- Managing Partner: Assen A Djingov
- Senior partners: 15
- Number of lawyers: 48
- Languages: Bulgarian, English, French, German and Russian
Founded in 1994, it is one of the largest, oldest and most prominent independent business law firms in Bulgaria.
Main Areas of Practice:
Corporate / M&A:
The firm provides a full range of first-class legal services to domestic and international corporate clients on the establishment of all types of local operations and advises on all corporate governance related matters. Its recent transactions include advising Molson Coors Brewing Company on the acquisition of Starbev Holdings; Carlsberg Breweries on the acquisition of Shumensko Pivo and Pirinsko Pivo; KT&G on the privatisation tender for Bulgartabac Holding; ContourGlobal on the acquisition of Maritsa East III Thermal Power Plant; CallPoint New Europe in relation to EBRD financing; EnergoPro and the Czech Export Bank on the privatisation and operation of 33 MW hydro power cascade Sandanska Bistritsa; Deutsche Bank in the structuring and financing of the privatisation of three pharma companies; Mid Europa Partners Limited on a bid for a majority stake in Nova TV and bTV; Broadnet for structuring private equity investments in CableTEL; ArcelorMittal Limited for the contemplated acquisition of all of the assets of Kremikovtzi AD, Bulgaria’s largest steel producer within the frame of bankruptcy proceedings; ICN Pharmaceuticals, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Mondi Packaging, OTE International S.A., Refco, Capital Markets Ltd, SKF, BUNGE, Copenhagen Airports, Lukoil, etc.
Banking & Finance:
The firm consulted IFC, AIG, CAIB, MKB and State General Reserve Fund of Oman on the acquisition of shares in major Bulgarian banks; Nomura, Société Générale and KBC on the acquisitions of Bulgaria’s three largest banks; UBS, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays Bank, etc. on various regulatory matters; IFC and the EBRD on the first project finance deals in the country in the 90’s; BNP Paribas on the first Euro Bond issue for Sofia; on the only three reported and rated securitisations involving assets originated in Bulgaria. It advised the World Bank, EBRD, JBIC, BSTDB, KfW, Deutsche Bank, EIB, Dexia Komunalcredit, ProcreditBank, OTP and DSK Bank, Merrill Lynch, GTC Group on the financing of various infrastructure, construction and financial projects in Bulgaria.R ecently it advised a syndicate of banks lead by ING Bank N.V, Anheuser-Busch InBev; the acquisition of Cabletel and Eurocom by EQT, the financing of the Xella Group acquisition, etc.
Energy & Utilities:
The firm advised ABB, AES, the Bulgarian Government, Citibank and US Exim Bank, Contour Global, Czech Export Bank,E BRD, Edison Trade, Entergy, GE Power & Water, GDF Suez, Marubeni Europower, Rolls-Royce Power Ventures and RWE Power; CEZ, Chevron and Lukoil regularly on their local operations; GASELYS, Gazprom Marketing & Trading, J.P.Morgan Energy Europe and Merrill Lynch on energy trading matters; China Development Bank, Chinese Investment Corporation, Credit Suisse, Gamesa Energy, Iberdrola, Meinl, Mitsui & Co, Raiffeisen, Royal Bank of Scotland, Statkraft, TAQA,Toshiba and Verbund in a number of renewable energy projects. It advised Gazprom and MOL on gas pipeline projects, etc.
The firm advised Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Bunge and MasterCard Europe on competition regulatory issues. It advised Nokia, KBC Bank and Insurance Holding, Metro Cash and Carry Bulgaria in relation to antitrust investigations by the Commission for Protection of Competition and/or other antitrust compliance matters. It counseled Devnya Cement AD and Coca Cola Bulgaria in high profile anti-trust compliance investigations;Mittal Steel Company on the acquisition of control over Arcelor S.A.,Luxembourg;Carlsberg Breweries A/S on the acquisition of Shumensko Pivo and Pirinsko Pivo, Copenhagen Airports in merger control proceedings regarding the acquisition of concession rights overVarna and Bourgas Airports; CEZ before the Supreme Administrative Court on dominant position abuse proceedings, etc.
