CMS Sofia and Doklestic Repic & Gajin have advised Balkantel on its participation as part of a consortium with the Trace Group in a EUR 60 million modernization and rehabilitation project of the Nis-Brestovac railway in southern Serbia. The Trace Group was advised by Eurolex Bulgaria and Andric Law Office.
The SEE Legal law firm alliance has announced the formal launch of two new practice groups, one dedicated to Employment and Immigration, headed by Kolcuoglu Demirkan Kocakli Counsel Maral Minasyan, and one dedicated to Intellectual Property, headed by Selih & Partnerji Partner Natasa Pipan Nahtigal.
Tokushev and Partners has advised Oliva AD, the largest grain trader and oilseeds crusher in Bulgaria, on its acquisition of all long-term assets of the Kaliakra plant in Dobrich, Bulgaria, from Kaliakra AD, the Bulgarian subsidiary of Bunge. Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov, and Velichkov advised Kaliakra on the deal.
Schoenherr has advised BNP Paribas S.A. Citibank NA, London Branch, and Black Sea Trade and Development Bank on Bulgarian legal aspects of a EUR 90 million syndicated credit facility extended to Oliva AD and Buildcom EOOD, as well as on the establishment of a Bulgarian security package for the facility. Herbert Smith Freehills acted as English law counsel to the banks.
The main concern in the energy sector in Bulgaria, as in the rest of the EU, has shifted from constantly-increasing electricity prices to a significant drop in those prices during the pandemic. The Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange (IBEX) reported the lowest prices in Europe – from below EUR 4/MWh to approximately EUR 12/MWh – for the day ahead market during the first weekend of April. Although these record-breaking figures have not stayed constant, the reduction of electricity consumption in the industry sector is still prolonging the trend, which is obviously here to stay. Electricity prices from approximately EUR 14 to EUR 35 for the first week of May are still way below the weighted average price of EUR 48.64/MWh for the day ahead market for 2019.
When I was asked to write this editorial by CEE Legal Matters I started to wonder how I could describe the current situation in Central and Eastern Europe. The first half of the year will definitely remain marked by the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, this editorial will not be focused on the pandemic, on measures taken (or not taken) by the governments in the region, or on what the consequences will be. Instead, I will try to provide an overview of the market, specifically as it relates to our business in this part of the world – and how I expect it to develop in the years to come.