The expression “never a dull moment” could have been tailor-made to describe the ethics and compliance function and how it has evolved over the past decade or so. The well-publicized scandals that started to take place on the market (concerning, e.g., anti-money laundering or privacy incompliances) led the policy makers to pass sweeping legislation that called for increased regulation, greater transparency, and more rigorous scrutiny of corporations.
D’Ornano Partners has advised the Groupama Group on its acquisition of the entire share capital of OTP Osiguranje, an insurance company owned by the OTP Bank in Croatia. Ivekovic Attorneys at Law reportedly acted as local advisors to Groupama. Schoenherr’s Hungarian office reportedly advised the seller on the deal.
Now the necessary supervisory and legislative prerequisites have been fulfilled, the European Central Bank Governing Council has adopted a decision to establish close cooperation with the Croatian National Bank. As a result, Croatia has joined the Single Supervisory Mechanism and the Single Resolution Mechanism, whose members include all the Euro-area states that already enjoy close cooperation with the European Central Bank. This means, among other things, that from 1 October 2020, the European Central Bank will directly supervise many important Republic of Croatia institutions.
It has become evident by now that the 2020 global pandemic has reshaped many aspects of the legal industry, with one of the eminent examples being the way M&A transactions are carried out – almost everything has become less certain, more urgent, and largely virtual. As though the circumstances have not been challenging enough, recent developments in local jurisprudence concerning the form of legal documents have started to negatively impact M&A deals in Croatia.
It is now more than obvious how much the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up both global and national economies. Although various measures have already been undertaken to support businesses during this COVID-19 crisis, financial distress of many companies is inevitable, which will ultimately, for many of them, result in bankruptcy or restructuring.
Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates has advised Pfizer on a global business combination with Mylan N.V. The transaction involved a spin-off of Pfizer’s Upjohn business and a subsequent merger of that business with Mylan N.V. to form a new global generics company, called "Viatris." Bird & Bird was global lead counsel to Pfizer, with Karanovic & Partners providing local support for Serbia and Jadek & Pensa providing local support in Slovenia.
"The Croatian government is a bit under fire right now for not implementing stricter measures to deal with the uptick in Covid cases,” reports Kallay & Partners Partner Mara Terihaj Macura. Still, she concedes it’s a difficult problem. “There are still businesses that are open and operating despite the numbers being higher now than they were in the spring – but according to the economic experts another lockdown would be disastrous for the economy, so it’s difficult to find the balance.”
Earlier this month, the Croatian Competition Agency confirmed that Coca Cola HBC Hrvatska d.o.o. had complied with the commitments the company had offered, and which had been accepted by the CCA, in the course of an investigation of vertical restraints imposed by Coca Cola on its distributors (most notably exclusive purchasing and tying arrangements). Early on, the CCA expressed concern that Coca Cola’s practices would constitute infringements under Articles 8 and 13 of the Croatian Competition Act (essentially corresponding to Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).
While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruption to nearly all businesses in the logistics and manufacturing sectors in Central and Eastern Europe, enough time has now lapsed that identifiable trends and opportunities are beginning to emerge. CMS Partners Ana-Marija Skoko, Ivan Gazdic, Iain Batty, and Lukas Hejduk agreed to share their thoughts about the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on logistics and manufacturing developments in their local markets and across CEE.