Pavel Hristov opened the doors of Bulgaria’s Hristov & Partners law firm in 2013. Since then, his firm has grown steadily, and today competes on even terms with the long-established powers on the Bulgarian law firm market. We sat down with Hristov, himself a highly-regarded commercial lawyer, to learn about his firm’s history, strategy, and success.
Boyanov & Co in Bulgaria, NNDKP in Romania, and the Polenak Law Firm in North Macedonia have advised Norway's LINK Mobility Group on its June 29, 2019 acquisition of all five of Allterco's telecommunications subsidiaries in Bulgaria, Romania, and North Macedonia. Bulgaria's Forlexa law firm reportedly advised Allterco on the deal.
Schoenherr Sofia Managing Partner Alexandra Doytchinova starts by talking about what’s happening — or rather, what’s not happening — in the Bulgarian legal market. “Nothing has moved,” she says, "which is not surprising, because Bulgaria is very conservative in this respect. Firms splitting and merging happens once in five years, if at all. So there’s nothing happening there on this front.”
Bulgarian anti-money laundering law requires that companies and other entities having their seat in Bulgaria register their ultimate beneficial owner(s). The registration is mandatory, and the deadline for registration is approaching. These obligations arise from the Bulgarian Anti-Money-Laundering Measures Act (2018) transposing Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 (4th AML Directive) into national law.
In March 2019 the Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) cleared the acquisition of Nova Broadcasting Group AD (Nova TV) by Advance Media Group EAD, which is owned by the well-known Bulgarian businesspeople Kiril and Georgi Domuschievi. On this decision, Nova's previous owner, Swedish entertainment company Modern Times Group (MTG), was finally able to sell the TV network and exit the Bulgarian market, after having been prohibited from doing so by the CPC in July 2018.
In July 2018, following an in-depth investigation and in a rather hasty and controversial decision, the Commission on the Protection of Competition ("CPC") prohibited the acquisition of the largest media conglomerate in Bulgaria, Nova Broadcasting Group AD ("Nova TV" or "Nova"), by PPF, owned by Czech businessman Petr Kellner.