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Insights December 2022

Czech Republic: Major consumer-related amendment to the Civil Code and the Consumer Protection Act

On 6 January 2023, a so-called “major consumer-related amendment” to the Civil Code and the Consumer Protection Act will come into force. The amendment (the “Amendment”) significantly strengthens the position of consumers, responds to digital technologies and introduces a number of changes, in particular for businesses engaged in e-commerce. The Amendment also introduces significant fines for non-compliance with the new rules (in millions of Czech Crowns; in some instances up to 4% of total annual turnover). In this context, adapting purchasing processes and preparing the relevant legal documents will be critical (for instance terms and conditions, complaints procedure policies and information displayed on websites).

Insights December 2022

Cryptocurrency exchanges: how to choose a reliable one?

Investing in crypto assets is a high-risk activity. The existing structure of the crypto market, its supervision and its participants, is currently such that it cannot guarantee the security of funds, even for the customers of the best-known and, seemingly, best-protected exchanges. Given these inherent risks, there are several aspects that should be considered when choosing an exchange. In a recent interview with, a Ukrainian portal on finances and investments, Illya Muchnyk, Counsel in our Kyiv office, shared his views on possible ways to secure funds when investing in cryptocurrencies. Read the full article here (in Ukrainian only).

Deals December 2022

Kinstellar advises S IMMO AG on the expansion of its office portfolio in Budapest

Kinstellar is delighted to announce that it has once again successfully advised S Immo AG, a leading Vienna-listed real estate investor and developer, on the acquisition of six office properties in Budapest, from Immofinanz AG. The acquisition includes the following six buildings comprising around 124,000 m² of main usable space: Thirteen Globe, Thirteen Xenter, Greenpoint 7, Atrium Park, Haller Gardens and Szepvölgyi Business Park. Most of the properties are located in the strong office submarkets "Vaci Corridor" and "Central Pest".  The purchase price is based on the valuation of the property portfolio carried out by an external expert with a value of EUR 244.1 million as of 22 December 2022. The acquisition

Deals December 2022

Žurić i Partneri Kinstellar advises OTP banka d.d. on the financing for the acquisition of Fiziodent Polyclinic

Our team in Croatia has once again advised OTP banka d.d., this time on the financing for the acquisition of Fiziodent Polyclinic through the sale of a majority ownership stake to Adria Dental Group. Fiziodent operates two polyclinics in the Croatian capital, Zagreb, and employs a total of 40 employees. It was founded in 2003 and is the leading clinic in the field of transparent and mobile braces in the region.  OTP banka d.d. continues to support the growth of Adria Dental Group. As the largest dental group in Croatia and the wider region, Adria Dental Group now has more than 450 employees and 180 dental specialists and includes seven clinics and five laboratories in the cities of Zagreb, Solin, Rijeka and Poreč.

Deals December 2022

Kinstellar advises Kinnevik on its USD 185 million investment into Mews Systems

Kinstellar M&A and TMT specialists in the Czech Republic have successfully advised Swedish company Kinnevik Online AB on its investment into Mews Systems as part of a USD 185 million Series C financing round, which gives the company a post-financing valuation of USD 865 million. The Series C round was co-led by Kinnevik and the growth equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management and also included new backers Revaia, Derive Ventures and Orbit Capital, as well as previous investors Battery Ventures, Notion Capital, Thayer Ventures and henQ. Based in Prague and Amsterdam, Mews operates a leading property management and payments system designed to simplify and automate operations for modern hotels and

Deals December 2022

Kinstellar advises OTP Bank on the successful acquisition of Ipoteka Bank in Uzbekistan

Kinstellar is proud to have advised OTP Bank, Hungary’s largest commercial bank and one of the largest independent financial service providers in Central and Eastern Europe, on the successful acquisition of Uzbekistan’s fifth-largest bank, Ipoteka Bank, with an 8.5% market share, more than 1.6 million retail customers and a significant roster of corporate clientele. Having worked together previously on several successful transactions in Hungary and in the CEE region, OTP mandated Kinstellar to handle its first acquisition in Central Asia. The deal involved four Kinstellar offices: Hungary, Uzbekistan, Serbia and Ukraine. According to the sale and purchase agreement signed on 12 December 2022, OTP Bank will

