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It is not uncommon for post-communist societies to wrestle with the idea of competition enforcement. Executives of a more old-school bent are often confounded by having something which once was common market practice, sometimes even mandated by the state, now scrutinized and considered a serious infringement of law. This is why competition advocacy is a crucial tool for relatively inexperienced competition authorities – it would hardly be fair to beat upon market players legitimately unaware of changes to the modus operandi.

Read more: Designing a Competition Enforcement System: The Imperative of Credibility

The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the "Commission") is taking steps to encourage the birth rate in Serbia, one of the country's primary political objectives. Its contribution to achieve that objective is current antitrust investigation on the baby care product market, which could ultimately lead to a price decrease and reduction of costs of raising a child in Serbia. Almost 200 undertakings are under investigation for applying resale price maintenance ("RPM"), making this investigation the biggest in the history of Serbian antitrust enforcement. This case was initiated ex-officio in April 2018, when the Commission raided Keprom d.o.o. and Yuglob d.o.o, two importers and distributors, and several retailers of baby care products. Following the dawn raid, the Commission opened four more investigations against the same distributors and their retailers (four cases in July) and, finally, on 22 September 2018, the Commission proudly announced that it had initiated investigations against 172 undertakings (the "Baby Products Investigation").

Read more: Serbia: "Baby-boom" and other RPM cases before the Competition Authority

JPM advised Organigram Holdings Inc., the parent company of Organigram Inc., a licensed producer of medical marijuana in Canada, on a private placement investment in Eviana Health Corporation. Organigram and an unnamed strategic institutional investor each participated 50% in a USD 10 million debenture offering by Eviana.

Read more: JPM Advises Organigram Holdings on Investment in Eviana Health

Bojovic Draskovic Popovic & Partners has advised Cyprus-based Welkino Limited on the sale of Serbia's Zitoprodukt d.o.o. form Backa Palanka to Austria-based ASA Trading. The buyers were reportedly advised by Omerovic-Rabrenovic & Partners.

Read more: Bojovic Draskovic Popovic & Partners Advises Welkino Limited on Sale of Zitoprodukt

Zivkovic Samardzic has advised Slovenia's Pivka Perutninarstvo d.d., on a direct conversion of debt owed to Pivka by its Serbian subsidiary, Pivka-S, into equity of Pivka-S, as well as on the buyout of shares owned by Milutin Nikic, the minority shareholder and director of Pivka-S.

Read more: Zivkovic Samardzic Advises Pivka on Debt-to-Equity Swap and Minority Shareholder Buyout

The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has, on 8 June 2018, adopted the Amendments to the Companies Act (“the Amendments”).  As already observed, the provisions set out under the Amendments represent an answer to adjusting to the current business needs in Serbia.

Read more: Digitalizing the Business World of Serbia

Serbian Government took a significant step towards harmonization of data protection regulations with GDPR. On September 24, the Government adopted a Bill on Personal Data Protection (“the Bill”) . Only a day after, the Bill was sent to the National Parliament to be adopted at first regular session in autumn starting from October 2018.

Read more: Enactment of New Law on Personal Data Protection is Coming Closer

BDK Advokati and Kirkland & Ellis have advised BC Partners on its agreement to acquire a majority stake in United Group B.V. from KKR, which retains a substantial minority stake. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the transaction is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

Read more: BDK Advokati Advises BC Partners on Acquisition of United Group from KKR

“It is pretty quiet on the dispute resolution market, as hearings are not held in the summer,” says Ivana Disovic, Partner and attorney in law in cooperation with Karanovic & Partners. “In contrast, we see high activity in the M&A market,” she says, pointing in particular to China’s Zijin Mining becoming a strategic partner in Serbia's RTB Bor copper complex, which K&N advised on.

Read more: The Buzz in Serbia: Interview with Ivana Disovic of Karanovic & Partners

Jankovic Popovic Mitic has advised Adp Gauselmann GmbH, a member of the Gauselmann Group, on the sale of 49% of shares in its Serbian subsidiary, Merkur Gaming Slots d.o.o., to Aleksandar Jojic. BDK Advokati advised Jojic, a minority shareholder of Balkan Bet, on the acquisition.

Read more: JPM and BDK Advokati Advise on Sale of Merkur Gaming Slots Shares

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Who we are

Karanovic & Partners is a regional legal practice in Southeast Europe with tradition spanning two decades and cooperating offices in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. With more than 100 attorneys at law cooperating across the region, we take pride in our work, dedication and understanding of our clients' industries and needs.

What we do

We work with some of the most respected and reputable businesses in the world, banks, as well as governments, state-owned entities, startups and NGOs. We see our clients as long-term partners.

We focus on straightforward solutions and tailor-made advice. Lawyers cooperating with us are fully immersed in our clients’ culture and industry to ensure that the work is delivered intelligently and reliably.

What sets us apart?

In our company culture, excellence is a must. We are reliable, adaptive and fast.

Karanovic & Partners operates under the “one team” principle, combining our regional reach and local know-how to deliver coordinated legal advice necessary for achieving our clients’ goals.

All News about, and Legal Analysis by, Karanovic & Partners can be found here.

Firm's website: https://www.karanovicpartners.com/

 

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