Commercial, corporate and M&A in Czech Republic
Allen & Overy
Allen & Overy regularly handles big-ticket cross-border M&A transactions, where the Czech team is part of a multi-jurisdictional team. Practice head Prokop Verner advised Nordic private equity firm Axcel Management on its acquisition of Czech mass hosting provider Active 24 Hosting and Spanish company Active 24 Hosting SLU, and assisted Allianz SE with an exclusive bancassurance partnership with UniCredit. Senior associate Magda Pokorná, who has particular expertise in the real estate sector, is also a key name to note.
Baker & McKenzie s.r.o., advokátní kancelář's team stands out for its 'exceptional professionalism in the legal area, brilliant commercial thinking and deal negotiation skills, and pragmatic approach when solving issues and reaching a deal'. It showcased its market-leading position when it advised Unilabs on its acquisition and the subsequent financing of Alpha Medical, a leading medical diagnostic company in Slovakia and Czech Republic. Tomáš Skoumal is 'a first-class client-friendly M&A lawyer with practical understanding of business objectives'. Alexandr César, tax expert Pavel Fekar, Michal Matějka, and senior associates Petra Jilgová-Benešová and Milena Hoffmanová are also highly regarded.
Clifford Chance maintained a strong level of activity in strategic M&A. In 2017, Alex Cook advised European Investment Bank on the development of a cooperation platform with Inven Capital, while David Koláček and Miloš Felgr assisted KKCG Investments with its acquisition of a majority stake in AutoCont Group. Counsel Michal Jašek is also singled out.
CMS handles cross-border M&A transactions, where the practice is often part of a multi-jurisdictional team that advises on the Czech aspects of multibillion-euro transactions. It is advising Advent International on the contemplated acquisition of the Zentiva portfolio in multiple jurisdictions across Europe, and acted for Liberty Global on the Czech aspects of Vodafone’s acquisition of its European assets. Its client roster also features Mid Europa Partners, Arcadis and PPF Group, among others. Helen Rodwell and Lukáš Janíček jointly head the team, which also includes senior associate Frances Gerrard and counsel Patrik Przyhoda.
Kinstellar showcased its strength in handling headline-making transactions with Jan Juroška acting as part of a multi-jurisdictional team that advised Unilever on the over $8bn sale of its margarine and spread business to KKR. Juroška also counts Genesis Private Equity Fund III as a major client, which he advised on a series of high-value investments. Other highlights include advising Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance and Credium on a range of corporate matters relating to their exit from the Czech and Slovak markets, and acting for B2 Kapital Czech Republic on its acquisition of an unsecured retail non-performing loan portfolio from Moneta Money Bank. Managing partner Lukáš Ševčík, Klára Štepánková, Kamil Blažek and of counsel Karla Rundtová are also highly recommended.
Kocián Šolc Balaštík
Kocián Šolc Balaštík's 'highly professional and very experienced' team is singled out for its ability to 'easily adapt to the changing nature and timescales of the transaction'. The team is active across a range of sectors including real estate, consumer products and energy. Christian Blatchford advised Brookfield Renewable Power on the Czech aspects of its acquisition of Westinghouse Group. The well-regarded Martin Šolc handled a steady flow of real estate acquisition mandates and counts YIT Stavo as a main client. Managing partner Dagmar Dubecká and Petr Kasík jointly lead the M&A group.
White & Case (Europe) LLP's team, led by Petr Pánek, is singled out for its 'deep understanding and M&A expertise', particularly in the private equity space where it counts Arx Equity Partners, CVC Capital Partners and Mid Europa Partners as major clients. Jan Andruško has 'excellent gravitas at the negotiating table' and is 'a seasoned strategist'. In 2017, Andruško was part of a multi-jurisdictional team that advised PPF Group on its €2.8bn acquisition of Telenor's telecoms assets in the CEE region. Recently promoted partner Jan Stejskal is praised for his 'quick-minded and solution-oriented approach'. Other clients include ČEZ Group and LaSalle Investment Management.
BBH, advokátní kancelář, s.r.o.'s team has expertise in a variety of sectors, including e-commerce, media and real estate. Petr Precechtel advised Bonak, a fully-owned subsidiary of PPF Group, on the establishment of a major e-commerce holding with Rockaway and EC Investments, and acted for Kaprain Industrial Holding on its acquisition of RIO Media. Katerina Vorlickova heads the team, which also includes the highly regarded Tomáš Sedláček and senior associate Andrea Adamcova.
