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Steady M&A activity in Slovenia provides a stream of instructions for law firms, with various notable transactions in the past 12 months, such as the record $1bn sale of Outfit 7 to a consortium of investors from Asia, represented by United Luck Group Holdings. Real estate is another key area of activity for firms, and with several ongoing greenfield investments, transaction financing mandates are keeping many practices busy. In mid-2017, the planned IPO of the country’s largest bank, Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), was abandoned, and with talks with the EC ongoing, the future of the transaction remains unclear.

The ‘sensible and commercially minded’ team at Jadek & Pensa provides ‘very fast response times’. It regularly handles high-profile M&A transactions and advised The Gores Group on its agreement to sell Fotona Holdings to AGIC Capital. Headline real estate work includes assisting Greenbay Properties with its €55m purchase of the Planet Tuš Koper shopping mall. For banking and finance, the team advised BNY Mellon as GDR depositary bank on the (now aborted) IPO of up to 51% of Slovenia’s largest bank, NLB. Managing partners Jure Levovnik, Srečo Jadek, and Pavle Pensa are ‘very experienced’. Andraž Jadek is ‘very able’; Simon Gabrijelčič is ‘an excellent communicator’; Ožbej Merc is noted for insolvency matters; and Eva Gostiša and Aleksandra Jemc Merc handle IP mandates.

Law Firm Kavčič, Bračun & Partners, o.p, d.o.o. impresses with its ‘knowledge’ and ‘responsiveness’, and provides ‘tailored advice’, particularly across competition, corporate and M&A, restructuring and finance instructions. Simon Bračun has ‘strong negotiation skills’ and Matej Kavčič is ‘outstanding on competition mandates’. Aleksandra Mitić and Igor Angelovski, who were promoted to partner in 2016, are also noted. Senior associate Rok Jerovšek has ‘huge potential’.

ODI Law Firm is ‘outstanding on M&A transactions’ and is ‘capable of managing the most complex restructuring cases’. Highlights included advising six syndicated banks on the €115m refinancing of Unior, and assisting Eastern Horizon Group Netherlands with the €200m privatisation of Cimos. Uroš Ilić has the ‘ability to find appropriate solutions in areas that seem insoluble’ and Matjaž Jan is ‘a first-rate negotiator’. At senior associate level, Lea Peček, who heads the corporate team, M&A team head Katarina Škrbec, litigation specialist Daniela Sindičič, competition group head Lea Vatovec, banking and finance head Suzana Bončina Jamšek, and tax head Ivo Grlica are noted.

Law firm Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners o.p., d.o.o. has ‘exceptional lawyers with a very broad spectrum of experiences and specialisations’. Sergej Omladič is advising Magna Steyr on a potential greenfield investment in Slovenia and David Premelč is acting for Elektrogospodarstvo Slovenije Razvoj in inženiring d.o.o. and HSE in a €700m ICSID investment treaty arbitration with Bosnia and Herzegovina. IP head Matija Testen is ‘quick thinking’; Robert Prelesnik heads the real estate team; Matic Novak is ‘outstanding’; senior counsel Barbara Gerbec Rozman leads the employment team; and Tomaž Ilešič heads the competition practice. Managing partners Aleš Rojs, who has ‘a fantastic reputation’, and Grega Peljhan, who heads the corporate and commercial team, are ‘outstanding’.

Odvetniki Selih & partnerji has ‘strong connections to international legal networks which provide a cross-border reach’. Headline deals included advising a group of Asian investors represented by United Luck Group Holdings on the $1bn acquisition of Outfit 7, and handling Zara Holdings’ acquisition of its six franchisees in Slovenia. Head of banking and finance, IP, and corporate Nina Šelih has ‘very good negotiating skills’; M&A and competition team head Nataša Pipan Nahtigal has ‘great knowledge and experience’; Helena Butolen heads the energy team; Gregor Simoniti leads the public procurement and litigation department; and Darja Miklavčič heads the employment team. Other names to note include the ‘highly rated’ Mia Kalaš; the ‘very knowledgeable’ Blaž Ogorevc; and Tilen Terlep, who is ‘experienced’. Senior associate Jera Majzelj has ‘great communication skills’.