Insights December 2022

Specifics of ultimate beneficiary owners filings in Ukraine

The requirement to file information on the ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs) of legal entities was introduced by the Law of Ukraine "On Prevention and Counteraction of Legalization (Laundering) of Criminal Proceeds, Financing of Terrorism and Financing of the Proliferation of Mass Destruction Weapons" dated 06.12.2019 No. 361-IX. With the start of the full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation and the introduction of martial law in Ukraine, the requirement to disclose information about UBOs was suspended. On 6 September 2022, Ukraine’s Parliament adopted the Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on Improving the Regulation of Ultimate Beneficial Ownership and the Ownership Structure of

Insights December 2022

End of UBO publicity?

As of 2020, European Union (“EU”) Member States are obliged to make details of ultimate beneficial owners (“UBOs”) of corporate and other legal entities available to the general public. However, in light of the recent decision of the Court of Justice of European Union (“the ECJ”), it is now questionable whether this obligation will remain. The requirement to make details of UBOs publicly available was introduced by Article 30 (5) of Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing (“the AML Directive”). The Member States are entitled to restrict public availability of details on UBOs under the AML Directive in the

Deals December 2022

Kinstellar advises Zoo Group Stefanov pet stores on its sale to A&M Capital Europe

Kinstellar Sofia has advised the owners of Zoo Group Stefanov LLC, operating the most popular pet store chain in Bulgaria, on their successful sale of the company to A&M Capital Europe, a European private equity fund. With 29 locations across Bulgaria and a well-established online store, the fast growing brand specialises in the supply of food and accessories for pets. The sale will enable Zoo Group Stefanov LLC to combine with the other pet store business owned by the purchaser in Bulgaria which will ensure its sustained growth in the future.  The Kinstellar team in Sofia was led by Atanas Mihaylov (Counsel), and included Nina Tsifudina (Partner), Nikolay Gergov (Associate), and Yasen Toshev (Junior Associate).

Setting up December 2022

Setting up operations in Bulgaria

Today’s uncertainties at the European Union’s eastern border have left companies questioning the safety of their people and the continuity of their operations in that part of the world. Businesses in the IT and BPO sectors that had found talent and growth opportunities in Ukraine and its neighbours are now rethinking their strategy and options to move operations across the border, either temporarily or permanently. Our team in Sofia has prepared a quick overview of the most important aspects that you need to consider if you decide to move your operations to Bulgaria. Download in English: Download in Ukrainian:

Deals December 2022

Žurić i Partneri (ŽiP) Kinstellar advises on the acquisition of Insite by Halcom

Our team in Croatia has advised former shareholders of Insite on the sale of shares to Halcom, a leading provider of innovative solutions for payment systems. Insite is an experienced and innovative supplier of CRM systems to the banking, insurance, and retail sectors. Their CRM solution has been successfully recognised for ten years by some of the largest European banks and retailers.   Halcom, as a division of Juniper Group, is part of the multinational group Constellation Software Inc. Halcom plays a leading role in developing payment systems in Central and South-Eastern Europe and ranks among the top providers of innovative and secure payment and financial services. The Kinstellar team in Zagreb

Insights December 2022

Compensations for energy prices in Slovakia

On 1 December 2022, the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic (“the Ministry”) published a call for the submission of applications for the provision of a subsidy to cover additional costs due to the increase in gas and electricity prices (“the Call”). The aim of the Call is to compensate qualifying companies and natural persons (entrepreneurs) for excessive energy prices in August and September 2022. In this article, we present an overview of the related key information. 1     Basis The Call was published in accordance with the state aid scheme approved by the European Commission under No. SA. 104846 under the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework (“the Scheme”). The Ministry