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Insights May 2024

Exclusive distribution agreements in the pharma sector in focus of the Serbian Competition Authority  

In Serbia, most of the exclusivity arrangements between pharma companies need to be, prior to their implementation, individually exempt by the Serbian Competition Authority (“SCA”). Most recently, the SCA issued two decisions in the individual exemption process. In one it denied, while, in the other it only conditionally approved individual exemptions for exclusive distribution agreements between pharmaceutical companies. These developments show a noticeable shift in the SCA’s stand towards exclusivity arrangements with the SCA taking a stringent approach, limiting the parties' ability to contract exclusivity arrangements in the sector. Below we provide an overview of the individual exemption application requirement

Insights March 2024

Coffee industry leaders face EUR 2 million fine and secure a conditional merger before Serbian Competition Authority

On 29 February 2024, the Serbian Competition Authority (the “SCA”) published two detailed decisions involving two largest undertakings on the Serbian coffee market. The first one relates to concerted practices that resulted in a joint fine of approximately EUR 2 million, while the other one relates to the conditional approval of the acquisition of Strauss Adriatic by Atlantic Group. As per data released by the SCA, these two enterprises collectively h approximately 70% to 80% of the coffee market in Serbia, boasting a portfolio that includes the most significant coffee brands in the region. In 2021, the SCA conducted a sectorial analysis encompassing various food markets, including a specific focus on the ground coffee

Insights February 2024

A year in review: A brief analysis of the Serbian banking sector in 2023

As of the close of 2022, Serbia's banking sector faced challenges amid global economic conditions. The year 2023 brought its distinct set of obstacles, with a noteworthy slowdown in global inflation compared to the last quarter of 2022. However, the undeniable focal point is the war in Ukraine, triggering a faster inflationary spiral due to increased energy and food prices. Key mergers and acquisitions In 2020, Komercijalna Banka, the largest state-owned Serbian bank, was acquired by Slovenian NLB Banka, leading to the merger of NLB Banka and Komercijalna Banka into NLB Komercijalna Banka. Vojvodjanska Banka was acquired by Hungarian OTP Bank, followed by OTP Bank's acquisition of Societe Generale Bank. In 2021

Deals February 2024

Kinstellar advises banking consortium on Telekom Srbija’s tower deal

Kinstellar’s team in Serbia, together with global law firm Paul Hastings, has successfully advised Deutsche Bank, Alpha Bank, UniCredit, and UniCredit Bank Serbia on a EUR 205 million financing for global investment firm Actis in relation to their acquisition of a carved-out tower portfolio from Telekom Srbija, a leading telecommunications operator in the Central and Eastern European (“CEE”) region. The carved-out portfolio is comprised of approximately 1,800 macro towers across Serbia, Bosnia & Hercegovina, and Montenegro.   Kinstellar’s team, led by Petar Kojdić (Partner) and Mina Srećković (Managing Associate), played a pivotal role advising on the financing aspects of this transaction. Our

Deals January 2024

Kinstellar advises Evelixon Trading in two transactions in the Serbian wind power sector

Kinstellar advised Evelixon Trading Limited on the acquisition of a 100% share in the project company Grand Wind Park from Windvision Serbia Holding. The project, known as the WN NBT WIND 1 wind farm, is currently in the early stages of development. Located in the city of Pančevo, the farm is planned to have an installed power capacity of 120 MW. Evelixon Trading Limited has a few projects in their portfolio in Serbia in the early stages of development or nearing "ready-to-build" status. Kinstellar’s team provided comprehensive legal advice throughout the transaction – performing a legal due diligence, drafting the transaction documents - including the SPA, and assisting with the signing and closing processes.

