Kinstellar > Sofia, Bulgaria > Firm Profile

Kinstellar
69 BULGARIA BLVD
INFINITY TOWER, 14TH FLOOR
1404 SOFIA
Bulgaria

Bulgaria > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 1

The banking, finance and capital markets practice at Kinstellar excels across a range of mandates, including transactional work, project financing and structuring, payment advice, and regulatory matters. Its impressive client list includes domestic and international banks, financial institutions and payment service providers. The team acted as lead counsel on the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Raffeisenbank (Bulgaria) by KBC, in one of the largest banking acquisitions in Bulgarian history, the deal was worth more than €1 billion. Svilen Issaev leads the team and advises on licensing, cross-border financings, investment structuring and debt restructuring. Other notable practitioners include managing partner Diana Dimova, who regularly advises financial institutions on acquisitions and market entry.

Practice head(s):

Svilen Issaev; Diana Dimova

Testimonials

‘We rely very much on their help on all banking and finance matters, corporate matters, representation in administrative procedures, and in court procedures. Last but not least, they assist us in the process of negotiations of all financing and re-financing arrangements related to our projects.’

Svilen is extremely experienced and focused on delivering a superior legal product in pursuit of the client’s interests. He knows what we are looking for and always gives to-the-point, timely advice. He is constructive and provides pragmatic solutions, bringing progress to a transaction.’

‘Diana is a problem solver and is very service-oriented. With unrivalled legal expertise, she combines a commercially astute and pragmatic mindset, making her one of the very best lawyers in the market.’

Key clients

KBC Bank NV

United Bulgarian Bank

European Bank for Development and Reconstruction (EBRD)

Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB)

European Investment Fund (EIF)

MasterCard

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Inter Cars

NovEnergia

SOF Connect

Novus World

American Express Group

Alipay

Banca Intesa Beograd

Work highlights

  • Advising KBC Bank on its acquisition of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) and its subsidiaries for over €1bn.
  • Advised Meridiam as sponsor and SOF Connect as borrower on the €296m financing by a syndicate of banks for the concession of Sofia Airport.
  • Advised Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) on a €75m guarantee instrument with the Bulgarian National Guarantee Fund (NGF) to support SMEs in Bulgaria during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bulgaria > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

Kinstellar’s deal flow regularly sees major M&A transactions – in 2022 the team acted as lead counsel to KBC in the acquisition of Raffeisenbank for over €1 billion. Managing partner Diana Dimova  co-leads the team, focusing on acquisition of both private and listed companies, restructuring and corporate governance. Fellow co-head Nina Tsifudina  is a key contact for matters of Bulgarian corporate law in large-scale international transactions, particularly those arising out of the IT sector. Counsel Atanas Mihaylov‘s expertise lies within M&A, joint ventures and restructurings, with particular emphasis on the TMT and real estate sectors.

Practice head(s):

Diana Dimova; Nina Tsifudina

Other key lawyers:

Atanas Mihalov

Testimonials

‘Strong reputation with high-profile M&A transactions and known for very high-level legal expertise. The firm stands out for its creativity, novelty solutions and strategic sense. The practice is technically very good and the lawyers are able to adjust their solutions to our needs.

‘The firm is able to offer 360-degree solutions in all areas of law, covering them with some of the most accredited professionals in Bulgaria. It is very adaptable to client’s needs and takes into account each request. The lawyers in the M&A team made things easy and really facilitated the discussion between us and the counter party.’

‘An excellent firm which manages to maintain, from junior lawyers to partners, the same degree of excellence in terms of both legal expertise and human qualities. The lawyers’ reactivity is absolutely astonishing, for any questions, any issues, no matter the time and the issue, you will get your questions addressed.’

‘Atanas Mihaylov has a really good understanding beyond the legal aspects, he is a real adviser in the broader sense of the term. He is very collaborative and takes the initiative to find solutions and keep the project on track. Atanas and his team assisted with great attention to detail and with innate analytical ability. The team showed 100% commitment in terms of time and resources to the deal.’

Key clients

KBC Bank

ThredUp

Kin & Carta

LC Interactive

GIC

GTT Communications

Gebruder Weiss

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Ebiquity

Astound Commerce Corporation

Deichmann

Dentsu

Forsta (FocusVision)

HCL Technologies

Novus World

Smule

OCP

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel to KBC on the acquisition of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) and all its subsidiaries, comprising the Bulgarian operations of Raiffeisen Bank International, for €1bn.
  • Advised thredUP on the acquisition of its European peer Remix Global for approximately $28.5m.
  • Advised Kin and Carta on the acquisition of Melon Group in Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Kosovo.

Bulgaria > Real estate and construction Tier 1

The real estate and construction practice group at Kinstellar stands out for its ‘ability to provide full-service advice on all kinds of real estate transactions’. The team frequently advises major real estate investment groups in the CEE region, engaging on a variety of mandates ranging from the structuring of commercial real estate investments and portfolio acquisitions to negotiating long-term lease agreements and representing clients in arbitration proceedings relevant to the sector. In terms of key personnel, the ‘excellent and very professionalAntonia Mavrova heads the team. Atanas Mihaylov and Mladen Minev are other names to note in the group.

Practice head(s):

Antonia Mavrova

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The practice is very strong in its ability to provide full-service advice on all kinds of real estate transactions, leases, construction issues and contentious matters. The practice is regularly involved in major transactions; that is why Kinstellar has become one of the premier firms in Bulgaria for real estate.’

