk. According to Kavalionak, “even though the situation was more or less the same as everywhere else, the response of the Belarusian Government was not. We never had quarantine, and people were free to choose for themselves how they were going to tackle the pandemic.”

Aleinikov & Partners has advised StringersHub on investment into the company by a group of angel investors and venture capital firms Insta Ventures and Starta Ventures. The total value of the seed round was USD 500,000.

Sorainen has advised ERGO Group on the sale of its Belarusian non-life subsidiary, ERGO Insurance Company, to the Euroins Insurance Group. BNT reportedly advised the Euronis Insurance Group.

After operating under the brands Andersen Tax, Andersen Legal, and Andersen Tax & Legal, the member firms of Andersen Global in Europe, will now operate under a single brand: "Andersen".

It is with great pleasure that we announce the 2019 CEE Deal of the Year Award winners – the most important, complicated, significant, and valuable deals across Central and Eastern Europe.

Bosnia & Herzegovina's Maric & Co. is reporting that it has been selected as a member of a preferred service provider panel for the INA Grupa companies, within the MOL Group program of external legal services.

On June 9, 2020, almost 3 years after the start of the public discussions procedure, the new Food Act (the “Act”) was promulgated in the State Gazette, issue no. № 52. It repeals the old law, in force since 1999, and aims to harmonize Bulgarian legislation with European legislation, introducing new concepts, new registration obligations and higher sanctions. In the text below you will find some of the more important legislative changes.

CMS has advised KEXIM, the Export-Import Bank of Korea, on a USD 36 million financing deal with Grain Terminal Holdings — a Singapore-based joint venture between Posco International and the Orexim Group. Posco International was advised by South Korea's Jipyong law firm, and the Orexim Group was advised by Harneys' Cyprus office.

CMS has advised OTP Bank, DSK Bank, and Eurobank on the EUR 110 million refinancing of the Business Park Sofia with Arco Capital Corporation. Reed Smith and Wolf Theiss advised Arco Capital on the transaction, which was signed on July 8 and closed on July 31, 2020.

We decided to lighten the mood this time around by asking our Law Firm Marketing experts from across the region a non-law-firm related question: “What did you most want to be when you were little?”

Stay informed about the latest developments in competition law in Central and Eastern Europe with Schoenherr's multi-jurisdictional newsletter. Each issue offers insight into developments in merger control, anti-trust, as well as public and private enforcement in the region.

Divjak, Topic, Bahtijarevic & Krka and Baker McKenzie have advised mobile game developer Playrix on the acquisition of Croatian gaming studio Cateia Games.

Kocian Solc Balastik and Germany's Heuking Kuhn Luer Wojtek have advised China-based Inner Mongolia Mengtai on the acquisition of the Czech part of the Apt group.

The Supreme Court of the Czech Republic recently issued an interesting decision concerning the employment of a managing director and an accident at work. It should be noted that this decision does not relate to a long-term problem with the concurrence of functions, i.e. the (im)possibility of performing the function of a managing director in an employment relationship, but reflects a situation where the managing director performs non-parallel work, i.e. work outside the function of a statutory body.

Eversheds Sutherland has advised Expandia on the sale of the Hamburg Business Center office complex in Pilsen, in the Czech Republic.

Zepos & Yannopoulos has advised Pancreta Bank on its transformation from a cooperative bank into a "societe anonyme."

Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Admie, the owner and operator of the Greek electricity transmission grid, on the concession for the Crete-Attica high-voltage direct current interconnection project, granted to Admie’s subsidiary Ariadne Interconnection.

Koutalidis has advised mandated lead arrangers Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Eurobank, Piraeus Bank, and Euroxx Securities, and issuance advisors Eurobank and Piraeus Bank, on Lamda Development S.A.'s issuance of a EUR 320 million bond and it admission to trading on the Athens Exchange.

Erdos | Katona has advised Hell Energy on its refinancing of an existing loan with four unidentified Hungarian banks. Kinstellar reportedly advised the banks.

