Looking back over the last 25 years, I’m struck by what an extraordinary period this has been.
Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Inter Cars S.A. and its group companies on a PLN 1.1 billion loan facility. Clifford Chance, working with Tark Grunte Sutkiene (TGS), Divjak, Topic & Bahtijarevic (DTB) and Montanios & Montanios, advised Bank Pekao S.A. (agent), mBank S.A. (security agent), and Bank Handlowy w Warszawie S.A. (Citi Handlowy), ING Bank Slaski S.A., Bank BGZ BNP Paribas S.A., DNB Bank, and Caixa Bank as mandated lead arrangers on the facility.
KSB has assisted Cypriot company Gramexo PLC on its issuance of discounted certificates in the value of approximately CZK 1.4 billion. Gramexo owns 100% of Rustonka Development s.r.o.— a company established for the construction of a complex of several office buildings with a total area of approximately 37,000 square meters on land formerly occupied by the Rustonka factory in Prague-Karlin.
Schoenherr has advised Redside Investicni Spolecnost, a.s. ("Redside"), the manager of the real estate open-ended investment fund NOVA Real Estate, on its acquisition of the Panorama Business Center building from Dutch closed private investment fund Mint Fund 8 B.V. The closing took place on December 1, 2016.
A&O has advised Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. on its share purchase agreement with Anheuser-Busch InBev to acquire businesses formerly owned by SABMiller Limited (formerly SABMiller plc) in the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Romania and other related assets that were owned by SABMiller prior to its combination with AB InBev. The transaction has an enterprise value of EUR 7.3 billion, subject to customary adjustments. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised AB InBev on the deal, as well as on its combination with SABMiller and across the related disposal commitments made to competition authorities.
Kinstellar has advised on the Czech aspects of the divestment of Xella, a leader in building solutions, to an affiliate of US private equity group Lone Star in a deal valued at EUR 2.2 billion. Among the many other firms working on the deal were Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Millbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy for Xella and Hengeler Mueller and Kirkland & Ellis for Lone Star.
Schoenherr has advised ContourGlobal erneuerbare Energie Europa GmbH ("ContourGlobal"), a subsidiary of the US entity ContourGlobal L.P., on the sale of its solar energy business in the Czech Republic to China Central and Eastern Europe Investment Co-operation Fund SCS SICAV-SIF (the "China-CEE Fund") via CEE Equity Partners Ltd. Dentons advised CEE Equity Partners on the deal.
PRK Partners has advised the Czech town of Kromeriz on the preparation and conclusion of a shareholders agreement between it, nearby town Morkovice-Slizany, and the Czech municipalities of Drinov and Zborovice — which combined hold a majority shareholding in VAK Kromeriz (a water utility company providing services to more than 100,000 persons and companies) — securing their majority position and control over the utility for the next 30 years. The project value is CZK 1.2 billion.
Schoenherr has advised Kansai Paint Co Ltd., from Osaka, on the acquisition of the Helios Coatings Group from Ring International Holding AG ("RIH"), GSO Capital Opportunities Fund II (Luxembourg) S.a r.l., and Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund IV, LDC. The sellers were advised by Brandl & Talos.
For Erwin Hanslik, the Managing Partner of Taylor Wessing in Prague, one subject of conversation is always at the top of the list for lawyers in the Czech Republic: Fees. According to Hanslik, “the topic which is always interesting is the price — the hourly rates.” Hanslik explains that this is “a special topic in the Czech Republic due to the high amount of competition here,” which, he insists, “is not comparable to anywhere else in CEE. Absolutely.”
Schoenherr has advised Erste Group Immorent AG on the approximately CZK 3 billion (over EUR 100 million) sale of Immorent Jilska s.r.o., which owns the Enterprise office building, to Starship Enterprise a.s. — a joint venture of RSJ Investments and private investors Pavel Baudis and Eduard Kucera, the two co-founders of Avast Software B.V. Wilson & Partner advised the buyers on the deal, which closes on November 14, 2016.
CMS has advised German real estate fund Deka Immobilien on the acquisition of the prestigious building complex “The Park” in Prague from an affiliate of the Starwood Capital Group global private investment firm. Dentons advised the sellers on the deal, which was signed on September 29 and came to a successful close on November 14. According to CMS, it is the largest ever office transaction in the Czech Republic.
White & Case has advised P3 Logistic Parks (P3) and global investment company TPG Real Estate and developer Ivanhoe Cambridge on the sale of P3 to GIC, a sovereign wealth fund established by the government of Singapore. Kirkland & Ellis advised GIC on the EUR 2.4 billion deal, which White & Case describes as "the largest deal on the European real estate market this year, and the largest real estate deal in the Czech Republic ever."