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Avellum has acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to Deutsche Beteiligungs AG in connection with the EUR 5.9 million investment in Dieter Braun GmbH. working  Gleiss Lutz was global counsel to Deutsche Beteiligungs. 

Sayenko Kharenko has announced that it acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to J.P. Morgan Securities plc and ING Bank N.V., London Branch, joint lead managers of the debut USD 500 million Eurobond issue by Kernel Holdings S.A. 

Avellum has acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to longstanding client Kernel Holding S.A. in connection with an offering of its USD 500 million 8.75% guaranteed notes due 2022. The notes are expected to be rated B+ by Fitch and B by S&P, two notches and one notch above the Ukrainian sovereign respectively.

BPV Braun Partners has advised Unilabs on regulatory issues related to its acquisition of Alpha Medical Group's laboratories in the Czech Republic and Slovakia from Mid Europa Partners, including environmental and compliance matters.

Glatzova & Co. has advised Denemo Media s.r.o. on its acquisition of a 50% shareholding in FTV Prima, with Allen & Overy advising Modern Times Group, the seller.

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.

It has always been considered to be the alpha and omega of the legal profession. The basic assumption that is so often repeated. The standing principle: “We (the lawyers) are just perfect – all we need is to find the clients.”

White & Case and CMS have advised Mid Europa Partners on the sale of Zabka Polska to funds advised by CVC Capital Partners. Greenberg Traurig advised CVC Capital on the deal, which is the largest ever transaction in the Polish food retail sector and the largest ever private equity exit in Poland.

CMS has advised the Belgian real estate developer Atenor on the sale of Building A in the Vaci Greens complex in Budapest. 

The Government of the Republic of Macedonia, in its program for the period 2014-2018, incorporated a project that shall enable electronic concluding of real estate purchase agreements.

It is expected that the new Law on Notary Public will overcome the weaknesses identified in the existing Law and will also lead to higher efficiency in the notary public operation.

The system of administrative procedures in the Republic of Macedonia has been modernized by the incorporation of a completely new legal framework – the new Law on General Administrative Procedure.

Debevoise has advised NLMK and its U.S. subsidiaries on a USD 250 million revolving ABL facility to refinance existing indebtedness. Hogan Lovells advised sole coordinator and bookrunner and mandated lead arranger Bank of America Merrill Lynch International, as well as mandated lead arrangers JPMorgan Chase Bank and Citibank. Bank of America was appointed as facility agent, collateral agent, and issuing bank.

On January 27, 2017, Bill No. 683952-6 on Amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation1 was adopted in the third reading by the State Duma of the Russian Federation (“Bill”).

The Moscow and London offices of Debevoise & Plimpton have advised longstanding client Polyus Gold International Limited on a USD 800 million Eurobond offering due 2023 with a coupon of 5.25% per annum. The Notes were offered inside the United States to qualified institutional buyers under Rule 144A and outside the United States to buyers under Regulation S.

In accordance with the Central Credit Register Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 77/16; "ZCKR"), the Bank of Slovenia established a centralised database of the indebtedness of private individuals and business entities (Central Credit Register; "CKR") in order to enable more efficient managing of credit risks and ensure more vigilant lending.

On 7 December 2016 the Slovak legislator adopted in a shortened legislative procedure the amendment to the Slovak E-Government Act (Zakon c. 305/2013 Z. z. o elektronickej podobe vykonu posobnosti organov verejnej mocia o zmene a doplneni niektorych zakonov v zneni neskorsich predpisov).

Storing and filing of emails often happens without much attention. While the employer does have a legitimate interest in information and control of the email traffic at the workplace, this can present a high degree of risk if employees are left alone with the responsibility of storing and filing emails correctly and appropriately.

In our new Marketing Marketing feature, introduced in this issue, we ask our law firm marketing and business development friends across CEE to share their experience and perspectives on their profession. The premier question is a simple one: If you had three more hours in the day at work, what one part of your job would you prioritize in that extra time?

