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Although the economic crisis has significantly slowed down the financial sector’s M&A activity in Ukraine with nearly 90 (of the 180 existing before 2014) commercial banks becoming insolvent or being taken over by the state, several banking cross-border equity transactions closed in recent years are paving the way towards the market’s gradual recovery.

On December 19, 2016, Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 921 "On Approval of the Procedure on Organization and Maintaining Military Records of Conscripts and Reservists", dated December 7, 2016, came into effect (the "Procedure").  

CMS, working alongside Sidley Austin, has advised Mid Europa Partners on its sale of Alpha Medical, a prominent provider of laboratory testing services in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, to Unilabs. The sale price was not disclosed. Baker & McKenzie reportedly advised Unilabs on the the transaction, which remains subject to customary clearance by local competition authorities and is expected to close in Q2 2017.

Baker McKenzie has advised Ceskoslovenska Obchodni Banka on its provision of a loan facility to Denemo Media for its EUR 116 million acquisition of Modern Times Group's 50% shareholding in FTV Prima Holding, the second largest private Czech broadcaster. The share acquisition by Denemo media, which remains subject to Czech regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017 and will return FTV Prima entirely back to Czech ownership.

The Turkish collateralization system was recently updated through the introduction of the Law No. 6750 on Movable Pledges (the “Movable Pledge Law”).

On January 11, 2017, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (the “Central Bank“) has reduced banks’ foreign exchange liabilities related reserve requirements by 50 basis points to provide extra liquidity to the market. The changes take effect starting from December 30, 2016.

Hogan Lovells is reporting that it achieved a victory for Edenred in its ICSID arbitration against Hungary, with the Tribunal ruling in favor of Edenred and ordering Hungary to pay around EUR 23 million, plus interest. Baker & McKenzie represented Hungary in the arbitration.

The Deal:

On August 15, 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Esin Attorney Partnership (a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International), Hogan Lovells, and Paksoy had advised on Burgan Bank’s USD 87 million and EUR 57 million syndicated multi-tranche term loan agreement with 13 banks from 8 countries. The banks were led by HSBC, acting as coordinator, Arab Banking Corporation (B.S.C.), acting as agent, and Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Filiale Luxemburg, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, and Mashreqbank PSC acting as initial mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners.

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