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The Buzz is a short summary of the major and relevant topics of interest in Central and Eastern Europe, provided by those best positioned to know: law firm partners and legal journalists/commentators on the ground in each CEE country.

Hengeler Mueller was lead counsel to the Chicago-based Filtration Group on its acquisition of the industrial filtration business of the MAHLE Group with Wolf Theiss advising on Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, Austrian, and Czech law aspects of the transaction. Slaughter & May advised in the UK, Paul Hastings in United States, Fangda in China, Bredin Prat in France, and Mori Hamada in Japan.

Schoenherr, working with Italy’s Chiomenti law firm, has advised HETA Asset Resolution AG ("HETA") and its subsidiary HETA Asset Resolution GmbH ("HAR GmbH") on the sale of Heta Asset Resolution Italia S.r.l ("HARIT"), including all outstanding loans granted by HETA to HARIT, to an alternative investment fund advised by Bain Capital Credit, LP.  Wolf Theiss and Linklaters advised Bain Capital on the transaction, which remains contingent on the approval of Banca d’Italia.

Binder Groesswang has advised Volksbank Oberes Waldviertel and Volksbank Niederosterreich in connection with the merger of the banking operations of the two banks. Volksbank Oberes Waldviertel (with a balance sheet total of the transferred banking operations of approximately EUR 166 million) transferred its business by way of contribution to Volksbank Niederosterreich. The transaction was completed on August 2, 2016.

Wolf Theiss has advised Eurazeo Patrimoine on its acquisition of 85 hotels (operating under Ibis Budget, Ibis Styles, Mercure, Novotel, and Pulman brands) from AccorHotels and other investors. The sellers were advised by Doralt Seist Csoklich (DSC) on the transaction, which is worth more than half a billion euros. The hotels will join the newly created Grape Hospitality Group, a joint venture between Accor and Eurazeo.

Schoenherr, working alongside lead counsel Gleiss Lutz, has advised the New York private equity fund Lindsay Goldberg on its acquisition of the Schur Flexibles Group from Capiton AG and its management. Kirkland & Ellis advised sellers on the transaction, which remains subject to approval by the antitrust authorities. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Wolf Theiss has advised Eurazeo Patrimoine on its acquisition of 85 hotels under the brands Ibis Budget, Ibis Styles, Mercure, Novotel, and Pulman, from AccorHotels and other investors. The volume of the transaction is more than half a billion euros. In the future, the hotels will join the newly created Grape Hospitality Group, a joint venture between Accor and Eurazeo.

DLA Piper has advised Playtech, the world's largest online gaming software supplier traded on the London Stock Exchange Main Market, on the acquisition of a 90% stake in Best Gaming Technology (BGT), a retail gambling company, for EUR 138 million, from majority shareholder Global Bet Holding GmbH (GBT). The remaining 10% will be retained by Armin Sageder, BGT's founder and CEO.  Austria’s Doralt Seist Csoklich law firm advised Sageder and BGT on the deal. PHH advised GBT on the matter.

An "exciting election” has marked the Austrian market over the last few months, according to Alexander Petsche, Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie in Vienna. “We had an election of the President of the Federal Republic that was annulled recently by the Constitutional Court due to formalistic misbehavior during the election process,” Petsche explained.

Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati, working in association with Gowling WLG, has advised the Convergys consumer management company on its EUR 123 million acquisition of buw, Germany’s largest service provider in the customer care industry in private ownership. Taylor Wessing advised sellers Karsten Wulf and Jens Bormannon on the deal, which remains contingent on certain adjustments and regulatory approvals.

Baker & McKenzie has advised GFKL Financial Services GmbH on its acquisition of IS Group Management GmbH (trading as IS Inkasso Service), an Austrian market leader in third party collections (3PC) with a strong Swiss business presence, from majority shareholder Hannover Finanz and the IS Group’s management, which remains in place after the sale. Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner advised the sellers on the transaction.

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