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.

In contrast to the cold and dark Warsaw night outside, CEE Legal Matters’ December 8th, 2016 end-of-year CEE Expert Summit at the city’s Hotel Bristol was dominated by heated conversation and determined efforts to bring illumination.

An alternative dispute resolution method is expected to be introduced in Turkey shortly through the Draft Law on Labor Courts (“Draft Law”). The purpose of the Draft Law is to bring a functional and an effective judicial procedure for labor conflicts via mandatory mediation and to replace the current regulations. 

Turkey’s main regulation regarding advertisements, the Regulation on Commercial Advertisement and Unfair Commercial Practices (“Regulation”) was amended with another regulation published on the Official Gazette of 4 January 2017, effective immediately. Those who advertise their products and services, advertisement agencies and the media that publishes such advertisement should abide by the Regulation. 

The Turkish Constitutional Court recently decided that the right to privacy can be violated on the Internet.  

Glatzova & Co. has advised Denemo Media s.r.o. on its acquisition of a 50% shareholding in FTV Prima, with Allen & Overy advising Modern Times Group, the seller.

Glatzova & Co. has successfully represented TFS RT, INC. in the restructuring proceedings of its business partner.

“The trend that we discussed at the Round Table back in November is continuing,” says Jiri Sixta, Partner at Glatzova & Co., referring to the upbeat reports on the Czech market provided by members of a November 2016 CEE Legal Matters’ Round Table.

Ukrainian legislation provides state guarantees of safety of foreign investments with the goal to protect the rights of foreign investors.

The Law of Ukraine “On protection of economic competition” has been recently amended regulation regarding concentration of economic entities.

By the Law of Ukraine as of April 7, 2015 No 289-VIII “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on the protection of investors", the institute of "derivative suit" was introduced into Ukrainian corporate law. Derivative suit was provided as an additional protection of companies’ interests from fraud actions of officials.

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.

Jiri Buchvaldek, Partner at Hruby & Buchvaldek in the Czech Republic, is flabbergasted at the amount of new regulations being thrown at small businesses and entrepreneurs in the country. "It’s just freakish what’s going on," he says, shaking his head.

This guest editorial is a critique of the Czech judicial system, which is similar to the judicial systems of most if not all CEE countries.

JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic has announced that Lidija Pejcinovic has been promoted from Senior Associate to Partner at the firm.

In late December 2016, the Government of Serbia passed the new Decree on Terms and Conditions for Attracting Direct Investments. The Decree supplements the Law on Investments (2015), regulating in finer detail criteria, conditions and means of attracting direct investments, in particular granting of State incentive funds for investment projects. 

The rights and obligations of people who live in apartment buildings, maintenance of apartment buildings and relationships between the owners of apartments have never been regulated in Serbia comprehensively and in detail.

Karanovic & Nikolic has announced that Milan Lazic, Marjan Poljak, and Darko Jovanovic have been promoted to Senior Partner at the firm.

The Serbian Parliament has recently adopted amendments to the Criminal Code. The amendments include a significant overhaul of the legal framework for white collar crimes, touching upon the rules relevant for antitrust enforcement as well.

Karanovic & Nikolic has announced that Senior Partner Rastko Petakovic has been elected as firm Managing Partner, taking over from Dejan Nikolic.

From 2017, the Hungarian tax authority prepares the draft tax returns for the personal income tax based on the amendment of the act on the rules of taxation entered into force on 1 January 2017.

An amendment concerning offshore companies was adopted by the Hungarian Parliament at the end of 2016, introducing a new tax amnesty and modifying the regulations on foreign companies owned by Hungarian individuals.

A new Hungarian act on statistics repealing and replacing the former act on statistics entered into force on 1 January 2017. The adoption of the new act became necessary due to the modification of the relevant EU directives. 

KSB assisted the MS Invest real estate development company in its recent issue of discounted bonds.