The European Court of Justice's judgment in Schrems II case published on 16 July, 2020 founded the Privacy Shield Decision invalid. The judgement also stated that the Commission Decision on Standard Contractual Clauses for the transfer of personal data to processors established in third countries remain valid.

The Hungarian Parliament passed a new act on 14 July 2020 to regulate the short-term housing market (Airbnb services). The new legislation delegates a regulating tool to the local municipalities, so that they can decide on the conditions (especially the maximum renting period), under which a flat can be rented for short term. The new law only gives a regulatory framework for the local municipalities and the Hungarian Government; specific rules are yet unknown as they have to be made from 1 August 2020. According to press releases, some of the mayors are planning to maximize the number of days for Airbnb and other similar services and would prescribe that at least half of these “allowed” days should fall between June and August.

Cobalt has advised the Rubylight technology investment fund on its participation Tandem's USD 5.7 million Series A round of financing, which also included investors Brighteye Ventures, Trind Ventures, and GPS Ventures.

Cobalt has advised Estonia-based real estate development and management company Capfield OU on a EUR 85 million financing it received from Luminor.

Sorainen has advised Montonio on its generation of EUR 500,000 from both Estonian and international investors.

After operating under the brands Andersen Tax, Andersen Legal, and Andersen Tax & Legal, the member firms of Andersen Global in Europe, will now operate under a single brand: "Andersen".

“The current political situation in Kosovo is fragile, since the assembly, in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, dismissed the government of Prime Minister Albin Kurti in a no-confidence vote on March 25, 2020, triggering a huge political crisis in the country,” says Fisnik Salihu, Partner at the RPHS Law Firm in Pristina. The government was dismissed, he says, “mainly after a dispute between coalition partners over whether to declare a state of emergency and the way the dialogue with Serbia should be handled in the future.”

According to Sabina Lalaj, the Local Legal Partner of Deloitte Legal in Albania and Kosovo, the current situation in Kosovo revolves around the unfortunate combination of the still-growing Covid-19 pandemic and the political crisis arising from the recent dismissal of Interior Minister Agim Veliu — a member of the Democratic League of Kosovo party, the junior partner leader of the country’s fragile governing coalition — by Prime Minister Albin Kurti, a member of the senior Vetevendosje (“Self-Determination”) party. The combination of the two crises has put the country’s growth on hold, and significantly limited any chance of effective government.

BDO Law has advised Deichmann-Schuhe Service-GmbH on its investment of EUR 500,000 in its Latvian subsidiary, SIA Deichmann Apavi, increasing its capital to EUR 1.15 million.

Cobalt has advised Estonia's Helmes on its acquisition of all shares of software development company T2T from Latvia's Tet. 

The Latvian office of BDO Law has provided legal analysis to the European Investment Bank regarding a EUR 80 million financing agreement with the Latvian state.

The Lithuanian office of Sorainen has advised Koinveticinis Fondas on its investment in Ligence, a Lithuanian startup developing an automated cardiac ultrasound diagnostic solution based on artificial intelligence.

Sorainen has advised the Darnu Group on a construction work agreement with UAB Naresta for the sixth stage of the Paupys district of Vilnius, in Lituania. UAB Naresta was reportedly advised by the Iustum law firm.

The Vilnius office of Sorainen has advised dealers BNP Paribas, Citi, and Erste Group on Lithuania’s raising of EUR 1.75 billion by means of a 30-year Eurobond issue.

ODI has helped Nova Ljubljanska Banka obtain Macedonian merger clearance for the acquisition of 83.23% of the ordinary shareholding in c Banka a.d. Beograd.

ODI Law has helped Exor N.V. obtain Macedonian merger clearance for its EUR 102.4 million acquisition of GEDi Gruppo Editoriale S.p.A. from CIR SpA.

ODI Law has advised FLO Magazacilik ve Pazarlama A.S on the opening of stores in Skopje and Tetovo. 