CMS is praised for its ‘cross-industry knowledge’ and handles a range of M&A, corporate, banking and finance, real estate, tax, employment and dispute resolution matters. Corporate and M&A team head Aleš Lunder advised a consortium of major stakeholders under the lead of Slovenian Sovereign Holding and Bank Asset Management Company on the €160m Cimos privatisation process. In 2017 the ‘exemplaryDunja Jandl, who heads the litigation and real estate teams, re-joined the firm along with new hire Maja Žgajnar, who has ‘a strong understanding of the financial drivers of deals’ and heads the banking and finance, and employment departments; both joined from Schoenherr Slovenia.

Local lawyers in cooperation with Karanović & Nikolić’s ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ team is praised for its international network, and particularly stands out for its banking and finance, and M&A expertise. Headline matters include advising Pine River Capital Management on the €396m purchase of an NPL portfolio and handling KJK Fund II’s acquisition of shares in Kovinoplastika Lož. Key names include Jaka Simončič, Ermina Kamenčić and ‘excellent’ office head Marko Ketler.

At Schoenherr Slovenia, highlights included advising Telekom Slovenije (TS) on the settlement of its contractual ties with IZI mobil, and assisting TS with the tender for a nationwide truck tolling system in Slovenia. The group also advised Kansai Paint on the €680m acquisition of the Helios Group. Managing partner Bojan Brežan is ‘first-rate’; co-managing partner Eva Škufca heads the EU and competition and IP departments; Marko Prušnik heads the corporate and M&A department; and Vid Kobe is noted for corporate finance, M&A and insolvency mandates. Maja Žgajnar joined CMS and Petra Smolnikar recently left the firm.

Ulčar & partnerji d.o.o. is active across corporate, commercial and labour law mandates and is particularly stands out for its restructuring and M&A expertise. Highlights included advising Palladio Finanziaria on the €200m acquisition of Cimos, and assisting Nova KBM with the acquisition of Summit Leasing Slovenija. Managing partner Matjaž Ulčar is ‘extremely commercial’, and Klemen Tičar and Brigita Kraljič are also key names. Maja Menard left the firm in 2017.

Wolf Theisscan combine an international approach with local expertise’. The team specialises in banking and finance, corporate, real estate, employment, competition, IP, IT, regulatory and dispute resolution, and, for one client, is ‘an absolute leader in M&A’. It is advising an affiliate of York Capital Management on the restructuring of Sava. Office co-heads Markus Bruckmüller, who is also a partner in the firm’s Vienna office, and Laura Štruc, provide ‘client-oriented solutions’. Klemen Radosavljević and Klara Miletič are also names of note.

Fabiani, Petrovic, Jeraj, Rejc attorneys-at-law is praised for its ‘systematic and structured’ approach. Highlights included advising BIA Separations on restructuring and insolvency matters, and the firm also handles a range of transactional mandates for Alpe – Panon. Managing partner Jernej Jeraj heads the employment team, and also jointly heads the corporate and M&A department alongside Tomaž Petrovič. Boštjan Rejc has ‘broad experience in the energy sector’ and leads the real estate and IP teams. Luka Fabiani heads the dispute resolution practice.

Headline work for Law Firm Miro Senica and Attorneys, Ltd. includes advising Slovenian start-up Creatricks and Austrian fund Speedinvest II International on the latter’s €550m investment in the start-up. The group is also acting for T-2 in a competition dispute with TS. Managing partner Uroš Čop is ‘first rate’ and founding and managing partner Miro Senica’s ‘strength lies in his ability to act as a strategic leader’. Mojca Muha is ‘very efficient’, Ljuba Zupančič Čokert is ‘highly experienced’ and Katarina Kresal is ‘brilliant’.

At Law firm Sibinčič Križanec, the ‘enthusiastic and talented’ team represented T-2 in bankruptcy proceedings before the constitutional court and is also handling M&A and restructuring issues for Httpool Holdings. Corporate and M&A team head Jan Sibinčič is ‘deal oriented’ and Uroš Križanec, who leads the corporate litigation department, has ‘great negotiation skills’. Jure Medak left the firm.

Law firm Zaman and partners Ltd. is ‘exceptional for insolvency matters’ and also handles corporate, finance and banking instructions. Firm founder Marko Zaman has ‘strong analytical skills and a great ability to grasp the big picture’.

First-rate’ firm Zdolsek Attorneys at law handles a range of corporate and commercial, litigation, competition and state aid matters, as well as white-collar cases. The team is advising Abanka on the sale of NPLs totalling €246m. Managing partner Stojan Zdolsek is noted.

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