Real Estate & Construction:
The firm enjoys stellar reputation on the real estate market in Bulgaria and is renowned for its expertise in handling large-scale, complicated investment and real estate projects. It advised on the acquisition of TZUM,Sofia’s largest trade and office centre, and that of Sofia Radisson Blu, a Sofia landmark hotel; on a number of operating mall acquisitions - GE regarding Sofia Mall and Plovdiv Mall and Miller Developments (Scotland) regarding Varna Mall; on the acquisition, restructuring and development of nationwide petrol station networks – NIS Petrol and OMV Bulgaria; on land acquisition and construction and/or acquisition of residential, office, retail and mixed-use developments - Multi Development B.V., Orchid, Corio B.V., Edmond De Rothschild Private Equity Management Ltd., Arcapita Limited, Pirelli RE&C, State General Reserve of Oman, Deutsche Bank’s RREEF Real Estate Opportunity Fund, Kaiser’s Tengelmann, GTC. On large scale commercial real estate financings it advised OTP Bank, IFC, Bank Hapoalim, Piraeus Bank, etc.
The firm represented the investors consortium for the MobilTel acquisition – the largest M&A deal in CEE for 2004; PCCW on the acquisition of BTC; Magyar Telekom on the acquisition and subsequent sale of Orbitel – a Bulgarian alternative operator; TIM and Clearwire Europe,Nokia and Swisscom, VOXBONE, Google, VMware and Hewlett-Packard in their operations in Bulgaria. It is the local adviser for the global acquisition by ProSiebenSat.1 Media of SBS Broadcasting S.à.r.l.; advised Central Europe Media Enterprises and MidEuropa Partners on the few acquisition projects for Bulgaria’s second largest private TV channel and a satellite TV provider; ING for financing the acquisition of CableTEL and Eurocom Cable by a major European private equity fund; HTCC for the acquisition of a pan-European telecoms infrastructure company. Among its media clients are also Bloomberg, Handelsblatt, Sanoma, Reuters, Novator Partners, Turner Broadcasting, Zen Media, etc.
Arbitration & Litigation:
The firm represented Ciments Français in proceedings for recognition of foreign arbitral award; Inekon Group a.s. in ICC arbitration proceedings against Sofia municipality; Industrias Metálicas Agrícolas S.A in international arbitration proceedings under the Rules of the Arbitration Courtwith the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; CEZ Razpredelenie Bulgaria AD in preliminary reference proceedings before the European Court of Justice; Daikin Airconditioning Central Europe Handels on a procedure for issuance of European enforcement order; Carlsberg Bulgaria AD on a court case initiated by a former lessor’s claim; Depfa Bank in taking legal actions against a Bulgarian state-owned company for recovery of outstanding debt under a corporate bond issue, etc.
The firm advises clients from various industries on IP matters: Global Spirits & Wine Inc., owner of Maker’s Mark,Teacher’s, Jim Beam, Courvoisier; also Deutsche Telekom AG, Facebook Inc., Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions, Oracle America Inc., OTTO, Paramount Pictures International Ltd., Pierre Fabre S.A., RED BULL GmbH, J.C.Bamford, Carlsberg Bulgaria, etc.
Labour & Social Security:
The firm advises major labor and social security clients: Accor, Babcock Networks, ICON Clinical Research, BNP Paribas, CEZ, Carlsberg, Dell Europe, General Electric, Marks & Spencer Group, Merck KGaA, Palfinger, PepsiCo, SITEL, SKF, Temenos, etc.
The firm advises on a variety of tax issues Abbott Laboratories, AES, Barclays Bank PLC, Bloomberg, Central Europe Media Enterprises, Chevron, CEZ, Dow Jones Newswires, Lukoil, Michelin, MoneyGram Payment Systems, etc. Other main areas of specialisation include: Infrastructure and transport, environmental, workouts and insolvency, entertainment and sports.