Commercial, corporate and M&A in Bulgaria
Boyanov & Co. handles M&A deals for major international clients, such as Microsoft, Dundee Precious Metals, Mondelēz International and Amazon, and major national banks, such as United Bulgarian Bank and Eurobank Bulgaria. Corporate and M&A practice head Yordan Naydenov focuses on reorganisation, green-field investment projects and regulatory matters in various industries; banking and finance head Damian Simeonov, who also handles complicated M&A deals, and senior associate Mihail Vishanin are also noted. Naydenov and Svetlina Kortenska advised the National Bank of Greece on the €610m sale of its Bulgarian subsidiary, United Bulgarian Bank, and the affiliated leasing company, Interlease.
The 'exceptionally business-orientated, calm, available and responsive' team at CMS assists on M&A deals in the CEE region across various sectors, including private equity, telecoms, media and communication, and retail. Sofia office managing partner Gentscho Pavlov co-heads the practice with 'competent, solid, calm and steady adviser' Atanas Bangachev, who specialises in privatisation, and recently promoted partner Dimitar Zwiatkow, who acts for a number of international banks, particularly those from Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The firm advised Hugo Pfohe on the competitive tender won by Sumitomo Corporation to sell Bulgarian-based car dealer Moto-Pfohe (the official dealer and distributor of Ford, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover in Bulgaria); this is the largest deal in the automotive sector in Bulgaria to date. Other clients include Johnson & Johnson and Burger King.
Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov advises on domestic and cross-border transactions in a range of sectors, including manufacturing, IT, banking and energy, and counts global companies such as Amazon, Dell and Lukoil among its clients. Zdravka Ugrinova, who advises on acquisitions, reorganisations and complex corporate matters, and Violetta Kunze head the team, and senior associate Valentin Bojilov is also noted. The team advised on the €100m acquisition of Bulgartabac, the leading Bulgarian cigarette maker, by British American Tobacco; Kunze assisted with the due diligence process, the preparation of transaction documents and the negotiations.
Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) provides cross-border corporate and commercial advice and often acts on high-profile transactions. Alexandra Doytchinova and Ilko Stoyanov are the key contacts; Stoyanov advises on multinational acquisitions and corporate restructurings, and Doytchinova recently acted for Norwegian mobile operator Telenor on the €2.8bn sale of its Bulgarian subsidiary to PPF, one of the highest-value transactions in this sector. Other clients include Husqvarna Group and Takeaway.com.
The 'highly professional' team at Wolf Theiss provides ‘constantly reliable advice’ and is ‘responsive and easy to deal with’; it handles both local corporate matters, such as the market entry of international companies into Bulgaria, corporate restructurings and M&A deals, and cross-border transactions, including the acquisition of foreign companies and various types of foreign investment. Key contacts include Anna Rizova; Bulgaria office founding partner Richard Clegg, who specialises in international infrastructure, telecoms and energy matters; and Katerina Kraeva, who advises on the mergers of listed and private companies, venture capital transactions, leveraged buyouts and corporate reorganisations. The team advised Sumitomo Corporation on the €62m acquisition of the Moto-Pfohe business in Bulgaria, including the Ford, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover brands.
Deloitte Legal Law Firm's M&A team is active in the energy, real estate, manufacturing, and food and beverages sectors. Managing partner Reneta Petkova and managing associate Kaloyan Yordanov head the team, which recently advised on the high-value cross-border acquisition of one of the largest office complexes in Bulgaria. Managing associates Zvezdelina Filova, Miglena Milcheva and Pavlin Stoyanoff, who recently joined from CMS, are also noted.
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co's ‘distinguished, competent, well-organised and highly responsible’ team advises clients including Philips, Fox Networks Group and Alpiq on joint ventures, M&A, the transfer of assets and shares, and outsourcing, among other matters. The ‘very positive’ Zoya Todorova, who specialises in complex cross-border transactions, and corporate and tax expert Boyana Milcheva are key contacts. In a recent highlight, Todorova, Milcheva and the ‘always accessible’ Hristo Nihrizov acted as local counsel to King & Wood Mallesons, acting on behalf of a foreign bidder, on a high-profile M&A transaction.
Dinova Rusev & Partners recently advised on deals in the food and beverage, mining, logistics and consumer goods sectors, among others. Major clients include Sephora, Marks & Spencer, McDonald's and 3M. Team head Anelia Dinova, who focuses on foreign investments, and Iliya Grozdanov, who has experience in structuring, drafting and negotiating various types of commercial agreements, are noted. Georgi Vladov advised an international private equity fund on the sale of one of the largest shopping centres in Sofia for €156m.
Georgiev, Todorov & Co delivers 'first-class service’ and has a ‘strong understanding of the market’; its lawyers 'are focused on helping clients instead of simply pointing out difficulties’. Senior partners Alexander Katzarsky and ‘exceptional professional’ Arno Mamasyan are key contacts, as is associate Tsvetelina Dimitrova, who ‘is a great team player with precise observation skills who catches every little detail’. The team regularly handles high-value cross-border matters, particularly in the banking and finance, telecoms and entertainment sectors, for clients including Hill Clinic, the Bulgarian Stock Exchange, Piraeus Bank and Dench eGaming Solutions.
