On December 11, 2019, CEE Legal Matters reported that Stanek Vetrak & Partneri had advised the Czech Republic's Franco Real Estate on its acquisition of Vseobecna Uverova Banka's real estate portfolio. We spoke with Vladimir Polacky, Project Manager for the Slovak Republic at Franco Real Estate, about the deal.
“The newly elected Government led by Igor Matovic is constructed of parties who used strong anti-corruption rhetoric in their campaign, so we will be expecting a lot of reform,” says Andrej Leontiev, Partner at Taylor Wessing in Bratislava.
White & Case has advised international investment company TPG Capital on a development loan for unidentified industrial premises to "serve as multi-purpose facilities for warehousing, administration, and trade and science and technology.”
Against a backdrop of global uncertainty fuelled by Brexit, a US-China trade war, and a weakening German economy, Central and Eastern Europe has proven itself economically resilient in the face of a challenging year. Led by Hungary, Poland, and Romania – all of which reported more than 4% GDPs growth – many emerging European countries have comfortably outshone the sluggish economies of Western Europe. It is, therefore, unsurprising that foreign investors flocked to the region in 2019 in search of healthy returns.
Greenberg Traurig has provided Polish advice to GLP on its acquisition of Goodman Group’s Central and Eastern Europe logistics real estate portfolio. Kirkland & Ellis served as global legal counsel to GLP, while Kinstellar provided local legal advice with respect to the Czech, Slovak, and Hungarian aspects of the transaction. Goodman Group was advised by Allen & Overy.
Kinstellar has advised Austrian company European City Estates on its acquisition of the Rosum office complex in Bratislava from Penta Real Estate, which was advised by Skubla & Partneri.
According to Glatzova & Co. Partner Veronika Pazmanyova, “surprisingly, just three days before the February 29 election the Slovak parliament approved a 13th pension wage and rejected the Istanbul Treaty.” According to her, “despite this clear political corruption, the ruling party, SMER, was not able to secure victory and were beaten by the anticorruption Ordinary People party led by Igor Matovic, who will presumably be the new Slovak Prime Minister.” Matovic received 25% of the votes, despite having only around 5% support in the autumn polls, Pazmanyova reports.
Kinstellar has advised Hungary-based financial group OTP Bank on the sale of its 99.44% stake in its Slovak operations to Belgium's KBC Group.
Slovakia is essentially a global superpower in the per-capita production of cars, producing more new cars per capita than any other country in the world. According to statistical data from 2018, four global car manufacturers located in Slovakia – Volkswagen Slovakia, Kia Motors Slovakia, PSA Group Slovakia, and Jaguar Land Rover – produced more than a million cars. The Slovak Automotive Industry Association reports that over 1.08 million cars were manufactured in Slovakia in 2018. It will be interesting to see whether this number will be surpassed given the recent challenges and potential slowdown in the automotive industry.
Schoenherr has advised Kommunalkredit Austria AG, the arranger and original lender, on Czech and Slovak acquisition financing provided to Enery Development for the acquisition of six 21 MW solar power plants in the Czech Republic and two 4 MW solar power plants in the Slovak Republic from Czech fund Green Horizon Renewables. CMS reportedly advised Enery and Badokh reportedly advised Green Horizon Renewables.
Barger Prekop has promoted Matus Lahky to Partner and Head of Compliance.
The Prague and Bratislava offices of Dentons have advised GeoPost / DPDgroup on the acquisition of Czech and Slovak parcel delivery operations of Germany's Geis logistics group. The Geis group was advised by Rodl & Partner.
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.
Dentons and Kirkland & Ellis have represented GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, on the acquisition of the Maximus logistics real estate portfolio from funds managed by Apollo Global Management, a US-based private equity firm. Noerr advised the sellers on the transaction, which was signed in December 2019 and closed on January 31, 2020, and which was valued at approximately EUR 950 million.
In recent years, the Slovak Real Estate market has experienced significant growth thanks to extensive construction, especially in the capital, Bratislava. This is mainly due to the high demand for apartments, which is also reflected in their price.
MCL has advised MiddleCap Real Estate Ltd. on its acquisition, reconstruction, and development of the Gorkeho 4 office project and subsequently on the sale of the project to Kooperativa Insurance company, a member of the Vienna Insurance Group. Kooperativa Insurance was reportedly advised by CMS.
Noerr has advised NEI, an Indian bearings manufacturer and exporter that is part of the CK Birla Group, on its acquisition of international bearings producer Kinex Bearings and bearing trading company Global Supply. The sellers were reportedly advised by Ernst & Young.
Slovak lawyer Veronika Pazmanyova has been promoted to Partner at Glatzova & Co. in Bratislava.