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Noerr has advised Axion Cyprus Holding Limited, a holding company of Russia's Softline Group, on its acquisition of a majority stake in Softline AG, a company listed on the open market segment of the Dusseldorf stock exchange, from its current major shareholder, Baden-Baden-based S.K. Management-und Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH. Houthoff Cooperatief and August Debouzy also advised Axion on the deal, which is expected to close before March 31, 2021.

Since 22 October 2018, the assets of several hundred mostly Ukrainian persons which are located in Russia have been frozen based on Presidential Decree 592 of 22 October 2018 (“Presidential Decree 592”) and Governmental Order 1300 of 1 November 2018 (“Governmental Order 1300”). To date, these and other sanctions against Ukraine are the only measures which have been taken under Federal Law 127-FZ “On measures (counter-measures) in response to unfriendly actions of the United States [...]” of 4 June 2018.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has advised the HeadHunter Group, which operates Russian online recruiting platform hh.ru, on the acquisition of the Zarplata.ru online recruiting platform from Hearst Shkulev Digital Regional Network B.V. The transaction, which is valued at RUB 3.5 billion, has already been given the requisite regulatory approval and is expected to close in January 2021.

As in other countries, business in Russia has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and small and medium enterprises, which do not have enough reserves to survive in the unfavorable economic situation, have suffered the most. In order to support SMEs, the State, in addition to temporary support measures, has introduced a considerable decrease in the tax burden related to the remuneration of employees above the minimum monthly wage. Cumulative social contributions were lowered to 15% from the previous rate (which could reach 30%, with certain exceptions), and may be applied by SMEs.

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