Insights January 2024

Kinstellar contributes to International Employment Lawyer's Guide to Restructuring a Cross-Border Workforce

Kinstellar is delighted to have contributed to IEL’s Guide to Restructuring a Cross-Border Workforce 2023. In 2023, cross-border restructurings increased significantly – a trend that is expected to persist in early 2024. But conducting the process fairly, and thoroughly, poses a distinct set of hurdles for multinationals. The global guide examines and provides, across 45 jurisdictions, clear answers to the key questions facing employers when conducting a restructuring, under the following areas: Reduction in workforce Restructuring/Re-or ganisation of the business Changing terms and conditions Areas to watch Kinstellar employment team covered the following jurisdictions:

Insights January 2024

The AI Act – EU’s First Artificial Intelligence Regulation

In a ground-breaking move, on 8 December 2023, the European Parliament officially reached a provisional agreement with the Council on the AI act. With this agreement, the European Union has implemented the world's first comprehensive regulation on artificial intelligence, known as the AI Act. This landmark regulation is now in it’s final stage of implementation, as it still needs to be formally adopted by the Parliament and the Council. The AI Act aims to safeguard the well-being and fundamental rights of EU citizens, setting a precedent for global AI governance. In April 2021, the European Commission proposed the first European Union ("EU") regulatory framework for artificial intelligence ("AI"). The main objective

News January 2024

Kinstellar appoints new Sector and Service Line Heads and Head of German Desk

Kinstellar supports professional growth by offering a broad range of career development opportunities for our team, including the role of sector/service line head or co-head. We provide growth opportunities to all of our talented lawyers with the relevant experience and an outstanding track record. We are delighted to announce the following appointments: Csilla Andrékó, Partner in our Budapest office, is the Co-Head of the firm-wide Banking & Finance Service Line. Csilla is one of the founders of the Firm and the former Managing Partner of the Budapest office. Csilla also served as the head of the regional Banking & Finance and Restructuring & Insolvency Service Lines. She retired from active practice

Deals December 2023

Kinstellar advises Chinese investors on Serbian wind farm venture

Kinstellar has successfully advised Chinese investors CMC Capital, a member of China National Technical Import and Export Corporation group (“CNTIC”), and Shanghai Electric Power & Energy Development Limited (“SEP”) on the acquisition of 100% of the shares in Crni Vrh Power d.o.o., a project company developing a 150 MW onshore wind farm in the eastern Serbian municipalities of Bor, Žagubica, and Majdanpek. The Crni Vrh wind farm was purchased "ready-to-build"—which means that all essential permits and land rights were secured prior to the start of the construction phase, which includes 28 wind turbines. With this acquisition, CNTIC and SEP have entered Serbia’s renewable energy sources (RES)

Deals December 2023

Kinstellar advises AIK Banka on the acquisition of Eurobank Direktna in Serbia

Kinstellar has successfully advised AIK Banka on the competition law aspects of the EUR 280 million acquisition of 100% of Eurobank Direktna Beograd. The transaction closed in November upon receiving the necessary regulatory approvals, including competition clearances. AIK Banka is a prominent financial institution with a strong presence in the banking sector. Committed to excellence and strategic growth, AIK Banka's recent acquisition strengthens its position as a key player on the Serbian market.The acquisition of Eurobank Direktna represents a significant milestone, underscoring the consolidation trend within Serbia's banking sector and is one of the largest transactions of this kind in the sector. Kinstellar's

Deals November 2023

Kinstellar advises PowerChina on the acquisition of a 300 MW wind farm in Serbia

Kinstellar has successfully advised PowerChina on the acquisition of a majority shareholding interest (51%) in Vetrozelena, a project company developing a 300 MW wind farm in Serbia under a RtB (ready to build) model. The Vetrozelena project is a 48-turbine wind farm located in Pančevo, in the autonomous province of Vojvodina in the northern part Serbia. The deal, which was signed in April 2023 and closed in November 2023, is currently the largest acquisition in the Serbian renewables sector. With this transaction, PowerChina further broadens its worldwide reach by entering the Serbian renewable energy sector. The seller was CWP Europe, a joint venture between the renewable energy investor CWP Global and the

Insights October 2023

Cannabis use: CEE regulatory update

Significant changes in the regulation of cannabis use have occurred in some countries in Central and Eastern Europe since our last report. In addition to a number of countries gradually legalising the use of cannabis for medical purposes, increasing efforts by some countries are being seen to also legalise the use of cannabis for recreational use, as well as the use of other products containing various cannabinoids, most importantly cannabidiol (CBD). Click here to read a summary of recent changes related to the national regulation of this rapidly growing sector across Central and Eastern Europe. For any other details or information, please contact Tomáš Čihula, Partner. Contributors: