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Back in September 2020, the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Commission”), following an internal review of the market dynamics and dawn raids at key players, initiated a formal investigation against three major undertakings active in both wholesale and retail of consumer electronics – Roaming Electronics d.o.o., Tehnomanija d.o.o. and Comtrade Distribution d.o.o. The Commission had, per publicly available pricing information and upon review of comparative practice, cited concerns that the undertakings involved were acting in concert, as well by potentially enforcing a resale price maintenance policy.

Karanovic & Partners has advised precious and base metals explorer Adriatic Metals on the acquisition of the remaining 90% of the shares in Ras Metals, which holds exploration licenses for former silver-zinc-lead mines Kizevak and Sastavci, from Bulgaria-based Cuprum LTD and an unidentified Serbian individual. NKO Partners advised the sellers on the deal.

The beginning of Q4 in Serbia is marked by the delayed formation of the new Government. Not much is expected to change in the political course as the ruling progressive party has strengthened its position and the Government will be led by the same Prime Minister. This means continuity and stability, although the new-old Government will not have an easy task, considering global developments with the pandemic.

At one of the last sessions, the Serbian Parliament adopted amendments to the tax laws governing the taxation of companies and natural persons, as well as general tax procedures. The main driver for the reform was the introduction of the taxation regime for digital assets and open-end and alternative investment funds.

BDK Advokati has advised Frontier Pharma and the Baystone investment group on the acquisition of Zdravlje Leskovac, a Serbian pharmaceutical company owned by Actavis, which is itself a subsidiary of Israel's Teva. Karanovic & Partners advised the sellers on the deal, which is expected to close in March of 2021.

Clifford Chance has advised the Aricoma Group on the acquisition of the Seavus technology company. Karanovic & Partners’ North Macedonian office provided advice pertaining to the local side of the transaction in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania. Seavus was reportedly advised by Bird & Bird's Stockholm office.

Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates has advised Pfizer on a global business combination with Mylan N.V. The transaction involved a spin-off of Pfizer’s Upjohn business and a subsequent merger of that business with Mylan N.V. to form a new global generics company, called "Viatris." Bird & Bird was global lead counsel to Pfizer, with Karanovic & Partners providing local support for Serbia and Jadek & Pensa providing local support in Slovenia. 

MPR Partners has helped J. Christof E&P Services S.R.L. and Christof Private Firefighting Services S.R.L. provide notification to Romanian and Serbian competition authorities of the economic concentration arising from OMV Petrom’s externalization of several operations and general surface services ancillary to extraction and production of petroleum as well as natural gas, together with the relevant assets and dedicated staff. D&B David and Baias and Karanovic & Partners provided advice to J. Christof E&P and Christof Private Firefighting Services.

“As much as we don’t want to deal mess with politics – it seems to be messing with us,” says Milena Roncevic Pejovic, Partner and Head of the Montenegrin practice at Karanovic & Partners. “Montenegro is waiting for the new government to form, and until that happens, everything is on hold, more or less.”

There is an interesting legal tool in the Competition Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina (originally adopted in 2005), that is seldom seen in other jurisdictions. Per the legal framework, the governing body of the local competition authority, the Competition Council, consists of six members appointed in order to reflect the complex ethnic structure of the country: two Bosnians, two Croats, and two Serbs.

It’s no secret that competition law across the Western Balkans has been greatly shaped by EU accession, with local developments regularly driven by EU practice and the EU’s regulatory framework.

Karanovic & Partners at a Glance

Who we are

Karanovic & Partners is a regional legal practice in Southeast Europe with tradition spanning two decades and cooperating offices in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. With more than 100 attorneys at law cooperating across the region, we take pride in our work, dedication and understanding of our clients' industries and needs.

What we do

We work with some of the most respected and reputable businesses in the world, banks, as well as governments, state-owned entities, startups and NGOs. We see our clients as long-term partners.

We focus on straightforward solutions and tailor-made advice. Lawyers cooperating with us are fully immersed in our clients’ culture and industry to ensure that the work is delivered intelligently and reliably.

What sets us apart?

In our company culture, excellence is a must. We are reliable, adaptive and fast.

Karanovic & Partners operates under the “one team” principle, combining our regional reach and local know-how to deliver coordinated legal advice necessary for achieving our clients’ goals.​

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Firm's website: https://www.karanovicpartners.com/