Wolf Theiss and Spain's Uria Menendez have advised Spain's Glovo on its EUR 170 million acquisition of Delivery Hero's food delivery service businesses in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Croatia. Cuatrecasas advised Delivery Hero.
Akin Gump, Bogdanovic, Dolicki & Partneri, Maric & Co, Isailovic & Partners, Harrisons, Zdolsek Attorneys at Law, Boga & Associates, Popovski & Partners, and Forgo Damjanovic & Partners have advised Croatian conglomerate Fortenova Grupa d.d., on the EUR 615 million sale of its frozen food business to Nomad Foods. Norton Rose Fulbright, Lakatos, Koves & Partners, and five firms from the SEE Legal alliance advised Nomad Foods on the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.
In our legal work in Montenegro, CMS has been engaged in a number of major mergers & acquisitions, representing both buyers and sellers, including Monte Rock’s acquisition of HIT Montenegro in connection with the Hotel Maestral in Budva-Przno, the Delhaize Group’s acquisition of food retailer Delta Maxi, KKR’s acquisition of SBB/Telemach Group, and OTP Bank’s acquisition of Societe Generale Montenegro.
The economy of Montenegro was severely impacted by the breakup of Yugoslavia into its constituent parts. In order to jump start its economy, calculated and efficient measures had to be undertaken. One of these measures was selecting a stable foreign currency as its own: first the Deutschmark (which was used in parallel with the Yugoslav dinar from 1999 to 2000), then, later, the Euro. This paved the path for economic growth and the creation of an open market, more welcoming to investors.
"The most important development in Montenegro is the recent change in government,” says Marko Ivkovic, Senior Lawyer at the Prelevic Law Firm in Podgorica, referring to the August 2020 victory of opposition parties and the fall from power of the DPS party, which had ruled the country since the introduction of the multi-party system in 1990.
By adopting the new Company Act on 11 July 2020 (the “Act”), Montenegro made a big leap in the area of Corporate Law, although “big leap” maybe isn’t a phrase strong enough to describe the number of changes the Montenegrin Corporate Law went through, having in mind that the new Company Act is three times more extensive compared to the previous one.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Western Balkans right during a period of accelerating economic activity and a promising economic outlook for 2020. The rapid spread of the virus forced the governments of the Western Balkans countries to introduce protective measures, lockdowns, and temporary business shutdowns. These restrictions had a devastating direct economic impact on a wide range of sectors – particularly the hospitality and transport industries – and the measures had many indirect side effects that significantly decreased economic activity.
“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.”
Montenegro first introduced a State aid control framework in 2011 in preparation for initiating the EU accession process. Almost ten years later, as the candidate country currently furthest along its accession journey, Montenegro has largely harmonized its State aid framework with the EU acquis. Still, the current level of enforcement and transparency leave a lot of room for improvement.