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Central and South Eastern Europe Investment Summit - Thursday, March 30, 2017, London

In “The Buzz” we interview experts on the legal industry living and working in Central and Eastern Europe to find out what’s happening in the region and what legislative/professional/cultural trends and developments they’re following closely. Because the interviews are carried out and published on the CEE Legal Matters website on a rolling basis, we’ve marked the dates on which the interviews were originally published.

Herguner Bilgen Ozeke (HBO) has promoted senior lawyers Nazim Olcay Kurt, Mert Oguzulgen, Deniz Tuncel, Bige Yucel, and Ismet Bozoglu to the firm's Partnership.

Schoenherr has advised Austrian Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) on its merger with unlisted Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG (RZB). RZB was advised by bpv Hugel.

Suppose you were a German bank lending to a Spanish debtor under a loan agreement governed by German law. Once your Spanish debtor stops paying, the bank would have to obtain a German legal judgment and would then have to enforce it in Spain.

SCWP Schindhelm has advised the Wopfinger Group on the acquisition by group member Baumit Beteiligungen GmbH of 100% of the shares in w&p Baustoffe GmbH from Wietersdorfer Group. Closing of the deal remains contingent on the authorization of Austria's Federal Competition Authority. The Wietersdorfer Group's team was led by in-house lawyers Bruno Nagele and Daniel Schutzenauer.

Motieka & Audzevicus has advised Lithuania's KG Group on the preparation and negotiation of financing agreements from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for a credit facility to be used for development of the company's business in Belarus.

Nektorov, Saveliev & Partners (NSP) has assisted with the establishment of LLC Zoomlion-MAZ, a joint venture between MAZ (Belarus) and Zoomlion (China). The JV, which is located in Belarus, will produce heavy machinery, trucks, and special purpose vehicles manufactured from Belarusian chassis with a Chinese superstructure.

Arzinger has advised a group of the Middle East investors led by Agromilk Holding (UAE) on their acquisition of the state-owned dairy farm located in the Grodno region of Belarus. The multimillion investment project is aimed at the development of the current facilities and the construction of new ones, as well as increasing the livestock.

The Adriatic Legal Network has announced that Bosnia & Herzegovina's Sajic and Macedonia's Pepeljugoski law firms have joined the alliance formed in June of last year by Serbia's Joksovic, Stojanovic and Partners, Slovenia's Miro Senica and Attorneys, and Croatia's Kallay and Partners law firms.

Law Firm Sajic is advising creditors including the Lottery of the Republic of Srpska, Regional Chamber of Commerce Banja Luka, and Novomatic AG in bankruptcy proceedings against Bobar Bank a.d. Bijeljina.

"There are certain developments influencing our day-to-day business,” says Adela Rizvic, Partner at Advokatski Ured Tkalcic-Dulic, Prebanic, Rizvic i Jusufbasic-Goloman in Sarajevo.

 

A two-hour webinar, May 9, 2017, from 11am -1pm NYC time

Djingov, Gouginsky, Kyutchukov & Velichkov has advised the owners of the Pharmastore pharmacy chain in the sale of the business to Sopharma Trading. Boyanov & Partners advised Sopharma on the deal, which will result in Pharmastore's 19 pharmacies in the cities of Sofia and Bourgas operating under the SOpharmacy brand. The deal remains subject to approval by the Commission for Protection of Competition.

George Dimitrov, founder and Managing Partner at Dimitrov, Petrov & Co., has been elected a member of Bulgaria's Supreme Bar Council (SBC). 

Ostermann & Partners has assisted APS Holding with its acquisition of a Croatian portfolio of non-performing loans with a nominal value significantly exceeding EUR 100 million from Hrvatska Postanska Banka with the approval of the Croatian National Bank. The Hrvatska Postanska Bank was reportedly advised by Schoenherr.

 

A two-hour webinar, May 9, 2017, from 11am -1pm NYC time

Weinhold Legal, Divjak, Topic & Bahtijarevic, and Selih & partnerji have advised on the merger of entities within the Olympus group, as Croatia's Olympus d.o.o and Slovenia's OLYMPUS SLOVENIJA d.o.o. merged into the Czech entity, Olympus Czech Group, s.r.o., clen koncernu. The merger was registered on March 1, 2017.