Over the past few years CMS advised the OTP Bank Group on an extensive series of acquisitions across Bulgaria, Moldova, and former Yugoslavia. This series of separate deals was shortlisted for CEE Legal Matters’ CEE Deal of the Year in each of the countries involved, actually winning the 2018 Deal of the Year for Bulgaria and the 2019 Deal of the Year Award for Montenegro. We reached out to Eva Talmacsi, who led CMS’s multi-jurisdictional team, to learn more about the firm’s impressive work on OTP’s behalf.

The Spring of 2020 brought the pandemic to CEE, with its “perfect storm” of ingredients – including significant legal ramifications. Whether you are an individual, a business, or a governmental official, the storm made you ask at least one of these questions: “What are my rights in pre-existing contract?”, “Am I still bound to pay?”, “Can I get my money back?”, “Will I be liable for this?”, and “What legislation is needed to help ease the impact on the public?” 

After operating under the brands Andersen Tax, Andersen Legal, and Andersen Tax & Legal, the member firms of Andersen Global in Europe, will now operate under a single brand: "Andersen".

The new Montenegrin Companies Act ("Official Gazette of Montenegro", no. 65/20) [Zakon o privrednim drustvima] ("Companies Act"), which entered into force on 11 July 2020, is an innovative and thoroughgoing codification of Montenegrin Corporate Law. The legislator opted for a comprehensive legal instrument which, compared to the previous law, contains more detailed and exhaustive rules determining the establishment, management, restructuring, termination and functioning of business entities.

The new law about legal entities/Law of The Companies was adopted at the Official Gazette No. 65/20 on the 03.07.2020 and is in force since the 16.07.2020/ when it was introduced in Montenegro.

Over the past few years CMS advised the OTP Bank Group on an extensive series of acquisitions across Bulgaria, Moldova, and former Yugoslavia. This series of separate deals was shortlisted for CEE Legal Matters’ CEE Deal of the Year in each of the countries involved, actually winning the 2018 Deal of the Year for Bulgaria and the 2019 Deal of the Year Award for Montenegro. We reached out to Eva Talmacsi, who led CMS’s multi-jurisdictional team, to learn more about the firm’s impressive work on OTP’s behalf.

Decisive Worldwide Szmigiel Papros Gregorczyk has advised the Skarbiec Dochodowych Nieruchomosci Fizan investment fund on the negotiation and sale of retail premises in Wroclaw’s Old Town.

Ewa Kurowska-Tober, Partner and Head of the DLA Piper’s Intellectual Property and New Technologies practice in Warsaw, has become a global Co-Chair of the firm’s Data Protection, Privacy, and Security Sub-Group, joining fellow Co-Chairs Andrew Dyson (in Leeds) and Carolyn Bigg (in Hong Kong).

Baker McKenzie has advised ElectroMobility Poland SA on agreements with Torino Design and EDAG Engineering Gmbh regarding the construction and assembly of electric cars in Poland.

The primary legislation governing insolvency and restructuring proceedings is Law 85/2014 on preventing insolvency and insolvency proceedings (the ”Insolvency Law”).

The amendments to the state aid schemes governed by G.D. 807/2014 on investment in assets and by G.D. 332/2014 on creation of workplaces that were proposed on 17 July 2020 by the Romanian Ministry of Public Finances (MoF) have just become enforceable.

Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners has successfully represented Intermed Consulting & Management before the High Court of Cassation and Justice of Romania in a case involving industrial park real estate tax exemption.

Hogan Lovells has advised coordinating mandated lead manager ING Bank N.V. and mandated lead arrangers Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, NATIXIS, SGBTCI, AO Raiffeisenbank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Designated Activity Company, Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch, Bank ICBC (JSC), UniCredit S.p.A., and Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Ireland Plc on a EUR 600 million revolving loan facility agreement with Russia-based steel producer NLMK.

White & Case has advised VTB Bank and a consortium of investors on the RUB 132 billion sale of a 55% stake in Tele2 Russia to Russia's Rostelecom, and on the acquisition of an approximately 29% stake in Rostelecom.

