Kinstellar has advised GIC on the Czech, Hungarian, Bulgarian, and Serbian aspects of its 30% stake acquisition in the Cetin Group from PPF. BDK Advokati and Lakatos, Koves & Partners advised the seller on Serbian and Hungarian aspects, respectively. Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov, White & Case, and NautaDutilh reportedly also advised the seller. Herbert Smith Freehills also advised the buyer, with Loyens & Loeff reportedly advising the buyer in the Netherlands.
The transaction remains contingent on regulatory approval. Financial details were not disclosed.
The Cetin Group is a telecommunications infrastructure provider in Central and Eastern Europe. Cetin Serbia was founded in 2020 as a result of a spin-off from Telenor Serbia, following PPF's acquisition of Telenor in 2018.
Singapore's GIC is a sovereign wealth fund established in 1981.
The PPF Group operates in 25 countries, investing in sectors including financial services, telecommunications, media, biotechnology, real estate, and engineering. The group owns EUR 39.7 billion in assets and employs 94,000 people globally.
"When we entered the telecommunications sector almost eight years ago, we said that PPF wanted to offer state-of-the-art services to the European market," PPF Group CEO Ladislav Bartonicek commented. "We are proud to partner with GIC, a major and respected international investor renowned for its unparalleled ability to identify value in stable assets capable of generating solid long-term returns."
The Kinstellar team was led by Prague-based Partner Kamil Blazek and included Counsel Zdenek Kucera and Managing Associate Michal Kniz, Budapest-based Partner Anthony O’Connor, Associate Laszlo Palocz, and Attorney Attila Csikai, Sofia-based Partner Antonia Mavrova, Managing Associate Atanas Mihaylov, and Associate Simeon Vachev, and Belgrade-based Partner Branislav Maric, Senior Associate Nikola Stojiljkovic, and Associate Jelena Tripkovic.
The BDK Advokati team was led by Managing Partner Tijana Kojovic and included Senior Associate Pablo Perez Laya, Attorney-at-Law Djordje Zejak, and Junior Associates Vera Kojic and Tijana Martinovic.
The Lakatos, Koves & Partners team consisted of Partners Adam Mattyus and Eszter Ritter and Lawyers Kornel Dirner and Nora Szigeti.
The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by Partners Gavin Williams, Aaron White, and John Taylor and Senior Associate Emma Stones and included Partners Veronica Roberts, David Wyles, and Isaac Zailer, Of Counsel Lyndon Coppin, Senior Associates Ali MacGregor, Dominic Rowe, Dhananjaya Chak, Omar Shafi, Perminder Gainda, Joseph Dennis, and Tatum Govender, and Associates Ivan Biros, Filip Gavanski, and Tanisha Onyenaoha.
Editor's Note: After this article was published, White & Case confirmed its involvement in the deal. The firm's team was led by Prague-based Partner Jan Andrusko and included Local Partners Jan Stejskal and Jan Jakoubek, Associate Iva Cechrakova, and London-based Partner Caroline Sherrell.