KSB has provided legal services to the CERCL Green group in connection with the sale of Green Gas International by means of a management buy-in for an undisclosed consideration to ML Green Netherlands B.V., a special purpose management buy-in company jointly owned by private investors Laurent Barrieux and Martin Vojta.  

Sylvie Sobolova and Christian Blatchford have been appointed Partners at Kocian Šolc Balastik. 

As a developing country and a candidate state for the EU and NATO, Montenegro has done a great deal to establish an effective legal and institutional framework in many areas.

Recent research shows that Montenegro has a high hydro-energy potential with a noteworthy index of cost-effectiveness of investments and favorable ecological and social environments. The estimated theoretical hydro potential on the main water courses totals 9,846 GWh/year. Out of this capacity, less than 1,800 GWh, or only 17%, has been harnessed so far. 

Montenegro is located in the Western Balkans, with a population of only just over 600,000. Once it was part of former Yugoslavia and today it is a country that has independently done a lot on its European integration path.

Felix Tapai has been promoted to Tax Partner in charge of Maravela & Asociatii's affiliated tax advisory practice.

Maravela & Asociatii has advised the German group Eberspacher on opening a new plant in Romania. 

On Tuesday, July 11, 2016, ten senior Romanian lawyers gathered at the Bucharest office of Wolf Theiss for a CEE Legal Matters Round Table to discuss the state of the Romanian economy, the Romanian legal market, and their expectations for the future.

The Communiqué Regarding the Amendments to the Communiqué on Principles of Real Estate Investment Companies (“Communiqué”) has been published in the Official Gazette dated 17.01.2017 and numbered 29951 and entered into force at the date of its publication (“Amendment Communiqué”).

The most significant agreement prepared to create a uniform universal sales law is United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, also referred to as Vienna Convention (“CISG”), dated 11 April 1980. CISG has entered into force on 1 January 19881, has been accepted without any reservation and has become applicable in Turkey as of 1 August 20112. In brief, CISG comprises of provisions regarding the establishment, performance and expiration of agreements relating to the international sale of moveable goods.

“Amendment Regulation on the Application Regulation of Turkish Citizenship Law” (“Amendment Regulation”) was published in the Official Gazette dated 12.01.2017 and numbered 29946 and entered into force as of its publication date.

Bojanovic & Partners has advised King Engine Bearings group, a manufacturer of engine bearings for automobiles, trucks, marine, and aviation, on its acquisition, through its Serbian subsidiary Sinterfuse d.o.o., of the assets of Serbian joint stock company Sinter a.d. u likvidaciji. ODI Law advised the sellers.

Contrary to initial negative expectations, the post-Brexit shockwaves hardly brushed upon the Slovenian capital markets, which seem to be slowly gaining momentum.

ODI has represented a consortium of NLB, Banka Koper (Intesa Sanpaolo Group), Sberbank, Abanka, NKBM and Gorenjska Banka on a EUR 113 million syndicated debt refinancing of UNIOR, an advanced international company in metal-processing filed and active in tourism. UNIOR was represented by Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesniki & Partners.

ODI has represented a consortium of NLB, Banka Koper (Intesa Sanpaolo Group), Sberbank, Abanka, NKBM and Gorenjska Banka on a EUR 113 million syndicated debt refinancing of UNIOR, an advanced international company in metal-processing filed and active in tourism. UNIOR was represented by Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesniki & Partners.

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.

Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & partners has announced its role in the recent Agrokor acquisition of the Mercator Group, which closed on June 27, 2014. Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & partners acted for Agrokor, while Kavcic, Rogl, Bracun represented the sellers, which included several Slovenian banks.

The Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted a new Regulation on the Terms and Conditions of Attracting Direct Investments, in place of the previous Regulation which was in force since March 2016. The new Regulation is expected to secure continuity of economic growth, to obtain new capacities and technology, and to induce job creation. Furthermore, it introduces stricter controls regarding fulfillment of contractual obligations, and especially promotes investments in “devastated areas”.

