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DLA Piper has advised FIZAN Foreign Expansion Fund on its entrance into a joint venture with Poland's Elemental Holding to acquire a majority stake in PGM, a Texas company specializing in the treatment of used automotive and industrial catalytic converters. The firm also advised Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego on financing for the acquisition.

DLA Piper and PwC Legal have advised NEQSOL on its USD 734 million acquisition of VF Ukraine from Russian telecommunications operator MTS Group, which includes USD 84 million of earn-out payment. DLA Piper also advised NEQSOL on the raising of acquisition financing for the deal from a group of international funds and financial institutions led by J.P. Morgan Securities and Raiffeisen Bank International. Latham & Watkins and Aequo advised the MTS Group on the deal, while Avellum and Linklaters advised JP Morgan and Raiffeisen Bank on the underlying financing.

Lawyers from DLA Piper's Moscow office joined the multi-jurisdictional team advising Evraz, a steel and mining company listed on the London Stock Exchange and a constituent of the FTSE 100 index, on its EUR 40 million sale of Evraz Palini e Bertoli to the Marcegaglia Group, an Italy-based company in the steel processing sector. Marcegaglia was advised by LCA Studio Legale.

Welcome corporate whistleblowers

Recently we have seen a growing interest in issues relating to whistle-blower protection and its role in modern business. The main emphasis in the discussion about whistleblowers and their duties, rights and obligations was put on the individuals involved in whistle-blowing. It was also focused on creating mechanisms allowing individual whistleblowers to feel safe once they make their notification, either internally within the organization or externally with public authorities.

However, it has to be noted that not only an individual can be a whistle-blower. In the Polish legal system, a number of regulations penalize individual and corporate behaviors and the list of such regulations is constantly growing.

The organic development of the Hungarian insolvency laws was interrupted by the era of the socialist planned economy, which ended in 1990. The novel Insolvency Act of 1991 (IA) may have satisfactorily served the economy in the first years of the transition period, but due to the profound changes in the socio-economic environment in subsequent years, the statute has become obsolete. Successive governments over the past three decades have made multiple efforts to keep the IA up-to-date and to follow the numerous demands made by the various players of the market and interested legal professionals, but the more than one hundred (!) amendments have rendered the system opaque and relatively difficult to use.

Dentons has advised Spain's Comsa S.A.U. on debt restructuring and its issue of new shares in Trakcja PRKiI S.A., a Polish infrastructure and energy company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The program’s value exceeds EUR 230 million and includes bridge and long-term financing provided by banks, insurance companies, and the Industrial Development Agency. DLA Piper advised Trakcja on the deal, White & Case advised the insurance companies, and Clifford Chance advised the Industrial Development Agency. Allen & Overy reportedly advised the banks.

As the country entered the 21st century, Ukraine’s Soviet-era judicial system was widely condemned as corrupt, incompetent, and inefficient. Committed to rectifying the situation, in 2015 the Ukrainian government introduced plans to reform the entire system. That transformation, which was the focus of an August 2017 CEE Legal Matters Round Table, continues today. We reached out to several of the Ukrainian dispute resolution specialists we spoke to several years ago for an update.

Austria’s political scene felt some tremors in the past few weeks following snap elections. Unsurprisingly, potential coalitions became a primary subject of discussion. “The Conservatives won in a landslide, with almost 38% of the vote, with Social Democrats taking a very distant second. with around 21%,” reports DLA Piper Country Managing Partner David Christian Bauer. Another notable result of the election is the low 16% vote for the far-right Freedom Party – the recent coalition partners of the conservatives – following insinuations of corruption. “The Conservatives will most certainly form the Government and any coalition that gets formed will have to go through them,” says Bauer, emphasizing that the Freedom Party will face strong challenges to return to rule, with the scandals and “internal turmoil they’re experiencing.”