“Generally, the Bulgarian economy is on an upward path, so law firms are busy,” reports Kinstellar Bulgaria Managing Partner Diana Dimova, who describes increased M&A activity, a strong demand for regulatory advice, and significant public sector opportunities.
Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov has acted as the Bulgarian legal counsel of Thunder Software Technology Co., Ltd., China, on its EUR 31 million acquisition of the Bulgarian graphics and imaging technology company MM Solutions. Boyanov & Co. has advised Texas Instruments - one of the sellers - on the Bulgarian legal aspects of the sale of its shareholding in MM Solutions.
Kinstellar has advised DZI on the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Bulgarian insurance company UBB-MetLife. The deal included the parallel acquisitions of Metlife’s 40% stake and UBB’s 60% stake in UBB-MetLife. Kinstellar advised UBB on the transfer of their 60% shareholding in UBB-MetLife, while Boyanov & Co advised MetLife on the transfer of their 40% interest.
Latham & Watkins and Schoenherr have advised Telenor on its agreement to sell its assets in Central and Eastern Europe to the PPF Group for EUR 2.8 billion on an enterprise value basis. White and Case (as lead counsel) and Karanovic & Nikolic advised PPF Group on the deal. Allen & Overy, BDK Advokati, and Boyanov & Co. advised Societe Generale, as agent, and a syndicate of banks on a EUR 3.05 billion credit facility provided to PPF Group for the acquisition, which is expected to close in Q3 2018 and is subject to the relevant merger control and regulatory approvals.
Kinstellar has advised The Adecco Group on the spin-off of its business in Bulgaria into two separate companies. As part of the process, which started in July 2017 and concluded in January 2018, the IT Outsourcing business, one of the Adecco’s key activities, moved into a new structure that will operate under the brand Modis Bulgaria.
One of the defects of the Bulgarian tax system and of the enforcement authorities in Bulgaria – the lack of direct access to information for the purposes of administrative cooperation (the automatic exchange of information) between the relevant authorities and legal entities – is on its way to being resolved.
According to Ilko Stoyanov, Partner at Schoenherr in Bulgaria, although his country has a very small legal market, which means that it is difficult to identify trends and to forecast the future, non-performing loans, the GDPR, and the rapid growth of artificial intelligence are topics that will definitely keep lawyers wired throughout 2018.