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Ever since the CEE market opened for private practice CEE lawyers have sought to work on international mandates in collaboration with international lead counsels. Apart from the obvious (we take an oath to serve justice, but it is no secret that we also in fact work for money), the benefits of this cooperation also include the opportunity to draw on the international counsel’s expertise, particularly in transactional work. Such cooperation has greatly influenced the work of local counsel. Those who seized the opportunity had a steep learning curve and developed their practices to a level that is generally referred to, mostly in lawyers’ own pitches, as reaching an “international standard.”

Read more: Guest Editorial: Work to “International Standards” vs. Local Reality

CMS Sofia has advised UniCredit Bulbank on the sale of a real estate-secured NPL portfolio to Debt Collection Agency, a subsidiary of the Norwegian financial services group B2Holding. The buyer was supported on the transaction by the Bulgarian office of Schoenherr.

Read more: CMS and Schoenherr Advise on Real-Estate Secured NPL Portfolio Sale in Bulgaria

With Decision No.1046 issued on 20 September 2018, the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the "CPC") gave the green light to the acquisition of Rapido Express and Logistics OOD by its competitor Speedy AD, in accordance with Article 26(1) of the Act for the Protection of Competition (the "APC").

Read more: Bulgaria: Speedy AD Sanctioned by Competition Authority for Failure to Provide Complete and...

Former Penkov, Markov & Partners Partner Svetlin Adrianov has joined EY Law as Associate Partner and Law Leader for EY Bulgaria, Albania, and Macedonia, in a move the firm claims "strengthens one of the firm’s core practice areas – corporate and transaction law, and adds further depth to the firm’s offering."

Read more: Svetlin Adrianov Takes Over as Head of EY Law in Bulgaria

“It’s never boring in Bulgaria – we always have some hot topics to handle,” says Stefana Tsekova, Partner at Schoenherr Bulgaria, who reports that on August 10 the country’s trade registry collapsed and remained unavailable for 18 days, causing a “total nightmare for the business sector.”

Read more: The Buzz in Bulgaria: Interview with Stefana Tsekova, Partner at Schoenherr

Does buying land make you the owner of the buildings on that land as well? In many situations, the answer is yes, but in the context of the public sale of property within enforcement proceedings, this is not always the case.

Read more: Specifics in the Acquisition of Property Ownership Title Upon Public Sale

CMS has acted with lead counsel Jones Day in advising the OTP Bank Group on its acquisition of Societe Generale subsidiaries SG Expressbank Group, Sogelife Insurance Company, and SG Banka Albania, for over EUR 600 million. Schoenherr's Sofia office and Kalo & Associates in Tirana advised Societe Generale on the sale.

Read more: CMS and Schoenherr Advise on OTP Group Acquisition of Societe Generale Subsidiaries

On 19 July, 2018 the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the "CPC") prohibited two concentrations. The first being the sale of the second largest media conglomerate in Bulgaria, Nova Broadcasting Group AD ("Nova Broadcasting"), (owner of Nova TV), to PPF Bidco, (owned by Czech businessman Petr Kellner), and secondly the sale of CEZ's assets in Bulgaria, which include its energy distribution business, trade business and some small renewable energy parks to a Bulgarian company, Inercom, which maintains three solar power stations in the country.

Read more: First Decisions Prohibiting Concentrations Issued in Bulgaria

CMS Sofia has advised Austrian-based funds Universale International Realitaten, CA Immo International Holding, and CEE Realty Beteiligungs on the sale of Megapark, а 75,000 square meter office building in Sofia, to Lion’s Head Investments, a joint venture between the Bulgarian real estate holding AG Capital and the South African investor Old Mutual Group. Kinstellar advised the buyer on the deal.

Read more: CMS and Kinstellar Advise on Landmark Office Real Estate Deal in Bulgaria

A German-Czech CMS team has advised Munich-based Leonhard Moll Betonwerke GmbH & Co KG on its acquisition of ZPSV a.s., together with its subsidiaries and production sites in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Slovakia, from the Spanish OHL Group.

Read more: CMS Advises Leonhard Moll Betonwerke on Acquisition of ZPSV

Bulgaria Knowledge Partner

Schoenherr is a leading full-service law firm providing local and international companies stellar advice that is straight to the point. With 15 offices and 4 country desks Schoenherr has a firm footprint in Central and Eastern Europe. Our lawyers are recognised leaders in their specialised areas and have a track record of getting deals done with a can-do, solution-oriented approach. Quality, flexibility, innovation and practical problem-solving in complex commercial mandates are at the core of our philosophy.

Firm's website: www.schoenherr.eu

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