“Covid is still a very hot topic in Slovenia, I’m afraid,” reports ODI Partner Suzana Boncina Jamsek. “The vaccination efforts have somewhat stalled, especially with some problems that Europe seems to have been having with the AstraZeneca vaccine, and this is affecting the market and our daily work.” Boncina Jamsek says that the country still has some lockdown measures in place, but that these change “almost on a weekly basis,” and are not very strict at the moment. “Still, business meetings are rarely taking place in person and this is still a hurdle for all of us,” she says.
On June 20, 2019, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted the Directive (EU) 2019/1023 on restructuring and insolvency (hereinafter: Directive). The objectives of the Directive are to make it easier for companies in financial difficulty to access restructuring measures at an early stage to prevent them from becoming insolvent, to lay down minimal rules on the discharge of debt incurred by insolvent entrepreneurs and to increase the efficiency of preventive procedures and insolvency procedures, primarily to shorten the length of the procedures.
Foreign investors of all types were increasingly interested in Life Science (LS) companies even before COVID-19 emerged. It is no wonder that Slovenian LS companies are of particular appeal, since this highly innovative community significantly contributed to Slovenia being ranked 21st in this year’s Bloomberg Innovation Index. Some say COVID-19 catalyzed the new deals this year, but they were more likely fostered by the new investment opportunities that keep popping up with each innovative solution offered by the relatively small (and relatively inexpensive) companies in Slovenia. The race to acquire these innovative scale-ups and start-ups has become increasingly competitive.
After many years of liberalization and globalization, recent years have shown a reversal of the European Union’s approach concerning foreign direct investment from third countries. As in much of the world, the EU has taken a more restrictive view than in the past, and this view is reflected on the legislative level with the FDI Screening Regulation.
“There is a lot going on at the moment, politics-wise,” says Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners Partner Ana Grabnar. “One of the coalition parties left the coalition and joined opposition parties in filing for a no-confidence vote for the government – that took place this week.” The opposition did not gather the necessary majority; “surprisingly it gathered even fewer votes than predicted,” she says.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Slovenia swiftly introduced certain measures in the field of banking with the goals of promoting the liquidity of Slovenian businesses and stimulating the banks to support the country’s economic recovery. Such measures included mandatorily available 12-month moratoria on bank loans (further supported by a smaller-sized EUR 200 million state guarantee scheme for the moratoria-affected amounts), and a larger-scale EUR 2 billion state guarantee scheme for certain new bank loans. However, such measures proved less popular that expected.
In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time: “What one ongoing pro bono initiative or project or charity/volunteering project that your firm is involved with has the most meaning for you personally, and why?”
Information on record-high gun-jumping fines, imposed by national competition protection authorities, flooded the law-oriented news over the past years. It seems that countries like Poland (e.g. case Gazprom), France (e.g. case SFR-Altice), the UK (e.g. case PayPal), Mexico (e.g. case BAS Projects Corporation and other companies), and even Zimbabwe (e.g. case Innscor Africa) are all following the pattern of enhanced supervision of merger notification obligation and pre-closing activities of the parties, involved in M&A, and increasing amounts of fines.
The need for social distancing has come to the fore in 2020. Due to the global pandemic of the coronavirus disease, we had to suddenly find different solutions in our everyday life to make as little physical contact with each other as possible. Most areas of our daily lives were affected by some adjustments and the operation of corporate bodies of the company has been no exception to the changing reality.
Supply chains have been in focus throughout 2020, and not only thanks to COVID-19. Earlier this year, the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, announced that in 2021 the Commission would propose legislation on mandatory corporate due diligence covering human rights and environmental risks across a business's supply chain. The discussion around the introduction of a new (harmonised) aspect of corporate accountability comes at a time when certain Member States, including France and the Netherlands, have already adopted their own (national) legislation on mandatory human rights due diligence in recent years.