On December 29, 2019, CEE Legal Matters reported that Selih & Partnerji had advised Supernova on its EUR 220 million acquisition of seven shopping malls and five smaller shopping centers from Centrice Real Estate. Johannes Wurzer, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions at Supernova, spoke with us about the deal.
Slovenian national air-carrier Adria Airways is one of many European airlines that filed for bankruptcy in 2019. While passengers with planned trips and prepaid tickets were left to their own ingenuity, the Slovenian Government worried about the effects of Adria Airways’ bankruptcy on Slovenia’s air traffic and important airline connections from Ljubljana Airport to other important cities and regions.
“We had an interesting turn of events last week as our Prime Minister stepped down,” says Mia Kalas, Partner at Selih & Partnerji in Slovenia. “Previously, we had an ambitious government which began the tax reform and also had ambitious plans for a healthcare reform, but now this will very much slow down.”
The recent upturn of the Slovenian real estate market has yielded a raft of new logistics projects and residential developments, as well as substantially increasing the scope and number of retail real estate transactions. A significant share of Slovenian retail properties changed hands, mostly as a consequence of the financial or organizational restructuring of the previous holders. This opened the market to both institutional and strategic investors.
The Deal: In July, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Slovenian office of ODI Law had represented AIK Banka and SKB Banka (Societe Generale’s Slovenian entity), on the EUR 36 million cross-border syndicated debt refinancing of the Don Don Group – a regional industrial bakers with plants in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Bulgaria. Selih & Partnerji advised Don Don on the deal.
The significance of medical devices is most certainly on the rise, considering not only its importance to patients, for whom medical devices represent life enhancing products, but also developments in innovation, economics, and in the regulatory and legal sphere. Issues such as data privacy in the field of medical devices were not noticeable until connectivity became a trend in medical devices and the GDPR was adopted. Similarly, the possibility of a cyber-attack on a medical device connected to the Internet became a possibility. Even though the question of product liability has always been present, recent decisions by the European Court of Justice provided new interpretations of existing legal terms and, importantly, introduced product batch liability.
In addition to their traditional role guiding companies through legal and regulatory waters and managing disputes, General Counsels are increasingly called upon to provide input on strategic matters. An expert panel at the second annual Balkan GC Summit considered how this change in the nature of the General Counsel role is manifesting itself in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.
The wide usage of benchmark rates and their key role in the financial system requires that they be reliable and defiant to any manipulation. To ensure this, the EU undertook to reform the benchmark rate determination process and improve market confidence in them, resulting in the adoption of the EU Benchmarks Regulation (the BMR).
“Well, the legal market is pretty much stable – all firms stay firmly in their places, not a lot of tectonic shift …. all is quiet on the Western front," smiles Robert Prelesnik, Senior Partner at Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners in Ljubljana. “Our economy has been rather stable too, even as we approach a period of slight stagnation – we are quite far away from a recession, which is a good thing in this day and age of Europe," says Prelesnik.
In the light of the favourable economic climate and affordable financing sources, Slovenia has been facing a lively M&A market in the recent few years, especially in the area of commercial real estate. Further, companies are eager to refinance their existing debt or borrow new funds under the more favourable conditions currently available on the market. Since the majority of financing is done via standard bank financing, every deal poses the same old question: “How will be the loan secured”?