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Kinstellar announces new promotions to Partner and Counsel

April 2021 – Kinstellar is delighted to announce the promotions to Partner of Balázs Sepsey (Budapest), and to Counsel of Tomáš Melišek (Bratislava), Alexandru Mocănescu (Bucharest) and Nina Tsifudina (Sofia).

PARTNER

Balázs Sepsey, Budapest

Balázs has over 17 years of experience advising Hungarian and international companies on a wide range of energy-sector matters, including energy-related M&A deals, power plant development projects, long-term supply agreements, EPC contracts and EU energy regulatory work. His expertise extends to energy infrastructure projects, mid- and long-term power purchase and gas supply agreements, energy project agreements, petrochemical revamp and development projects, and regulatory issues in the field of energy law. Balázs has a particular focus on EU energy law, including regulatory advice and energy-related state aid and competition law matters.

Having worked for more than a decade closely with Kristóf Ferenczi, the firm-wide head of the Energy & Natural Resources practice and the Managing Partner of our Budapest office, Balázs has been responsible for the day-to-day work of the Budapest Energy & Natural Resources team in Hungary. He has also been instrumental in a suite of cross-border energy sector matters, assisting the regional energy sector team across our jurisdictions.

Balázs has coordinated and led the most recent and acclaimed energy matters of the Budapest office, including:

  • the natural gas sale & purchase aspects of the establishment of a joint venture between two major energy companies for the implementation of a large-scale natural gas exploration project;
  • the negotiation of two long-term natural gas sale and purchase agreements relating to an off-shore natural gas exploration project with a value in excess of USD 8 billion;
  • the development of five photovoltaic power plant projects in Hungary with an aggregate built in capacity in excess of 150 MW;
  • various energy regulatory aspects of the Hungarian law implementation of the so-called EU Clean Energy Package, the most significant regulatory change in the Hungarian power sector legislation in the last decade;
  • the acquisition of the largest Hungarian natural distribution system operator company;
  • the implementation of an innovative digital consumer product for a large Hungarian energy company that will provide a state-of-the-art digital experience for customers. The project raised novel and complex energy regulatory, consumer protection, data protection and digitalisation issues, which had not been dealt with previously in Hungary.

Balázs has been with Kinstellar since 2005. He was promoted to Managing Associate in 2016 and to Counsel in 2018. His exceptional expertise, professionalism and attitude have contributed significantly to the success and high-quality service of the Tier 1 Energy & Natural Resources team and practice in Hungary. Balázs is ranked in Band 3 by Chambers Europe and is recognised as a Rising Star by Legal 500 and IFLR 1000. Clients describe him as "very accurate, quick and solution-orientated" and someone who “understands the merit of the case very quickly” and who has “a practical business-oriented approach”.

COUNSELS

Tomáš Melišek, Bratislava

Tomáš has more than 12 years of experience in banking and finance, focusing on project and acquisition financing, as well as on financial regulations. He heads the Banking & Finance practice of our Bratislava office.

Tomáš has substantial experience advising clients on financing significant transactions in the areas of real estate, energy, infrastructure,  automotive, media, and technologies. His experience includes leading teams of lawyers involved in the sale of several banks and insurance companies.

His recent experience includes advising:

  • OTP BANK, a Hungary-based regional financial group, on all aspects of the sale of its 99.44% stake in its Slovak operations to the Belgian KBC Group;
  • GLP, a major global investment management firm, on the Slovak law aspects of a financing provided by a syndicate of banks in connection with the acquisition of Goodman's CEE logistics business;
  • A SYNDICATE OF INTERNATIONAL BANKS led by UNICREDIT BANK and including Tatra banka, ČSOB and HYPO-BANK Burgenland, on a EUR 175 million club loan provided to HB Reavis for the construction of the mixed-use Nivy Station (Stanica Nivy) development in Bratislava;
  • UNICREDIT BANK on the refinancing of the largest group of photovoltaic power plants in Slovakia.

Tomáš joined Kinstellar in 2011 as a Junior Associate and was promoted to Managing Associate in 2019. He graduated from the Comenius University in Bratislava and was awarded the degree Doctor of Law in 2011. His background includes working as an in-house lawyer at one of the leading banks in Slovakia and as a lawyer in the Prague office of a “Magic Circle” international law firm.

Tomáš is regularly recommended by the leading international directories. In the most recent edition of Chambers Europe he earns reviews among interviewees for his "ability to use a wide range of knowledge in the interest of his clients", as well as for his "understanding of the client's practical and commercial needs."  In the 2020 edition of Legal 500 he is singled out as ‘’having a problem-solving attitude and straight-to-the-point legal advice and being very flexible in terms of timing.’’  He is further praised as a ‘’rare expert; always willing and able to find a suitable solution for his client who can argue even before the counterparty’‘.