Ostermann & Partners has assisted APS Holding with its acquisition of a Croatian portfolio of non-performing loans with a nominal value significantly exceeding EUR 100 million from Hrvatska Postanska Banka with the approval of the Croatian National Bank. The Hrvatska Postanska Bank was reportedly advised by Schoenherr.

 

A two-hour webinar, May 9, 2017, from 11am -1pm NYC time

Weinhold Legal, Divjak, Topic & Bahtijarevic, and Selih & partnerji have advised on the merger of entities within the Olympus group, as Croatia's Olympus d.o.o and Slovenia's OLYMPUS SLOVENIJA d.o.o. merged into the Czech entity, Olympus Czech Group, s.r.o., clen koncernu. The merger was registered on March 1, 2017.

Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Alpha Bank on the EUR 33.7 million non-recourse financing of a 33.3MW onshore wind power project developed by Goritsa Aiolos Energy S.A., a company of Eren Groupe, in Viotia, Greece. Watson Farley & Williams advised Goritsa Energy on the financing.

Drakopoulos has advised Yalco, a major Greek distributor of household goods and hotel equipment listed on the Athens Stock Exchange, on the EUR 1.9 million sale of its 100% Romanian subsidiary to a Cypriot purchaser.

Holman Fenwick Willan and Zivkovic Samardzic have advised Serbian industrial conglomerate MK Group on the proposed acquisition by its subsidiary AIK Banka of Alpha Bank A.E.'s Serbian subsidiary. Alpha Bank was advised by White & Case and Drazic, Beatovic & Stojic on the transaction. Financial details were not disclosed.

Sar & Partners has advised Hungarian hotel chain management companies responsible for the Prestige, Continental, and Boutique Hotels Budapest****Superior in several trademark infringement proceedings in Hungary initiated by or against the fast fashion company, Industria de Diseno Textil S.A., holder of the international and European Union "ZARA" trademarks. The subject of these proceedings was the use of the logo by the hotel chain management companies in connection with services of four stars superior premium hotels.

The Hungarian Ministry of Justice has submitted to the Parliament the bill on the new International Private Law Act on 28 February 2017.

 

A two-hour webinar, May 9, 2017, from 11am -1pm NYC time

Cobalt has advised Santa Monica Networks Group on the sale of its Estonian and Finnish subsidiaries to the Elisa Corporation telecommunications company and its Latvian and Lithuanian subsidiaries to Livonia Partners. Bird & Bird advised the Elisa Corporation and Ellex Raidla advised Livonia Partners on the transaction, which is expected to be completed by May 1, 2017.

Working alongside global counsel Mannheimer Swartling, Sorainen has advised Providence Equity Partners on the acquisition of the Baltic businesses of Swedish media holdings Modern Times Group. Allen & Overy advised Providence on financing for the acquisition. Cobalt — working alongside Sweden's Hamilton law firm — advised the Modern Times Group on the deal.

Slaughter and May has advised Attarat Power Company (APCO) and project sponsors Eesti Energia AS (EE) and YTL Power International Berhad (YTL) on the construction and project financing of a 554MW gross oil shale fired mine mouth power station and open cast oil shale mine in Attarat um Ghudran, Jordan.

Acting on a contract with the Policy and Management Consulting Group, Nove Partner Urmas Volens has reviewed the Draft Law on Business Organizations of the Republic of Kosovo, which was prepared by the Government of Kosovo through a working group led by the Kosovo Ministry of Trade and Industry (with support from USAID Partnerships for Development).

Central and South Eastern Europe Investment Summit - Thursday, March 30, 2017, London

Schoenherr has led Kosovar mobile operator Dardafon.net LLC ("Z-Mobile") to victory in its dispute against state-owned Telecom Kosovo ("PTK") in Kosovo's largest commercial arbitration to date.

