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TMT Leading the M&A Charge for Croatia: A Buzz Interview with Tarja Krehic of Krehic & Partners

Buzz Interview with Tarja Krehic of Krehic & Partners

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High levels of M&A activity in Croatia, originating from both domestic companies and foreign investors, are reshaping a number of sectors – primarily IT and media – according to Tarja Krehic, Managing Partner of Krehic & Partners in cooperation with Deloitte Legal.

“There is a lot of activity in the M&A market, and we see a markable increase in transaction numbers this year when compared to 2021 and 2020,” Krehic begins. “Also, we see a number of new investors moving in, including private equity funds and venture capital funds – which is a novelty for Croatian markets,” she says.

Zeroing in on the most active sectors, Krehic reports that IT takes first place. “There has been a lot of activity in the IT sector, primarily driven by M&A takeovers, such as, for example, those made by our unicorns,” she says. “Infobip took over a number of local, regional, and global start-ups, and Rimac entered into a joint venture with Bugatti, all of which engaged the IT sector and brought more investor attention to it,” Krehic explains. 

“This is the first time in the history of our markets that we can see such a strong wave of novel kinds of companies taking charge, as opposed to traditionally strong players such as telecommunication companies.” Krehic characterizes this as a welcome trend in so far as it depicts not only the strength of the Croatian IT sector but also that “the manufacturing industry, as a whole, is doing great and that there is a lot of added value when doing business in our country.”

Krehic also highlights “one of the largest deals in the ICT sector: Nasdaq-listed outsourced digital services and next-generation customer experience provider TaskUs has acquired Heloo, a European and Croatian provider of outsourced specialized services.” She notes the acquisition “enhances TaskUs’ European language capabilities, diversifies its client mix with referenceable, EU-based clients, and helps to scale TaskUs’ global operations by expanding further into Eastern Europe,” with the buyer also benefitting from “strong cross-selling opportunities to Heloo’s clients across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Finland, among other countries.”

Additionally, Krehic also reports there is significant activity in the media sector. “Recently, we’ve seen RTL sold to CME for EUR 50 million, a regional media company owned by the Netherlands-based PPF Group. This made waves in the hitherto highly-condensed media market that saw little to no movement for almost two decades,” Krehic explains. “This transaction was also a ground-breaking one because it was the first one to have been completed following an overhaul of the electronic communications legal framework of 2021. The new set of regulations made the electronic media industry a very, very tightly and comprehensively regulated one, and this transaction paves the way for others,” she says. 

Finally, Krehic shares that there is a noticeable trend of family-owned companies being sold. “After several decades of operating in an open market environment, there is a significant number of medium-sized companies that have been family-owned since inception, that are now changing hands,” she says. “Mostly, the investors that are coming in and scooping them up come from the US or Asia, in that way gaining a foothold in not only Croatian but also European markets,” Krehic explains. “IT companies, tourism companies, manufacturing businesses, and tourism entertainment sector players – these were but some of the targets for foreign investors coming in recently.”

Deloitte Legal at a Glance

Deloitte Legal Adriatic is a unique law firm consisting of teams of highly specialized lawyers, providing a vast range of legal services, and part of the commercially integrated Deloitte Legal Group. Deloitte Legal Adriatic has a team of 50 legal professionals, qualified in their jurisdictions, at offices across 8 countries: Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. Across the Adriatic region, our offices assist clients in this interlinked, highly complex, and dynamically developing region. We are among the largest law firms in our jurisdictions and have offices in each of the most important business centers. With a multi-lingual international team, all of whom are fluent in English, we can assist clients through our dedicated language desks including in Chinese, German, French, Russian, and many other languages, including all the Balkan languages.

Deloitte Legal Adriatic’s bundled, technology-enhanced, cross-border capable service array is a step ahead in providing clients with effective business solutions, and in these challenging times is even more important than ever before in our Adriatic Region. Our team has a collaborative orientation as well as the country specific and international legal and business savvy your business needs. Like our clients, we also know that sure success, in addition to everything else, usually requires winners to simply work both harder and smarter. We are here for our clients to do just that.

Across the Adriatic, we offer a full scope of legal services in the main commercial practice areas, including: 

  1. Banking & Finance – regulatory, real estate, syndicated projects, securitization, NPLs, restructuring, and insolvencies
  2. Business Integrity – investigations, compliance, privacy, GDPR, anti-trust, and competition
  3. Corporate – day-to-day operational, governance, and family protocols
  4. Digital – technology, media, and communications
  5. Employment – full spectrum services including mobility services
  6. Environmental – internal/external due diligence, and compliance advice
  7. GDPR – privacy issues, cyber-attacks, AI, legal, technical and organizational aspect of GDPR compliance
  8. Litigation – including tax, white collar, and discovery support services
  9. M&A – including due diligence, JVs/alliances, and post-transaction restructuring
  10. Real Estate & Construction – transactions of all types as well as development & planning
  11. Commercial – including full coverage supply-chain and distribution contractual coverage

Besides traditional legal fields, we are building prominence in growing fields such as Business Integrity, Legal Management Services, Tax Litigation & Controversy, E-commerce, and Fintech. We take pride in being able to pioneer in industries and practices ahead of many other law firms. We have the benefit of accessing cutting-edge data, technical aspects, and operational realities of various industries through our internal Deloitte collaboration with various service lines (Consulting, Financial Advisory, Tax, and others). This market intelligence is again unparalleled among  our competition and presents a wealth of opportunities for genuine insights to evolving trends.

Our client service resonates with an individual approach, genuine relationship building, dedication, availability, efficiency, and high-quality communication, on top of understanding our clients’ commercial, financial and tax needs and the requirements of the market.

Authentic synergies with our financial and tax teams, as well as our colleagues’ professional experience and education, make our firm one of the most experienced, effective and efficient firms in the Adriatic region, with expertise in a wide variety of legal fields. Our positioning on the legal markets has been noticed and recognized by both mainstream international attorneys-ranking agencies – Chambers & Partners, IFLR and the Legal 500, which distinguishes us across all significant legal areas and functions.

Local contacts:

1. Albania and Kosovo

Deloitte Legal Sh.p.k

Sabina Lalaj, Attorney-at-Law, Managing Partner


2. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Advokatsko društvo “Legal Partners” d.o.o.

Aida Hamur, Attorney-at-Law 


3. Croatia

Krehić & Partners in cooperation with Deloitte Legal

Tarja Krehić, LL.M. (DUKE)

Attorney-at-Law, Managing Partner


4. Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia

Law Office Antonić

Stefan Antonić, independent attorney at law in cooperation with Deloitte Legal