All economic indicators in the Republic of Serbia have directly depended on foreign direct investments which has been clearly visible in the past fifteen years. At the time of the initial opening of the Serbian market, in the early 2000s, the investors' goal was to secure a good starting position in the market.
Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners (RPPP) has advised Enterprise Investors on the acquisition by the Polish Enterprise Fund VII, which it manages, of 100% of shares in sporting good retailer Intersport ISI in a carve-out transaction from Mercator Group. According to RPPP, "the value of the transaction is up to EUR 34.5 million and the transaction transaction is conditional upon obtaining customary regulatory approvals." RPPP — a member of the TLA alliance — reports that "all other TLA law firms from the region, including JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic from Serbia, Tkalcic-Djulic, Prebanic, Rizvic and Jusufbasic-Goloman from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Debarliev, Dameski & Kelesoska from Macedonia" were involved as well. Slovenia’s Jadek & Pensa and Serbia’s Prica & Partners advised Mercator on the transaction.
"We simply don’t want to see a Bar that is owned by a handful of firms," was the explanation offered by Aleksandar Cvejic, Board Member and Secretary of the Board of the Belgrade Bar Association in support of the controversial draft bylaws submitted for a vote at the upcoming assembly of the Belgrade Bar on September 24, 2016.
The Government of the Republic of Serbia enacted a new package of energy-related bylaws in June 2016, which, inter alia, regulate acquiring the status of privileged power producer and temporary privileged power producer, incentives granted to privileged power producers and the content of power purchase agreements between guaranteed suppliers and privileged power producers.
The new Law on General Administrative Procedure ("Official Gazette of RS" No. 18/2016), enacted on February 29, 2016, entered into force on March 9, 2016 ("the Law"). The Law will be applied from July 1, 2017, except for certain provision that will start being applied 90 days after the Law enters into force, i.e. from June 7, 2016.
On 29 December, 2015, the Serbian National Assembly enacted the Law on the Chamber of Commerce (Official Gazette of RS No. 112/2015). This Law will enter into force on the eighth day after publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, except for Articles 10 and 33 of this Law which will be applied as from 1 January, 2017.
The new Decree on the Content and Manner of Submission of Merger Notifications (“Decree”) which entered into force on 2 February 2016, has introduced the possibility of submitting a short-form merger notification, simplifying the procedure before the Commission for Protection of Competition, being the competent authority for protection of competition in the Republic of Serbia.
JPM has advised Delta Real Estate on the sale of its ownership quota in companies that own and operate the Delta City Shopping Malls in Belgrade and Podgorica — and has advised Hemslade Trading Limited on the sale of its ownership in the company that owns and operates the shopping mall in Podgorica as well — to Hyprop Investments Ltd (South Africa) and Homestead Group Holdings Ltd. Harrisons advised the buyers on the deals, which amounted to EUR 202.75 million.
One of the characteristics of the Serbian tax system is that it deals very little with the issue of tax treatment of payments resulting from family relationships. Except for the rule specifying that transfer of property directly related to divorce does not count as capital gain, and for tax exemption in the case of gifts between persons first in line to inherit, no other issues that could arise from family relationships are regulated at all.