Kambourov & Partners is noted for its 'exceptional knowledge and experience' and provides ‘prompt and high-quality' advice to domestic and international companies on management and compliance matters, M&A transactions, and corporate reorganisations and restructurings. Managing partner Vladimir Rangeloff, who covers M&A, corporate finance and foreign investments, and Veronika Hadjieva, who focuses on business separation, corporate structuring and privatisation, head the team, which also includes Ivo Alexandrov and Yonko Hristov. The firm recently advised private equity fund Francisco Partners on its acquisition of a majority stake in Bulgarian company Dynamo Software.
Kinstellar's 'competent' team provides 'spot-on advice' to clients in the banking, consumer goods, recruitment and hotel sectors, including major players such as Unilever, United Bulgarian Bank, the Adecco Group and Marriott, thanks to its ‘rich experience and expertise’. 'Exceptional professional' Diana Dimova heads the department; she and Prague office managing partner Lukas Ševčík represented a technology company in its high-value acquisition of a software business in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Managing associate Nina Tsifudina, who has a particular focus on cross-border transactions, is also noted. The team acted as local counsel to Unilever on the sale of its global spreads business to KKR for €6.8bn, which involved advising on the Bulgarian law aspects of the vendor due diligence and acquisition documents.
The 'well-prepared, trustworthy and profoundly knowledgeable' team at Penkov, Markov & Partners advises on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters, including high-profile M&A transactions, disposals, restructurings, and complex joint ventures. Chairman Vladimir Penkov; ‘the personally engaged and highly experienced’ Ivan Markov; recently promoted partner Alexander Stefanov; Atanas Valov; and the 'standout' Roman Stoyanov are key contacts. The ‘dedicated’ Milena Gaidarska advised on the €253m sale of the owner of the Paradise Center shopping mall in Sofia, the largest retail transaction on the Bulgarian market so far. Clients include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Integrated Food and Acronis.
Spasov & Bratanov advises on the establishment and management of companies, complex business sales, and other corporate matters such as M&A, reorganisations, privatisation, investigations and shareholder issues. The team’s clients are private, public and regulated entities, including private equity firms, banks and government institutions; among them are Alpha Bank, Citibank Europe, GeoPost and Bulgarian Energy Holding.
The team at Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski has ‘strong technical skills coupled with the ability to understand the client's goals in the context of the local business and regulatory environment’ and 'strives for excellence through creating original ideas and solutions' in corporate and commercial matters. Irina Tsvetkova, whose presence ‘provides comfort’ to clients, focuses on business restructuring, while the 'ambitious, hardworking and entrepreneurial-minded’ Venelin Dimitrov, who has 'a professional attitude, deep expertise and a business-oriented approach', combines M&A expertise with knowledge of antitrust and competition law and corporate finance. Iliya Komarevski advised Dr. Max, one of the largest pharmacy chains in the CEE region, on its high-value cross-border acquisition of A&D Pharma Group. The team also acts for major international clients, including Hilton, Mars and Siemens.
Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria
Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria acts on domestic and cross-border mandates in a range of sectors, including pharmaceuticals, insurance, energy and TMT, and counts Allianz, Communicorp, Bulvest Print and Sopharma among its clients. Commercial law specialist Andrey Delchev and Magdalena Valova, who is advising on a number of international commercial projects, as well as matters in the transport and infrastructure sectors, are key contacts.
Atanassov & Ivanov Law Firm
The 'strong' corporate practice is the cornerstone of Atanassov & Ivanov Law Firm; the team is noted for its ‘prompt responses, professionalism and risk assessment skills’ and ability to 'cover various legal areas and provide a personalised service tailored to the businesses of its clients’. The practice heads are ‘great facilitators of constructive and efficient decision making’: Stoyan Atanassov counts Nike and Salini Impregilo among his clients, while Iliyan Ivanov focuses on the energy sector, as well as acting for major retailers such as Dr. Oetker and Deichmann. The team assisted Michelin with the restructuring of its commercial operations in Bulgaria, and advised Toyota on the contractual framework to be applied to its distributors in Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia and Albania.
The ‘dedicated’ team at CasePro, which has ‘excellent communication and negotiation skills’, advised a number of foreign and domestic fintech and software companies on restructuring, equity investment and M&A transactions. The 'extremely co-operative, precise and hardworking’ Damyana Lazarova, who assists international financial and payment institutions in the online and mobile payments sector, and ‘fast thinker’ Spartak Yovchev are key contacts. Clients include Lufthansa Technik Sofia and Nova Broadcasting Group. In a recent highlight, Lazarova and Radost Doycheva advised SumUp Payments on entering into groundbreaking partnerships with European taxi app Withmytaxi and the Church of England.
