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General information: Consumer Protection is one of the strategic goals of the EU. The Sale of Goods Directive and the Digital Content Directive entered into force on 11 June 2019 to provide European consumers a high level of protection and legal certainty as well as create common warranty rules in the EU. By 1 July 2021, Member States are obliged to adopt necessary regulations into their national laws to comply with these Directives, which will apply from 1 January 2022.

Jones Day has advised Societe Generale in connection with the sale of its majority stake in the share capital of Societe Generale Montenegro, a company listed on the Montenegrin Stock Exchange, to OTP Bank Nyrt. Schoenherr advised Societe Generale on matters of Montenegrin law, while CMS advised OTP.

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.

Schoenherr, working with lead counsel Kirkland & Ellis, has advised Apax Partners on its acquisition of a majority stake in the ADCO Group. The ADCO Group’s shareholders were advised by King Wood & Mallesons on the transaction, which remains subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of the year.

How do law firms in Austria promote themselves to current and prospective employees? A series of conversations with several leading firms revealed more than expected.

At the end of April, 2019, Sopharma Trading announced the creation of “SOinventure” – a corporate acceleration program in the field of health-tech, organized in partnership with Bulgarian investment fund Eleven Ventures. We decided to ask Mr. Ivaylo Simov, Partner at Eleven Ventures, and Mr. Dimitar Dimitrov, CEO of Sopharma Trading, three questions about the development of the alliance between healthcare and new technology, and we added our experience-based opinion to their answers.

DLA Piper has advised a consortium of South Korean investors working with asset manager Mastern Investment Management on the EUR 375 acquisition, made as part of a joint venture with Munich-based asset manager Wealthcore Invester Management, of the Hilton Parkview Vienna. The sellers — two Austrian family firms — were represented by Invester United Benefits and advised by Schoenherr.

By outsourcing production of major parts of car components, carmakers have also outsourced a substantial amount of their financing needs and associated risks to their suppliers. Still, despite rather slim margins, the prospect of a fairly stable cash flow over a number of years has made the automotive supplier business viable in the past. However, this viability is becoming questionable. This is visible in the number of struggling or even insolvent suppliers, the German group Eisenmann being a very recent example.

On 27 June 2019 the Commission on the Protection of Competition (CPC) issued a decision in which it penalised funeral agency Elida MG EOOD (formerly Pokoy-1945 EOOD) for failing to comply with an earlier CPC decision. Such cases in which an undertaking fails to comply with a CPC decision and is therefore fined again are extremely rare due to the substantial pecuniary penalties which may be imposed on violators.

Schoenherr has advised the shareholders of the Synergis Informationssysteme GmbH on the sale of SynerGIS GIS & FM Solutions — its geographic information systems and facility management software development business — to AED-SICAD. The buyers were advised by White & Case and Eisenberger & Herzog.

What do human rights have to do with financial institutions? At first glance, one may think nothing. Originally, the protection of human rights was considered as the duty of governments only. However, it is becoming clear that those universal rights may be violated, but also protected by private sector actors. Recently, multiple international initiatives have started to develop regulations regarding human rights in the private sector, including the financial sector.

Schoenherr has advised France's Thales Group on its July 24, 2019 acquisition of insolvent motor manufacturer Steyr Motors GmbH. Grassner Lenz Thewanger & Partner reportedly advised the unnamed seller on the deal, which remains subject to the approval of the Austrian Federal Competition Authority.

Schoenherr, working with lead counsel Herbert Smith Freehills, has advised BNP Paribas on a EUR 345 million term and revolving facilities agreement for Financiere SNOP Dunois S.A. in relation to its acquisition of manufacturing facilities from Tower International. Sullivan & Cromwell was lead counsel to the borrower; and Barthelemy & Partners provided Czech counsel.

Schoenherr at a Glance

Schoenherr is a leading full-service law firm providing local and international companies stellar advice that is straight to the point. With 15 offices and 4 country desks Schoenherr has a firm footprint in Central and Eastern Europe. Our lawyers are recognised leaders in their specialised areas and have a track record of getting deals done with a can-do, solution-oriented approach. Quality, flexibility, innovation and practical problem-solving in complex commercial mandates are at the core of our philosophy.

Firm's website: www.schoenherr.eu