In 2020, Ukraine’s government awarded the first two concessions in the history of Ukraine – 35-year concessions of the assets of Kherson and Olvia, two significant ports on the Black Sea. Building on this success, in October 2020, the government made a media splash by releasing a roadmap for further public private partnership (PPP) projects and held various promotion events since then.
For several decades, it was prohibited in Ukraine to alienate, or change the designated use of, certain types of the privately owned agricultural land plots used for the farming and commercial agricultural production, which impaired the rights of private landowners and affected the efficiency, liquidity and transparency of the market.
Ukraine’s transport and infrastructure system plays a key role in the country’s economy, particularly with its role in export and trade in the agricultural, industrial, and other sectors. Ukraine is conveniently located on different transport routes. However, it does not fully capitalize on its geographical benefits and does not fulfill its potential as a transit country, as it is not yet well-integrated in international transport networks, lacks modern infrastructure, and has limited market opportunities in certain segments (for example, railway services).
For our Checking In feature, we reach out to partners and heads of practice across CEE to learn how specific practice areas are faring in their jurisdictions. This time around we asked Tax experts: What are the most important changes to the Tax laws in your country since January 2020 and what has their impact been?
Redcliffe Partners has advised US investors Aspect Energy and SigmaBleyzer — acting jointly through a special-purpose vehicle, Ukrainian Energy, L.L.C. — on an oil & gas production sharing agreement with the Republic of Ukraine. DLA Piper reportedly advised the Republic of Ukraine on the transaction.
In the first decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, an enormous number of international investors descended upon the countries of Central and Eastern Europe – initially, and particularly, Romania and the so-called “Visegrad Group” of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary – to take advantage of the privatizations occurring across the region and, in the early years, manifold new and giant deals related to the region’s rapid modernization and integration. Inevitably, many of the larger London-based international law firms opened up offices in the region to provide their clients with on-the-ground assistance.
Ukraine local elections, held on October 25, 2020, resulted in a setback for the country’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, whose party did not secure a single mayoral position in any of the major cities. This did not surprise Dmytro Fedoruk, Partner at Redcliffe Partners in Kyiv, who notes that Zelensky “was not elected for his experience, but rather for his good intentions.”
Redcliffe Partners and Clifford Chance have advised ED & F Man Treasury Management plc, the treasury management arm of ED & F Man, a UK-based international commodities trader, on Ukrainian law aspects on the refinancing and restructuring of nearly USD 1.5 billion of debt and raising an extra USD 320 million in working capital. Allen & Overy and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld advised the scheme creditors and note-holders, respectively, and Asters advised the unidentified lenders on Ukrainian law aspects of the deal.
On July 23, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Redcliffe Partners had advised the EBRD on an up to EUR 25 million term loan to Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise. We reached out to Konstantin Olefirenko, Principal Legal Counsel at the EBRD, to learn more about the deal.