Dentons' five-partner team, jointly led by Tomáš Bílek and counsel Jan Procházka, regularly handles cross-border mandates in the private equity, life sciences, TMT, e-commerce and automotive sectors; it further boosted its expertise in the energy sector by hiring Petr Zákoucký and two associates from Clifford Chance in 2017. Procházka and Chris Watkinson assisted Rockaway Capital with establishing a joint venture with Energetický a průmyslový holding and PPF Group, and the related transfer of the relevant e-commerce businesses operated by Rockaway Group via share deals to the future joint venture company Sully System. Other highlights include advising Argus Capital on the sale of Czech cable TV operator Rio Media to Kaprain Industrial and acting for Indoverse (Czech) Coal Investments on an auction process concerning the potential acquisition of three lignite power plants.
PRK Partners acts for a steady flow of domestic corporate and M&A transactions; it is also a popular choice for international firms to instruct as local counsel on cross-border transactions. It recently advised an automotive sector client on a complex cross-border corporate restructuring, and is assisting a software start-up company with a range of corporate matters. Rudan Kubr, Martin Kříž and Robert Němec are the main contacts.
Schoenherr Czech Republic
The team at Schoenherr Czech Republic, led by Vladimír Čížek, 'always tries to go the extra mile'. It has noted an increasing number of regional mandates and is assisting clients focusing on the CEE and SEE regions. In evidence of this, a multi-jurisdictional team advised Deutsche Private Equity Management on the cross-border acquisition of leaflet printing business Euro-Druckservice from a consortium of three company shareholders. Martin Kubánek, who specialises in the real estate sector, is another name to note.
Squire Patton Boggs s.r.o., advokátní kancelář particularly excels in mid-market private equity transactions, assisting clients spanning the real estate, healthcare and IT industries. The 'goal-oriented and resourceful' Radek Janecek advised Aspironix on a buyout of 50% of the outstanding shares owned by the other founding shareholders, and Jeffrey McGehee assisted Bemis Europe with its acquisition of Evadix MPI S.R.L. and Evadix Labels S.R.L. Atomenergoremont, Zoom International and Dandreet Private Equity also feature in its client list. The team expanded with the hire of of counsel Jiří Besser, who joined from Weil, Gotshal & Manges s.r.o. advokátní kancelář. Senior associate Ivan Karpják is also a name to note.
Weinhold Legal handles an array of cross-border transactions, joint ventures and commercial matters. Daniel Weinhold assisted Sarantis Group with its acquisition of Indulona, a cosmetics products company, and Ondřej Havránek advised Obrascón Huarte Lain on the sale of its majority stake in ŽPSV to Leonhard Moll AG. Martin Lukáš is also a name to note.
bnt attorneys-at-law assists clients with day-to-day corporate matters and transactions, and is particularly strong in advising German clients on corporate and commercial matters relating to their operations in the Czech Republic. It advises Gaudlitz on a range of legal matters concerning its Czech subsidiary. Jan Šafránek and Pavel Pravda are the main contacts.
DLA Piper Prague LLP handled a steady stream of domestic and cross-border M&A transactions and corporate matters. Managing partner Miroslav Dubovský advised ASC Investment on the acquisition of Vitrablok from Seves Group, and acted for Karlín Group on establishing a joint venture with a developer relating to a residential project. Jakub Adam is also recommended.
According to a client, Eversheds Sutherland Dvořák Hager, advokátní kancelář, s.r.o. 'not only handles the issues which are directly raised, but also points out potential issues the client might not be aware of and offers tailored guidance'. The practice handles M&A transactions and corporate restructurings and provides day-to-day corporate support to a range of domestic companies. Stanislav Dvořák and Lukáš Zahrádka are the main contacts, as is Stanislav Servus who is 'incredibly responsive and knowledgeable'. Recent highlights include advising Ceha Investment on its acquisition of Čermák a Hrachovec and its sister company Prakan.
