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Karanovic & Nikolic Achieves Conditional Clearance for SBB Takeover of IKOM

Karanovic & Nikolic Achieves Conditional Clearance for SBB Takeover of IKOM

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Karanovic & Nikolic has successfully obtained conditional Serbian Competition Commission clearance for SBB's takeover of IKOM.

K&N describes the consolidation of leading cable operators in Belgrade as representing "a landmark case for the Serbian authority and is related to global trends in consolidation of cable network operators, which fosters the investments necessary for improvements to network infrastructure and competition with IPTV, OTT, and satellite content providers." K&N claims that "the merger provided an opportunity for the Commission to investigate the workings of the Serbian telecom sector in detail, especially in relation to fixed telephony, broadband Internet and the distribution of media content."

SBB is a Serbian private telecom operator and provider of digital and analogue cable television, broadband Internet, and fixed telephony. The company is a part of the regional United Group, active across the former Yugoslavia. Since 2014, United Group is majority-owned by the global investment fund KKR. IKOM is one of the major cable operators in Serbia, active on the market for ten years, providing digital and analogue cable television, broadband Internet, and fixed telephony to subscribers predominantly located in Serbia's capital, Belgrade.

In the final decision, K&N reports, SBB has agreed to divest network infrastructure overlapping with IKOM, report to the Commission on pricing changes, and offer IKOM's subscribers specific commercial terms for future cooperation.

The Karanovic & Nikolic team was led by Managing Partner Rastko Petakovic, Partner Bojan Vuckovic, and Veljko Smiljanic, attorney at law in cooperation with Karanovic & Nikolic.

Editor's Note: After this article was published, JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic announced that it had advised the sellers ("3 SPVs ultimately owned by 3 individuals, who were the owners of IKOM") on SBB's takeover of I.KOM.

Partners Marko Jovkovic and Jelena Gazivoda led the JPM team advising on the M&A process, while Partner Nikola Poznanovic advised on Competition law aspects of the transaction.

JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic at a Glance

The oldest full service commercial law firm in Serbia, founded in 1991, JPM with three decades of experience in assisting local and international businesses presence and growth not only in Serbia but throughout the SEE region.

We have accumulated a wealth of knowledge in every industrial and corporate sector, from energy to banking, transport, manufacturing and telecommunications, while remaining true to a pioneering spirit that has always drawn us to follow the latest trends and developments in providing of our services to clients. Today we use the latest legal tech available in serving our clients and are expanding our services to clients from growing industries such as renewable energy, IT and life sciences, by offering innovative solutions and a pro-active approach to broaching new grounds.

Our expertise, experience, and commitment to professional excellence mean we are routinely involved in landmark cases and transactions, while our high standing among clients and peers sees us ranked among the leading law firms by independent guides such as Chambers & Partners, Legal 500, and IFLR1000.

We are known for working closely with clients and treating their problems as our own. Our lawyers pride themselves on being team players, fast and available, specialised in terms of practice area and industry, but versatile and creative in their thinking. We believe our advice should be tailor-made and that even the thorniest issue has a legal solution.

Our membership of Lex Mundi (the world’s premiere network of independent law firms) and the TLA (a regional alliance of leading firms from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) means we have close working relationships with first-rate firms throughout the region and around the world, enabling us to operate as the perfect hub for SEE and other multi-jurisdictional transactions.

Firm's website: http://jpm.rs/