According to the Stabilization and Association Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Serbia1 (hereinafter:”SAA”), Serbia has an obligation to address the issue of the acquisition of the real estate property in Serbia by foreign citizens and to enable such practice by no later than the fourth quarter of 2017.

The new Serbian Housing Act is a long-awaited codification of all the statutes pertaining to housing. The Building Maintenance Act and Housing Act were passed in its original texts more than two decades ago, and were rendered obsolete by the changes in society and economics climate. But the big question is – will there be enough funds for carrying out all the ideas laid out by the legislators?

The relative success of the center-right Croatian Democratic Union in the September 11th extraordinary parliamentary election in Croatia “should be good for Croatia and good for business" reports Boris Savoric, Senior Partner at Savoric & Partners in Zagreb, if the party succeeds in forming a government with one of the minority parties in the country.

The Bucharest office of Schoenherr has announced the arrival of Georgiana Badescu from Voicu & Filipescu as a new Partner in charge of the office's competition practice. The partnership ranks in the office has also been expanded by the promotion of Eva Hegedus-Brown to Partner in the real estate practice. 

Schoenherr has advised UNIQA Insurance Group AG on a contract with IBM Oesterreich GmbH for the upgrade of UNIQA's business processes and IT infrastructure. Schoenherr describes the agreement as "one of the largest IT contracts ever to be signed in the German speaking region of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland." 

Schoenherr has advised a group of investors led by Erwin Krause and Franz Kollitsch on the formation of a 50/50 joint venture with SIGNA, and on the JV's acquisition of BAI Bautrager Austria Immobilien GmbH from Immobilien Holding (a UniCredit Bank Austria company). Arnold Rechtsanwalte advised SIGNA on the deal, while Immobilien was advised by Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners. The signing of the purchase agreement took place on January 25, 2017, and the transaction is subject to competition authority approval and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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.

In late December 2016, the Government of Serbia passed the new Decree on Terms and Conditions for Attracting Direct Investments. The Decree supplements the Law on Investments (2015), regulating in finer detail criteria, conditions and means of attracting direct investments, in particular granting of State incentive funds for investment projects. 

The rights and obligations of people who live in apartment buildings, maintenance of apartment buildings and relationships between the owners of apartments have never been regulated in Serbia comprehensively and in detail.

The latest amendments of the Law of Civil Procedure entered into force on 31 May, 2014. New efforts and the legislator's intent to make the civil procedure more cost-effective and more efficient can be seen from the initial provisions.

The Turunc law firm has advised Peoplise on investment it received from 500 Startups venture capital fund. The Aksan law firm advised the investors on the matter. 

On July 15, 2016, the streets of Istanbul and Ankara erupted in violence during a surprise – and ultimately unsuccessful – coup d’etat attempt against the Turkish government and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. By the time the coup had been put down, over 300 people had been killed and more than 2,100 were injured. 

Turunc has advised Taxim Capital on its acquisition of a 40% stake in the Turkish casual dining chain Big Chefs from current shareholders Gamze Cizreli and Saruhan Tan, each of whom had their 50% shares in the company diluted. The Pelister Atayilmaz Enkur Law Office (PAE) advised the sellers on the deal.

Wolf Theiss has advised OBB in a tender for up to 200 freight locomotives in areas dealing with procurement and contract law. Siemens succeeded as the best bidder in the tendering procedure.

Wolf Theiss has advised Erste Group Bank AG on its January 18, 2017 placement of a fixed-interest mortgage-backed Pfandbrief with a volume of EUR 750 million on the international capital market. Allen & Overy advised the participating consortium of banks.

Wolf Theiss, working alongside global counsel Paul Hastings, has provided local Austrian counsel to international real estate investor Invesco Real Estate on its sale of a portfolio of hotels to the hotel operator Pandox AB. Wolf Theiss was responsible for executing the sale of Invesco's Austrian hotels, located at Vienna International Airport and in Salzburg.

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