Primus has represented Klaipedos Baldu Prekyba JSC — a furniture retail trade chain with eight stores in Lithuania operating under the Berry trademark — on its conclusion of a long term lease agreement with the Elkor group for a multi-story building and adjacent territory for a store in the central part of Riga. 

Glimstedt has advised DistIT AB on its EUR 1.2 million acquisition of an 80% stake in Sominis Technology UAB, a Vilnius-based distributor of PC, laptop, smartphone, and tablet accessories. Closing of the deal is contingent on various conditions, including approval from Lithuania's competition authority. Deloitte advised the sellers on the deal.

Sorainen Latvia, acting pro bono, is assisting the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA) in its claim that liquidation proceedings of the Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy (RPIVA) are not legal. With Sorainen's assistance, LIZDA has asked policy makers in education and the parties involved to stop the liquidation of the academy, which was, the firm reports, "started in haste."

Sorainen has represented Lidl Lietuva in successful negotiations with the Vilnius City Municipality, the Architects Association of Lithuania, and The Department of Cultural Heritage involving disputes regarding the architectural value of a former road police building on Giraites street in Vilnius.

Motieka & Audzevicus has advised Lithuania's KG Group on the preparation and negotiation of financing agreements from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for a credit facility to be used for development of the company's business in Belarus.

Cobalt has advised Santa Monica Networks Group on the sale of its Estonian and Finnish subsidiaries to the Elisa Corporation telecommunications company and its Latvian and Lithuanian subsidiaries to Livonia Partners. Bird & Bird advised the Elisa Corporation and Ellex Raidla advised Livonia Partners on the transaction, which is expected to be completed by May 1, 2017.

The Adriatic Legal Network has announced that Bosnia & Herzegovina's Sajic and Macedonia's Pepeljugoski law firms have joined the alliance formed in June of last year by Serbia's Joksovic, Stojanovic and Partners, Slovenia's Miro Senica and Attorneys, and Croatia's Kallay and Partners law firms.

“In general we are still suffering the consequences of the political crisis we’ve endured for two years now,” says Kristijan Polenak, the Managing Partner of the Polenak Law Firm in Skopje, of the unsettled situation in Macedonia.

Central and South Eastern Europe Investment Summit - Thursday, March 30, 2017, London

Central and South Eastern Europe Investment Summit - Thursday, March 30, 2017, London

Turcan Cazac has assisted the shareholders of the Moldovan cable and pay TV operator Sun Communications in their sale of 100% of shares in the company to Orange Moldova SA, a unit of France Telecom's Internet and mobile arm Orange. Baker Botts advised the sellers as English counsel, while Orange was advised by Trevors Smith as English counsel and Schoenherr and Vernon | David as local counsel.

Kinstellar’s team in Bucharest has advised Alpha Bank Romania on the divestiture of its shares in the Chisinau-listed Moldavian bank, Victoriabank S.A., to the EBRD.

“You know, Montenegro is a very small economy, and easily affected by international developments,” says Dragan Prelevic, the Managing Partner of the Prelevic Law Firm in Montenegro.

Even at first blush, it is apparent that arbitration and insolvency make strange bedfellows.

Zivkovic Samardzic has secured a victory for its clients, Petrol d.d. Ljubljana and Petrol Crna Gora MNE d.o.o, the leading Slovenian energy company and its Montenegrin subsidiary, in their dispute with Konim d.o.o. Belgrade in the Montenegrin Court of Appeal.

Hogan Lovells has advised Union Investment on its EUR 62 million acquisition of the Maraton office building in Poznan, Poland, from Skanska. Dentons advised Skanska on the deal.

Chajec, Don-Siemion & Zyto has advised Capital Partners Investment Fund on a loan provided to IPOS S.A., a Polish provider of IT solutions. GSW Legal Grabarek, Szalc i Wspolnicy — a member of Grata International — advised iPOS on the deal. Proceeds from the loan are to be converted into the company’s share capital through the investor’s exercise of rights under subscription warrants.

"I think that there are several developments that will affect the Polish legal market in the near future,” says Aleksander Stawicki, Senior Partner at WKB Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr in Warsaw.

