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Eversheds Saladzius is representing SM VII B.V., a company incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands, on its acquisition of 100% of the shares in the Estonian company AS Starman from shareholders Baltic Cable Holding OU, Com Holding OU, and Polaris Invest OU. The firm represented SM VII during the acquisition process and have drafted the notification to Competition Council requesting for competition clearance for the proposed acquisition.

The TGS firm in Estonia — made up of the team that split off from Tark Grunte Sutkiene shortly before that firm announced its tie-up last month with Varul in Estonia — has changed its name.

Tark Grunte Sutkiene and Varul's Estonia office have signed a memorandum of understanding to tie up and, in their words, "form a stronger Baltic partnership.” Going forward, Tark Grunte Sutkiene — which will continue to operate under that name — will employ over 140 lawyers across the Baltics.

Rene Frolov, the former Head of Competition at Tark Grunte Sutkiene’s Estonia office, has joined the partnership of Fort Law Offices as Head of Competition in Estonia.

Women’s Day is behind us, but the subjects of gender equality and equal opportunity are of year-round concern. This, the first part of a special two-part CEE Legal Matters article on women in private practice in CEE, provides the numbers and percentages from leading law firms across CEE, as well as a more thorough snapshot of one representative market. Part II of the report, in the June issue, will pull back the curtain even more, providing feedback and perspectives from lawyers across the region.

Sorainen's Estonia office has advised Livonia Partners, a pan-Baltic private equity firm, on the acquisition of a majority stake in Ha Serv, a leading manufacturer of wooden sauna components, ready-made saunas, and thermal wood products, from A&K Holding OU. Tark Grunte Sutkiene advised A&K Holding, and Cobalt advised the Ha Serv management team, which retains a significant minority share of the company after the deal.

Glimstedt has advised the Vienna Insurance Group on its acquisition of a majority of shares of the BTA Baltic Insurance Company, which is headquartered in Latvia and has branch offices in Lithuania and Estonia. Vilgerts advised BTA on the deal. The purchase agreement is subject to regulatory approval. Neither the percentage of shares acquired by VIG, nor the value of the acquisition, was disclosed.

Sorainen and Weil Gotshal have advised Providence Equity Partners on its acquisition of the Bite telecom group from Mid Europa Partners for an undisclosed value. Cobalt and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised Mid Europa Partners in the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.

Cobalt has announced that lawyers from the Borenius team in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus will join it from January 1, 2016, turning Cobalt into “the largest full-service business law firm operation in the region.” This follows Borenius’ announcement earlier this week that it is withdrawing from the Baltics, and Sorainen’s announcement that it had picked up former Borenius Lithuania Partners Daivis Svirinas and Zygimantas Pacevicius, along with another eleven lawyers (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on September 21, 2015).

On May 18 and 19, 2015, separate press releases came across the wire, announcing that the Lithuanian and Latvian offices of two of the top pan-Baltic alliances – Raidla, Lejins & Norcous (RLN) and Lawin – had, in essence, dissolved, traded Estonian offices, and reorganized. The former Lithuanian and Latvian members of RLN and the former Estonian member of Lawin re-formed as Cobalt, while the former Lithuanian and Latvian offices of Lawin and the former Estonian office of RLN re-formed as Ellex.

Tark Grunte Sutkiene has advised two separate clients – Flora Ehitus OU and Kemiflora OU – on the sale of a total of six "developed business immovables” in Tallinn (which the firm clarified consisted of "office spaces and tenants, warehouses, production buildings, and access roads") to local Estonian retailer Puumarket AS.

The Latvian and Lithuanian offices of Raidla Lejins & Norcous (RLN) and the Estonian office of Lawin have left their firms to join forces in what they describe as "a vibrant new pan-Baltic alliance.” The result — “Cobalt” — also includes an office in Belarus. As a result, Irmantas Norkus, the Managing Partner of Cobalt’s Lithuanian office said yesterday, “RLN is dissolved as of today.”

Lawin is representing Ladee Pharma in three extensive patent disputes against Bayer — the first of which was recently resolved by the circuit court in favor of Ladee Pharma. According to Lawin, “ such judicial proceedings between pharmaceutical companies are rare in the Estonian legal landscape and significantly affect the end-consumers of the medicinal products.”

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