Gugushev & Partners Law Office
Gugushev & Partners Law Office represents buyers, sellers, majority and minority owners, individual investors and private investment funds. The team is composed of ‘solid lawyers, with excellent analytical skills and the ability to formulate an effective strategy for each case’, and ‘its work ethic and quality of performance meet the highest international standards’. Managing partner Stefan Gugushev, who is ‘logical, analytical and has good judgement’, advises on both domestic and international corporate and M&A transactions, including tax issues. ‘Diligent and reliable’ corporate practice head Dimitrinka Metodieva acted for private Bulgarian venture capital fund Eleven, which provides money to entrepreneurs in the CEE region.
Hristov & Partners
Hristov & Partners has multiple international clients, including Gap, Bio Future and Spadel, as well as panel appointments for companies such as Iron Mountain, and advises on multi-jurisdictional, high-value and sensitive matters. The key contacts are Pavel Hristov and recently promoted partner Biliana Shagova, who has extensive experience in advising on commercial transactions in Bulgaria and Southeast Europe, with a particular specialism in the energy sector.
Kinkin & Partners advises on business planning and investment structuring. The team has an ‘exceptional business approach’; ‘it always investigates all the options to find the best solution and is quick to provide answers’. Team head Vladimir Kinkin; Adriana Nacheva; and senior associate Nikolay Radev are noted. The team recently advised a company in the agrochemical sector on a complicated and high-value restructuring.
Murgova & Partners Attorneys at Law's 'diverse skill set, passion to succeed and open-minded approach' are valued by its international and local clients in the automotive, IT, logistics and manufacturing industries, among others. Petya Murgova is ‘an exceptional leader, who is very inspirational, has a great approach to establishing long-term partnerships and is focused on maximising opportunities for the client', and team head Alexander Moskov is 'super diligent and creative, very fast in terms of turnaround times, and has great attention to detail’.
Velchev & Co. Law Office handles complex structured transactions for clients in the banking, telecoms, media, IT and transport sectors, including A1 Bulgaria, Port Bulgaria West and New Games. Managing partner Pavel Velchev prepared a due diligence report and advised Bulgarian-American Credit Bank on its second bid for 100% of the capital of Commercial Bank Victoria for €40m. Alina Ilieva is also noted.
Arsov Natchev Ganeva
Arsov Natchev Ganeva advises on the full range of corporate law matters, including selecting an appropriate business vehicle, incorporating subsidiaries and holding companies, and establishing joint ventures, and assists with M&A transactions. Stoil Hristov and Jivko Rokov head the team, which advised the Bulgarian subsidiary of US company Schreiber Foods, one of the world's largest dairy companies, on the purchase and installation of critical production equipment at the company's plant in Sofia and the expansion of its export capacities to the Middle and Far East markets. Long-term clients include Lidl, Swissport and Publicis Groupe.
BWSP Ilieva Voutcheva & Co Law Firm
BWSP Ilieva Voutcheva & Co Law Firm handles the full range of corporate transactional work, including domestic and international M&A, joint ventures and restructuring. Managing partners Diliana Ilieva, who focuses on M&A deals, project financing and the establishment of a business presence on the Bulgarian market, and Rossitsa Voutcheva, who specialises in inbound and outbound investments, are key contacts. The team advised Tessa Wind Golf Club on the amendment of existing shareholders' agreements related to a high-value development.
Dyulgerova & Penkova Law Firm
Dyulgerova & Penkova Law Firm provides advice on companies’ incorporation, transformation and termination; M&A transactions; and corporate structuring. The team has ‘in-depth knowledge of the area’ and is praised for its ‘professionalism, attention to detail and ability to meet short deadlines’. Victoria Penkova, who ‘handles very complex issues perfectly’, advised Turkish company Garanti Koza and its Bulgarian subsidiaries on day-to-day matters, including the amendment and termination of commercial agreements. Diana Milkova, who takes ‘an innovative approach, looking at issues from all possible points of view’, advises provides ongoing commercial advice to Adidas Bulgaria, and Bianca Veleva regularly acts for Credissimo, a leading Bulgarian financial institution granting consumer credits.
Kuyumdjieva and Vitliemov mainly advises investment funds and energy companies, including Empower Capital Fund, Odacio and River Styxx Capital. In a recent highlight, Pavel Vitliemov acted as local counsel to CEZ Bulgarian Investments (instructed by White & Case (Europe) LLP) on the acquisition of receivables.
Popov & Partners
Popov & Partners represents clients in M&A deals, company structuring and the establishment of franchise networks, and performs due diligence. Stanislav Nikolov is a key contact. Sibina Eftenova assisted Turkish company Odelo Farba Lighting Group with the incorporation of a subsidiary in Bulgaria and the expansion of its business following an investment of €37m.
Tocheva & Mandazhieva Law Office advises on the incorporation and registration of private and public entities; the drafting of shareholder agreements and documents relating to company termination; corporate management issues; and the negotiation of commercial agreements. Zhulieta Mandazhieva and Ivana Bliznakova head the practice.
Tokushev And Partners Law Office advises SMEs and larger organisations on the full range of corporate and commercial matters. Ivan Antov, who assisted Danone with GDPR compliance and drawing up commercial contracts for the sale of goods, heads the team with senior associate Boris Teknedzhiev, who has experience in advising companies in the financial sector.