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CHSH, Polenak, and Baker & McKenzie Italy Advise on Macedonian Telecom Merger

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CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati and Macedonia’s Polenak law firm have acted as joint counsel to Telekom Austria Group in connection with the merger of its subsidiary VIP Operator Dooel Skopje with One Dooel Skopje, a subsidiary of Telekom Slovenije Group, both operating in the Republic of Macedonia. Baker & McKenzie Italy advised Telekom Slovenije Group on the deal.

In addition, CHSH obtained merger control clearance in Austria, Serbia, and Macedonia for the transaction, which closed on October 1, 2015.

CHSH reports advising on the preparation for as well as on the structuring measures of the shareholders’ agreement. As a result of the transaction, Telekom Austria Group will hold 55% of (and thus sole control over) the newly created entity, whereas Telekom Slovenije will hold 45%. Furthermore, CHSH advised also on the merger agreement and the foundation agreement of the merged entity, which will operate as One.Vip DOO Skopje.

The consolidation — which shrinks the number of mobile network operators in Macedonia from three to two (including Makedonski Telekom (T-Mobile Macedonia)) — was approved subject to commitments following an in-depth review conducted by the Macedonian Commission for Protection of Competition. The commitments include mobile virtual network operator access offered by One.VIP to interested parties. CHSH's competition law team advised Telekom Austria on the merger control clearance achieved in Austria as well as on obtaining approval for the merger from the competition authorities in Serbia and Macedonia.

Telekom Austria Group is the leading communications provider in the CEE region with approximately 23 million customers operating in eight countries. It is listed on the Vienna stock exchange and has been offering mobile services in the Republic of Macedonia via its subsidiary VIP Operator since 2007. With the acquisition of blizoo Macedonia in July 2014, Telekom Austria Group has also offered fixed-line services in the Macedonian market. 

The CHSH team was led by Managing Partner Albert Birkner and Partner Bernhard Kofler-Senoner, supported by Senior Associates Michael Mayer and Nikolay Yanev, and Associate Nadine Leitner.

Polenak’s team was led by Managing Partner Kristijan Polenak, with Partner Tatjana Popovski Buloski managing on Competition aspects.

Editorial Note: After this article was published, Baker & McKenzie informed us that their firm’s team advising Telekom Slovenjie was led by Partner Fabio Brembati, and included Partner Andrea Perotti and Junior Associate Enrico Fleres

Image Source: telekomaustria.com

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