HAVEL & PARTNERS s.r.o., attorneys at law
HAVEL & PARTNERS s.r.o., attorneys at law's corporate experience includes M&A, joint venture and corporate advisory work. It advises clients in the automotive, media, machinery and pharmaceutical sectors. The team advised Genesis Private Equity on its acquisition of Sanborn through a joint venture with BDO Investment and acted for PressMedia on the purchase of a 70% share in Valmont. Václav Audes and Jan Koval are the key contacts.
NOVALIA Attorneys-at-law has notable expertise in the technology sector, where it handles a range of corporate and commercial matters for start-up companies. It recently advised Stories.bi, an augmented analytics start-up, on its sale to Workday, a US software company, and advised a fintech start-up company on its pre-series A investment from Startup Wise Guys and private investors. Iva Javorska, Pavel Marc, Jakub Cisar and Bill Finney are the main contacts.
PETERKA & PARTNERS
PETERKA & PARTNERS' clients span a broad range of sectors including construction, financial services, pharmaceutical and technology. In 2017, Adela Krbcova advised Iveco on its acquisition of Komersia Auto and Komersia West. Gabriela Hájková, Ondrej Dusek and senior associate Magda Prchalova are also recommended.
Pierstone s.r.o., advokátní kancelář is a popular choice for multinationals and private equity funds for domestic and cross-border M&A transactions. The team, which is jointly led by Tomas Schollaert, Iva Zothová and Jana Pattynová, is particularly experienced in the TMT sector, where it counts Microsoft, Sprint Corporation, SimpleCell Europe and Socialbakers as key clients.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal s.r.o., advokátní kancelář
PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal s.r.o., advokátní kancelář counts multinational companies, leading companies in the CEE region and Czech start-ups as clients. Its recent highlights include handling demergers, acquisitions and corporate restructurings. Bořivoj Líbal leads the team.
RANDA HAVEL LEGAL is particularly active in the energy sector, where it advises on a mix of M&A transactions and day-to-day corporate matters. The practice is led by Alois Šatava, and also includes Matyáš Kužela, who handles data protection and competition matters. Its client roster features FCC Česká republika, Jufa Investment Group and Pražské služby.
Leveraging its impressive CEE regional footprint, Wolf Theiss regularly handles cross-border transactions with particular strength in the energy, digital media and fintech space. The team is advising Energizer on its acquisition of Spectrum Brands and Varta Consumer Batteries. Other work includes advising on joint ventures, corporate restructuring, corporate governance and commercial matters. The team is now led by recently promoted partner Jan Kotous, following the departure of Jan Myška.
Balcar, Polanský & Spol
Clients of bpv Braun Partners s.r.o. are impressed with its 'professionalism and deep knowledge', as well as its 'flexible approach'. Arthur Braun heads the team, which includes Jiří Bárta, who has 'deep understanding of clients' needs' and 'always comes up with a commercial solution'; senior associate Michal Hrabovský, who is singled out for his 'attention to detail and his unstoppable focus on completing the transaction'; and David Vosol, who focuses on energy and media sectors. Real estate M&A transactions, joint ventures and corporate restructurings are among its recent workload.
Cerha Hempel handled a series of corporate restructuring and M&A transactions. Petr Kališ assisted Vítkovice Heavy Machinery with a potential new foreign investment arrangement following the ongoing insolvency proceedings brought against it, and acted for CTP Invest on its €4m acquisition of a company. Martin Kartner focuses on compliance and data protection matters.
JŠK, advokátní kancelář, s.r.o.
JŠK, advokátní kancelář, s.r.o. advises a mix of local and international clients on M&A transactions, restructurings, joint ventures and day-to-day corporate matters. It advised Czech engineering company Toshulin on its acquisition of Tos Kuřim and ČKD Blansko from Alta, and handled Arbes Technologies' acquisition of Finamis, a Slovak software company. Tomáš Doležil and senior associate Janka Brezániová are the main contacts.
ROWAN LEGAL is singled out for its 'strong combination of analytical and commercial skills'. Within the team, Martin Janoušek is 'a strategic and well-connected business thinker with good business acumen and excellent negotiation skills'. Martin Šubrt, tax specialist Vladimír Hejduk and senior associate Ondřej Křížek are other names to note. Recent highlights include advising Central Europe Industry Partners on its acquisition of Roka Industry, and, in a separate transaction, on its acquisition of Elcom.