The Romanian code regulating audiovisual content has been recently amended. Among the changes, we mention the fact that minors can no longer be used in food advertising. Also, an important modification provides that the advertising of food supplements must contain the data approved by the authorities. This month’s cover article examines these changes and the broader context of these specific regulations.

 

A two-hour webinar, May 9, 2017, from 11am -1pm NYC time

Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii has advised sports betting company Fortuna Entertainment Group on Romanian legal issues related to its acquisition of Hattrick Sports Group Ltd., Ireland, from Hattrick Sports Group LLC (U.S) and other shareholders and share warrant holders.

 

A two-hour webinar, May 9, 2017, from 11am -1pm NYC time

Riga, Latvia from Thursday 1 to Friday 2 June 2017

Noerr is reporting revenue of more than EUR 207 million world-wide, with EUR 190 coming from the German market and EUR 17 million of it coming from CEE.

Zivkovic Samardzic has advised South Central Ventures (SCV) on its investment in CUBE Risk Management Solutions, a tech startup providing risk assessment, reporting and monitoring services, market analysis, and competition and trade intelligence to companies operating on, planning to expand into, or investigating their competition's presence on the Serbian market.

Zivkovic Samardzic has secured a victory for AIK Banka in the Supreme Court of Cassation of Serbia.

The Adriatic Legal Network has announced that Bosnia & Herzegovina's Sajic and Macedonia's Pepeljugoski law firms have joined the alliance formed in June of last year by Serbia's Joksovic, Stojanovic and Partners, Slovenia's Miro Senica and Attorneys, and Croatia's Kallay and Partners law firms.

 

A two-hour webinar, May 9, 2017, from 11am -1pm NYC time

Noerr is reporting revenue of more than EUR 207 million world-wide, with EUR 190 coming from the German market and EUR 17 million of it coming from CEE.

Konecna & Zacha has announced the launch of a new section for German speaking clients both in Prague and Bratislava with other offices to follow soon. The German Desk will be led by Partner Achim Jahnke, who joins from Dvorak Hager & Partners.

 

A two-hour webinar, May 9, 2017, from 11am -1pm NYC time

Weinhold Legal, Divjak, Topic & Bahtijarevic, and Selih & partnerji have advised on the merger of entities within the Olympus group, as Croatia's Olympus d.o.o and Slovenia's OLYMPUS SLOVENIJA d.o.o. merged into the Czech entity, Olympus Czech Group, s.r.o., clen koncernu. The merger was registered on March 1, 2017.

The Adriatic Legal Network has announced that Bosnia & Herzegovina's Sajic and Macedonia's Pepeljugoski law firms have joined the alliance formed in June of last year by Serbia's Joksovic, Stojanovic and Partners, Slovenia's Miro Senica and Attorneys, and Croatia's Kallay and Partners law firms.

Riga, Latvia from Thursday 1 to Friday 2 June 2017

The Esin Attorney Partnership and Baker McKenzie's Paris office have advised Akbank T.A.S. in relation to its USD 404,512,884 and EUR 738,271,106 Dual Currency Term Loan Facilities. Balcioglu Selcuk Akman Keki Attorney Partnership and Dentons advised Joint Coordinators and Bookrunners Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited, Emirates NBD Capital Limited, and ICBC Turkey Yatirim Menkul Degerler A.S. on the transaction. Bank of America Merrill Lynch also acted as Documentation Agent, while Emirates NBD Capital Limited acted as Publicity Agent and Mizuho Bank acted as Facility Agent.

The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization recently adopted the new Regulation on Control of Medical Waste (the “Medical Waste Regulation”).

 

A two-hour webinar, May 9, 2017, from 11am -1pm NYC time

Riga, Latvia from Thursday 1 to Friday 2 June 2017

Tria Robit, working on behalf of Italian undertaking Ferrero S.P.A., has successfully opposed the international registrations by Ukrainian undertaking Dochirnie pidpryiemstvo "Kondyterska korporatsiia Roshen" with the word "Roshen" in them – subsequently designated to Latvia – on the basis that they created a likelihood of confusion with Ferrero's earlier international "Ferrero Rocher" figurative trademark registration and improperly imitated a well-known trademark.