Alexandru Mocănescu, Bucharest

Alexandru has more than six years of experience in real estate matters. Prior to dedicating his full focus to the real estate sector, he gained several years of experience working as a competition law and litigation lawyer.

Since committing all his efforts to real estate Alexandru has worked as a key contact for numerous clients, personally handling matters as diverse as due diligence, leasing, transaction documentation, asset management matters and communication with public authorities.

With a full-time MBA from HEC Paris (with a specialisation in corporate finance), he also brings significant expertise to commercial matters. Alex continued his real estate education with an additional course in Real Estate Economics and Finance at the London School of Economics.

His recent experience includes advising:

  • A joint venture of the London-based RESOLUTION PROPERTY, a major property fund and part of the Chinese giant Fosun, and ZEUS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, a leading international real estate investment and asset management firm, on the successful acquisition of Floreasca Park, Bucharest, one of the largest office transactions in Romania in 2020, with a total value of more than EUR 100 million;
  • LION’S HEAD INVESTMENTS, a joint venture controlled by the property division of Old Mutual, South Africa’s largest insurance company and owner of income-producing commercial properties in CEE, on the acquisition of Oregon Park Bucharest, an office project comprising three buildings, from Portland Trust;
  • LOGICOR, a pan-European logistics giant, as sell-side counsel, on the attempted sale of its Romanian portfolio consisting of several income-producing assets together with a substantial land bank valued more than EUR 100 million, as well as on all day-to-day matters of Logicor Group in Romania;
  • DEDEMAN on its joint venture for the roll-out of a logistics platform with ELEMENT INDUSTRIAL and on the subsequent sale of Eli Park 1, an industrial park located in northern Bucharest;
  • ADVAL ASSET MANAGEMENT, a leading Romanian property manager, on the sale of its Cascade Office building in Bucharest, a class A office building with a total area of 4,300 m2, to the regional property fund Globe Trade Center (GTC), and on the sale of Media Center, a 9,600 m2 facility housing one of Romania’s leading newspapers, including its office and printing facilities, as well as on all day-to-day matters of Adval Group in Romania.

Alex joined Kinstellar in 2015 as a Knowledge Lawyer. He joined the ranks of fee earners as a Managing Associate in 2017.

Nina Tsifudina, Sofia

Nina has over 13 years of experience advising on large international transactions. She is counsel to local and multinational companies on a wide range of commercial matters and cross-border deals, reorganisations and market-entry strategies with a focus on the TMT, pharma and financial services sectors. She also represents private equity and venture capital firms on acquisitions, disposals and restructurings, as well as portfolio companies on all corporate matters.

Nina is highly experienced in all employment aspects of multi-jurisdictional transactions and often takes the lead in high-profile TUPE transactions, share sales and the outsourcing/offshoring arrangements of her clients. Her expertise further extends to labour regulations, restructurings, senior executive severance, complex contentious matters, harassment and discrimination claims.

Her recent experience includes advising:

  • GTT COMMUNICATIONS on the sale of its infrastructure business to I Squared Capital for USD 2.15 billion; Nina coordinated the divestment of the infrastructure business across seven jurisdictions in Central and Eastern Europe;
  • KBC GROUP on the EUR 610 million acquisition of United Bulgarian Bank and Interlease leasing company in Bulgaria, as well as on the acquisition of NN’s Bulgarian pension insurance and life insurance businesses, for a total consideration of EUR 77.7 million;
  • STADA ARZNEIMITTEL on the acquisition of Walmark, including post-closing restructuring and integration; Nina coordinated the employment integration, including the transfer of employees and redundancies and mass dismissals across nine jurisdictions;
  • FOCUSVISION, an EQT portfolio company, on various corporate and employment matters in Bulgaria;
  • SILVERSMITH CAPITAL PARTNERS, a growth equity investment firm based in Boston, on Appfire’s acquisition of Botron Software (a Bulgarian-based global software company providing new-generation ALM tools).

Nina joined Kinstellar as a Senior Associate at the launch of our Sofia office in 2014 and was promoted to Managing Associate in 2016. She is regularly praised by clients and peers in legal directories. In the 2021 edition of Chambers Global, clients describe her as "responsive and detail-oriented" and one impressed client praises her flexibility, adding that: 'She reacts quickly'.

 

Patrik Bolf, Firm Managing Partner comments: ''On behalf of the Partners and the entire firm, I congratulate them all! They are outstanding individuals, invaluable and trusted advisers to our clients, and I look forward to working with them—and the wider team—to build a successful firm. I thank them for their dedication, commitment, hard work and team spirit and wish them the best of luck in their new roles!’’

For more information please contact Adela Ene, at

e-mail

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