On the evening of December 8, 2016, at the Hotel Bristol in Warsaw, CEE Legal Matters hosted the 2016 Expert Summit – our annual gathering of experts from across the region to discuss the state of affairs in CEE Legal Markets.
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.
Past and recent records of litigation proceedings before first instance courts in Greece reflect an unfortunate reality: severe delays in case trials, most of the times coming as a result of lengthy hearings and an ever-expanding caseload, as well as many consensual or disputed trial adjournments or ex officio adjournments due to fortuitous circumstances (strikes, elections, etc.).
The firms of the SEE Legal network are reporting that they worked alongside Skadden Arps in advising BA Glass I – Servicos de Gestao e Investimentos S.A. (the parent company of BA Vidro S.A.) on its acquisition of substantially all of the Yioula Glassworks SA glass container business from Yioula Glassworks SA and its subsidiary Yalos Holdings (Overseas) Limited. Yioula Glassworks was supported on all legal issues by Winston & Strawn.
Ince & Co has advised longstanding client GasLog Ltd., an international owner, operator, and manager of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, on a sale and purchase agreement to acquire a 20% shareholding in Gastrade S.A. A.S. Papadimitriou in Athens provided Greek law advice to GasLog, and Norton Rose Fulbright advised Gastrade.
Potamitis Vekris has represented the LBRI Group on financing for its acquisition of a hotel in the island of Kos from Club Med. Thessaloniki-based sole practitioner George Goulielmos advised the LBRI group on the underlying acquisition itself, with Zepos & Yannopoulos advising Club Med. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.
Potamitis Vekris has advised the Hellenic Republic Asset Develoment Fund on the EUR 400 million sale of the Astir Palace hotel complex in Athens by it and the National Bank of Greece to Apollo Investment ΗoldCo, a subsidiary of Jermyn Street Real Estate Fund IV LP. The National Bank of Greece was advised by the Alexiou-Kosmopoulos Law Firm, while M&P Bernitsas advised Apollo Investment HoldCo.
Since the onset of the Greek sovereign debt crisis and in the midst of non-stop negotiations with the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMF, Greece has been instructed to apply tight fiscal consolidation measures and implement a series of structural reforms to improve its competitiveness and boost its growth in return for desperately needed financial assistance and securitization of its bail out.
"Non-performing loans (NPLs) in Greece are of tremendous size," says Stathis Potamitis, the Managing Partner of Potamitis Vekris in Athens. "Perhaps up to 120 billion euros are tied up in NPLs — maybe as much as 50% of the total loan portfolio, with another 70 to 80 million euros due to the state." These assets are generating significant international interest, of course, and many funds are coming to Greece to explore the possibility of investing. As a result, the Greek government is working to create a manageable and attractive legislative and regulatory environment for their transfer.