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Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii has advised the Pietta family on the sale of the entire share capital of Pietta Glass to Saint-Gobain. Zamfirescu Racoti & Partners advised Saint-Gobain on the deal.

Laszczuk & Partners has advised the Holy Trinity Lutheran Parish in Warsaw on obtaining a final decision accepting building permit design and permission to construct a religious infrastructure building in Warsaw's Wlochy district.

Potamitis Vekris has represented the LBRI Group on financing for its acquisition of a hotel in the island of Kos from Club Med. Thessaloniki-based sole practitioner George Goulielmos advised the LBRI group on the underlying acquisition itself, with Zepos & Yannopoulos advising Club Med. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Schoenherr has advised Kansai Paint Co Ltd., from Osaka, on the acquisition of the Helios Coatings Group from Ring International Holding AG ("RIH"), GSO Capital Opportunities Fund II (Luxembourg) S.a r.l., and Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund IV, LDC. The sellers were advised by Brandl & Talos.

Sayenko Kharenko's antitrust team has provided legal assistance in obtaining merger clearance with the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMC) for the EUR 22.8 billion acquisition of Sanofi’s animal health business (“Merial”) by Boehringer Ingelheim through an asset swap in exchange for Boehringer Ingelheim’s consumer healthcare business. The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2016, subject to appropriate regulatory approvals globally.

Dentons has advised CEE-based AmRest Holdings SE on its acquisition of 15 Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Germany. Under the signed agreement, which is expected to take effect in the first quarter of 2017, Amrest will acquire the restaurants as well as the license to operate and develop the KFC brand in parts of Germany. The estimated purchase price is EUR 10.3 million.

Macedonian law firm Apostolska & Aleksandrovski has announced that it officially joined the South East Legal Alliance (SELA) in the second half of November 2016.

Schoenherr has promoted employment law expert Stefan Kuhteubl to Equity Partner, effective as of February 1, 2017.

The Egemenoglu law firm has announced the addition of new Partner Oya Derindere, who joins to lead the firm's M&A/Projects team.

White & Case has announced that two CEE attorneys – Istanbul-based Corporate/M&A specialist Ceylan Kara and Moscow-based Project Finance specialist Ekaterina Logvinova – are among the 15 promoted by the firm to Local Partner worldwide with effect from January 1, 2017. Another six CEE lawyers (three in Prague, two in Warsaw, and one in Istanbul) were among the 26 promoted to Counsel worldwide.

The Estonian Olympic Committee has appointed attorney-at-law Aivar Pilv a member of the legal commission, along with Hanno Pevkur (Chairman), Ants Veetousme, and Monika Sehver.

Polish Banking & Finance specialist Mariusz Hyla has left Hogan Lovells in Poland to join DLA Piper's Warsaw office as Partner and Head of the Finance & Projects department.

A bill recently presented by the Hungarian Minister of Justice targets to speed up the registration procedures and the amendment notification procedures of civil organisations. The proposed changes have been definitely created on the basis of the “good practice” of the company registration procedure.

The National Bank of Ukraine ("NBU") has made a further step towards liberalising the currency regime for ECA supported lending. These amendments became effective on 30 November 2016.

Under the Hungarian Advertisement Tax Act, companies are taxed at a rate depending on their advertisement turnover. Accordingly, companies with a higher advertisement turnover are subject to higher, progressive tax rates. As to the companies that made no profits in 2013, the Advertisement Tax Act contained the possibility to deduct the tax base with their losses carried forward. 

The Government of the Republic of Macedonia, in its program for the period 2014-2018, incorporated a project that shall enable electronic concluding of real estate purchase agreements.

The UK will continue to support EU sanctions against Russia

It is expected that the new Law on Notary Public will overcome the weaknesses identified in the existing Law and will also lead to higher efficiency in the notary public operation.

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The Deal:

On March 8, 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that Sayenko & Kharenko had advised Sberbank on the restructuring of a sovereign-guaranteed loan to Yuzhnoya’s State Design Office and the Road Agency of Ukraine (Ukravtodor) with an outstanding principal balance of approximately USD 367 million and had advised Sberbank and Citibank on the restructuring of another loan to Ukravtodor with an outstanding principal balance of EUR 37.3 million. Linklaters advised the banks on matters of English law, and Avellum acted as Ukrainian counsel to the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine on both matters.

Andreea Alexandrescu is the Head of Legal with Carrefour Romania, a company that she has spent the better part of her career with. She first joined the retail company in 2006 as a Legal Advisor responsible for real estate matters. Prior to her current company she worked for Gide Loyrette Nouel.

On November 28, 2016, CEELM reported that the Bulgarian electricity power distributor Energo-Pro Varna EAD had sold seven-year bonds worth of EUR 130 million to international investors. We invited Tsvetanka Vasileva, Head of Legal and Compliance at Balkan Advisory Company to provide us an insider’s view on the matter.