Kapolyi has advised AutoWallis Plc., a new company of the Wallis Group specializing on automotive investments, on its February 7, 2019 IPO and listing on at the Budapest Stock Exchange.
In Hungary, as is the case in other EU countries, recent economic growth has been accompanied by a labour shortage. This is largely due to Hungarian workers emigrating to other EU countries in search of higher wages and better living standards. According to statistics, approximately 5% of the country's working-age population has emigrated to other EU countries in recent years.
The new Hungarian Code of Civil Procedure (the “Code”) came with a number of ambitious promises, many of which have already been addressed in CEE Legal Matters. However, a prominent promise, namely increasing the transparency and predictability of litigation, has not yet been discussed in these pages.
In early 2017 the Hungarian Parliament passed the Code of Administrative Litigation as a beginning of the reform of the central administration. As the final step, the Hungarian Parliament adopted a law on the Administrative Courts on 12 December 2018. The goal of the new legislation was to ’restore the prestige of the administrative courts’ which was abolished in 1949. Since then no separate administrative court system existed, it was integrated into the civil courts.
The amendments of the Act on the Transactions in Agricultural and Forestry Land (Land Act) entered into force on 11 January 2019. Based on the new rules, in the approval procedure of the sale and purchase agreement for agricultural lands, the regional entity of the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture as local land committee will prepare an opinion whether the sale and purchase agreement is in compliance with the aspects included in the Land Act (e.g. transparency of the relationship of tenures, preventing speculative land acquisition). The amendment determines the conditions that shall be considered in the course of the assessment of the compliance with these aspects, such as the purchase price of the land, the lands already owned by the purchaser, or how the sale and purchase of the land serves the acquisition of ownership of young farmers or new agricultural producers.
The Hungarian Competition Authority (HCA) cleared the acquisition of sole control over Invitel Távközlési Zrt ("Invitel") by Digi Távközlési és Szolgáltató Kft ("DIGI") conditionally - with commitments - in May 2018. A few months later, it established that DIGI had intentionally misled HCA officials and therefore revoked the decision and imposed a fine on DIGI of HUF 90 million (approx. EUR 280,000). It then reopened the proceeding to assess the relevant markets affected by the misleading information. Revoking a merger clearance decision is not without precedent in the HCA's recent practice, as the HCA has invoked three clearance decisions in the last two years. What is new, however, is that the HCA granted a derogation from the suspension clause to prevent negative market consequences from interfering with the already closed transaction. The HCA also resorted to a dawn raid during the original proceeding, which is a new instrument in merger control cases.