From 1 January 2021, foreign nationals will be able* to enter Russia with electronic visas at border control posts to be specified by the Russian government in a separate document.

On 30 July 2020, the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted a decision on direct payments and fiscal benefits for economic entities in private sector, with a view to mitigate economic consequences of COVID-19.

On 16 July 2020, Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) has rendered a landmark decision declaring the Decision 2016/1250 of the European Commission on the adequacy of the protection provided by the EU-US Data Protection Shield (“Privacy Shield Framework”) invalid with the immediate effect. This decision has caused a major shift in the way in which personal data may be transferred to the United States of America. However, the scope of the decision is far broader and includes far more restrictions than it may appear at first glance.

Jankovic Popovic Mitic has advised French multinational company C.D Holding Internationale SAS on its EUR 5 million acquisition of an additional stake in Emergo Sport d.o.o., the Serbian subsidiary of Fitpass Limited. Fitpass was advised by Bojovic, Draskovic, Popovic, and Partners. 

On March 11, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Kinstellar had advised Austria’s European City Estates – a group of companies owned by the Austrian Humer Private Foundation – on its acquisition of the 22,000-square-meter Rosum office complex in Bratislava from Penta Real Estate, which was advised by Skubla & Partneri.

“Slovakia’s new Government took office in March this year, exactly at the time COVID-19 hit,” says Peter Vrabel of the Legate law firm in Bratislava. “The Government consists of four parties – three of which are in the Parliament for the first time. Of course, the situation found them unprepared, so some mistakes naturally happened as a result of that. Overall, however, the response they had [to the Covid-19 outbreak] was quick and successful."

In March of 2019, relative unknown Zuzana Caputova won the Slovakian Presidential election, becoming the first woman and – at 45 – the youngest person ever to hold that office. With a background as an environmental lawyer and human rights activist, Caputova is largely viewed in Slovakia as a unifier, taking strong and reasonable approaches to even apparently intractable problems. Her success has inspired a degree of hope for the future from her former peers and colleagues in Slovakia’s legal community.

Over the past few years CMS advised the OTP Bank Group on an extensive series of acquisitions across Bulgaria, Moldova, and former Yugoslavia. This series of separate deals was shortlisted for CEE Legal Matters’ CEE Deal of the Year in each of the countries involved, actually winning the 2018 Deal of the Year for Bulgaria and the 2019 Deal of the Year Award for Montenegro. We reached out to Eva Talmacsi, who led CMS’s multi-jurisdictional team, to learn more about the firm’s impressive work on OTP’s behalf.

Stay informed about the latest developments in competition law in Central and Eastern Europe with Schoenherr's multi-jurisdictional newsletter. Each issue offers insight into developments in merger control, anti-trust, as well as public and private enforcement in the region.

ODI Law has advised Hranilnica Lon on a new issuance of shares.

White & Case and its associated Turkish firm, GKC Partners, have advised Zynga Inc. on its USD 168 million acquisition of an 80% stake in Rollic, a mobile games developer and publisher, from Mehmet Can Yavuz, Deniz Basaran, Burak Vardal, Volkan Bicer, Mehmet Ayan, and Yunus Emre Gonul. Caliskan Okkan Toker advised the sellers on the deal, which is expected to close on October 1, 2020.

The Tocc Attorney Partnership has advised Akbank subsidiary AKLease on its EUR 40 million financing from the EBRD. Dentons reportedly advised the EBRD on the deal.

Ali Selim Demirel has been promoted to Partner at the Esin Attorney Partnership in Turkey.

On 14 July 2020, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law of Ukraine ”On State Regulation of Activities Related to the Organization and Conduct of Gambling”.

Sayenko Kharenko has advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on its entry into the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement with the National Bank of Ukraine, the Ukrainian central bank.

Redcliffe Partners has advised the EBRD on a USD 27 million short-term secured loan to Nibulon LLC, a Ukrainian agricultural company.