Hogan Lovells has advised Arcus Infrastructure Partners on the acquisition of an 85% stake in the Gdansk Transport Company S.A., a special purpose company set up in 1996 to pursue the DBFMO project for the northern section of the AmberOne A1 motorway concession in Poland. The acquisition was a multi-step transaction, involving Arcus's acquisition of NDI Autostrada sp. z o.o. (NDIA), which owns a 25.31% stake in GTC, from Grupa NDI and Transport Infrastructure Investment Company (TIIC). As part of the acquisition, NDIA also exercised its right of first refusal on A1 Invest AB Skanska’s 30% stake and on John Laing Infrastructure Limited's 29.7% interest in GTC, taking NDIA’s ownership in GTC to 85%, with Intertoll Europe retaining the residual 15% shareholding and remaining the operator of the A1 motorway. Norton Rose Fulbright advised Grupa NDI and TIIC, CMS advised John Liang, and DLA Piper advised Skanska.
CMS has advised Invesco Real Estate on the EUR 70 million purchase of Wawel Holding Sp z o.o., the company owning the Sheraton Grand Krakow Hotel. DZP advised Algonquin, a pan-European hotel investor and operator, on the transaction, which closed on February 28, 2017.
2016 has been a challenging year for dispute resolution in Poland, due primarily to the numerous changes in regulatory framework that have come or will come into effect. In particular, since the country’s 2015 parliamentary elections, the government has been working on regulations related to group action proceedings, procedures for collecting claims, and various criminal law issues.
In November 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that Kochanski Zieba & Partners had advised Echo Polska Properties N.V. on its EUR 265 million acquisition of seven office buildings in Krakow, Gdansk, Katowice, and Lodz from Echo Investment S.A. The sellers were advised by Weil Gotshal & Manges.
Tax dodging may cost Poland over EUR 11 billion a year. It is estimated that corporate tax evasion accounts for around EUR 2 billion annually. VAT frauds alone may cause the State budget losses of EUR 9 billion every year. These numbers have encouraged the Polish government to increase efforts aimed at closing existing loopholes.
The number of patent infringement cases in Poland is steadily growing. However, even the best drafted patents and clear infringement background may prove insufficient for effective enforcement in cases where a matter has not been properly prepared. The summary below focuses on key legal remedies available for patent holders to effectively counteract infringing activity in Poland and indicates the key aspects that need to be addressed.
Compared to 2015 – a very busy year for Polish M&A with the value of deals growing by 79% to EUR 6.9 billion, which positively distinguished Poland from other CEE countries – 2016 has turned out to be less intense. Still, although policies of Poland’s right wing government – the Law and Justice Party, which was elected in November 2015 – may have weakened investors’ sentiment somewhat, economic data remains respectable at 132 deals (compared with 177 in 2015).
The new law on data protection matters at the European level has been discussed at length over the last few years. It will finally come into force as a Regulation on May 25, 2018. These new provisions will unify personal data protection measures in the EU, and therefore certain changes to data protection standards will be introduced in Poland too. Since the lawfulness of data processing is a key aspect, a closer look at the impact of the Regulation on the commonly used basis for data processing in Poland – consent by the data subject to the processing of his or her personal data – is useful.
CEE Legal Matters reported in November that a team of 11 lawyers from Polish firm DJBW will join Noerr’s Warsaw office effective January 1, 2017. Of the five Partners in DJBW, four – Witold Danilowicz, Witold Jurcewicz, Radoslaw Biedecki, and Ludomir Biedecki – will move to Noerr. CEE Legal Matters reached out to both Joerg Menzer, Regional Managing Partner of Noerr’s CEE offices in Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw, and Radoslaw Biedecki, who will become the new Office Head of Noerr in Warsaw, to learn more about the move and what led to it.
After 27 years of a free market economy and parliamentary democracy, 17 years inside the NATO structure, and 12 years of membership in the European Union, it is easy to forget how much has changed in Poland since the fall of communism. Looking back (and having the perspective of over two decades of professional experience), it is safe to say that nothing would ever be the same after Poland’s transformation.
Chajec, Don-Siemion & Zyto has advised Equitin Partners Limited, a private equity fund in the financial services, FMCG, and healthcare sectors, on its acquisition of the 70% controlling stake in Time for Wax, a Polish beauty services chain. The sellers, Time for Wax's founders, were advised by Punda Lyszczarek i Wspolnicy (PLW).
Taylor Wessing has advised Warimpex Finanz- und Beteiligungs Aktiengesellschaft on the partial sale of its hotel portfolio to the Thai investor U City Public Company Limited. CHSH and Hogan Lovells advised U City on the transaction, which included participations in eight hotels in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Romania, two of which are partly (50%) owned by UBM Development AG.