Schoenherr and Hugh Owen of Go2Law have advised UNIQA on its acquisition of AXA subsidiaries in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia for a purchase price of around EUR 1 billion. Clifford Chance advised AXA on the transaction, which remains subject to regulatory approvals.
Pursuant to the Bulgarian Accountancy Act (Закон за счетоводството) companies must publish in the Commercial Register and Register for Nonprofit Legal Entities ("Commercial Register") their annual financial statements by 30 June of the calendar year following the reported period. Companies which have not carried out any activity during the reported period are exempt from this obligation. Prerequisite for the exemption is that the company's lack of activity is expressly declared before the Commercial Register.
From 1 January 2020, the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the "CPC") has been applying new merger filing guidelines (the "Guidelines"). The former guidelines, applied for more than ten years, did not differentiate between transactions (simpler or more complex) irrespectively of their potential competition concerns. This unified approach was unnecessarily bureaucratic with regard to concentrations with insignificant market effect (i.e. insignificant combined shares of the parties), which required a detailed merger filing only because the parties' turnover reached the statutory thresholds. At the same time, the former guidelines did not seem extensive enough for more complicated transactions (with substantial market shares of the parties), and it was not unusual for the CPC to send to the parties several requests for additional information to assess and clear a concentration. Naturally, this approach led to delays both in simpler and more complex transactions.
According to the Public Debt Act (Zakon o javnom dugu) of the Republic of Serbia, the Minister of Finance manages the country's public debt by (i) entering into transactions that would reduce or eliminate currency risk, interest rate risk and other risks, (ii) deciding on the sale and purchase of foreign currencies, and (iii) managing cash balances on the Republic of Serbia's treasury accounts. The aim of public debt management is to provide the means for regular servicing of budgetary needs at the most favourable conditions and cost of financing, with an acceptable level of risk.
After several extensions and long negotiations, the United Kingdom is now set to leave the European Union on 31 January 2020, after which a transitional period will commence until 31 December 2020. Trade between the EU and the UK will be impacted severely, most notably due to changes to harmonised indirect taxes, such as VAT. When EU law ceases to apply, which is currently projected to be after the transitional period, the UK will be treated as a third country instead of a Member State for VAT purposes. This article will provide a legal analysis of the consequences for VAT law.
In a recent judgment, the Austrian Supreme Court found that the concept of the "single economic entity" (wirtschaftliche Einheit) may also apply to jointly controlled undertakings. The judgment entails an interesting discussion on the applicability of the antitrust group privilege in the relationship between a joint venture and its shareholders.
Tourism in Austria is booming. The capital, Vienna, has reported a 9.9% increase of overnight stays, to 7.94 million, in the period from January to June 2019, a new record. Demand for common rental platforms, such as Airbnb, has increased even more. For several years now, Austria’s federal states, municipal administrations, legislators, and competitors (in particular the hotel industry) have been kept busy with the business model of commercial short-term rentals.
The interest of foreign investors in acquiring real estate in Romania has grown significantly since the January 1, 2014 expiration of the country’s prohibition against EU citizens and businesses acquiring agricultural land. Land is available at competitive prices, compared with many other European countries, and other advantages include the facts that Romania holds an important share of the European crop land due to its grain production, has a favorable position within export routes, has high-quality soil, and has a climate suitable for a wide range of agricultural investments.