‘The team’s key strengths are practicality and creativity. They provide clear advice with sound solutions regardless of the complexity of the matter. The service and responsiveness of the lawyers meet the high standards one would expect. The straight-to-the-point communication style of this team makes collaboration easy and enjoyable.’

‘Kinstellar’s real estate team is one of the leaders in the industry. From partners to associates, they have an incredible team and you can rely on anyone. The team instils great confidence in the client and is truly full service. They possess all the relevant knowledge and keep the client’s needs in mind, thus giving proactive and top-quality advice.’

‘Antonia Mavrova is a trusted partner for international investors in the Bulgarian market. Her ability to consider commercial matters in complex legal situations is unrivalled. Her focus is always on practicality and client service. She knows where her clients need to be and takes deliberate action to get them there.’

‘An excellent team! Very professional and hardworking lawyers. Their determination and motivation is something extraordinary.’

‘They stood out for the quality of their advice and ability to provide specific answers in complex transactions.’

‘We received a very attentive and comprehensive service from Antonia Marova and Atanas Mihaylov.’

Key clients

CTP

Park Lane Developments

Gazit Globe

GTC

Yellow Tree

Maple Media

International Hotel Licensing Company

Allianz

Remix Global

Merkle

PEPCO

GTT Communications

Aqua Treatment

Work highlights

  • Advising CTP on strategic real estate acquisitions as part of its expansion in Bulgaria, including the acquisition of the Willi Elbe production facility near Plovdiv.
  • Advising Gazit Globe on the disposal of its Bulgarian entities together with significant real estate assets to Trinity Capital.
  • Advising Park Lane Developments on the sale of a class A office building to SAP.

Bulgaria > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Noted for possessing ‘excellent knowledge in applicable litigation rules, as well as a commercial approach’, the team at Kinstellar represents both foreign and domestic investors in complex disputes arising out of the energy, tax, insurance and real estate sectors. Antonia Mavrova co-leads the practice group, specialising in real estate litigation and alternative dispute resolution, alongside counsel Mladen Minev who is notable for his acumen in international arbitration proceedings. Atanas Mihaylov is a further important member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Antonia Mavrova; Mladen Minev

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Kinstellar showed flexibility and were ready to find solutions in complicated situations for us.’

‘Very strong team, each of the lawyers has excellent knowledge in the field the applicable litigation rules, as well as commercial approach. They discuss the cases with the client on regular bases and propose adequate solutions.’

‘Antonia Mavrova and Atanas Mihailov are both very good professionals, able to provide necessary support quickly and according to the client’s needs. Antonia gives timely and commercially driven advice; she is dedicated to her work and manages to deal with even the most complex situations.’

Key clients

Galleria Burgas

GEMA 96

NovEnergia

Syneos Health Bulgaria

Work highlights

  • Represented a European insurance company in court proceedings related to marine insurance.
  • Represented NovEnergia’s subsidiariesin a dispute with the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) related to a decision on the price of energy.
  • Assisted a global wholesale distributor of luxury goods with the recovery of significant amount of funds fraudulently transferred to a bank account in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria > Energy and natural resources Tier 2

The team at Kinstellar is frequently instructed on a variety of cross-border corporate, project financing and regulatory mandates in the energy sector, across both traditional and sustainable energy sources. The group counts Astronergy, Enery and the Eurasian Development Bank among its clients. In terms of personnel, managing partner Diana Dimova co-leads the team with ‘detail oriented‘ counsel Mladen Minev. The practice was strengthened with the addition of experienced of counsel Radoslav Chemshirov from Schoenherr in November 2021.

Practice head(s):

Diana Dimova; Mladen Minev

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Kinstellar impressed us with their detailed overview and helped us evaluate key findings during our work together.’

‘Mladen Minev is a detail-oriented lawyer whose deep knowledge helped us when evaluating various findings. Antonia Mavrova’s negotiation skills helped us avoid dead ends several times.’

‘The team works with our group on a daily basis. We rely very much on their competent advice on all energy regulatory and compliance matters, corporate matters and representation in administrative procedures. Last but not least, they assist us in the process of the negotiations of all contracts and financing arrangements.’

‘Mladen Minev is very specialised in energy matters. I really value his critical thinking, responsiveness, and ability to analyse issues from all perspectives and to propose solutions to even the most complex problems.’

‘Svilen Issaev is highly specialised in financing matters. He has strong judgement, flexibility and creativity.’

Key clients

Astronergy

Enery Group

Alpiq Energy

Eurasian Development Bank

NovEnergia

DXT International

Energo-Pro

Direct Petroleum Bulgaria

SOF Connect

Norton Rose Fulbright

Simmons & Simmons

Work highlights

  • Advised Astronergy on the potential expansion of Bulgarian renewable energy portfolio.
  • Advised Private Equity Fund – Growth on a ten-year power purchase agreement between an industrial consumer and a renewable energy producer in Bulgaria.
  • Advised a Bulgarian electricity trader on a new electricity balancing group membership agreement to be used by the client, as an administrator, and the new members of the electricity balancing group.

Bulgaria > TMT Tier 2

The growing TMT practice at Kinstellar is particularly strong in high-value transactions, regulatory matters, data protection and matters relating to new technologies. In a recent highlight, the team provided structuring advice to GTT Communications on the divestiture of its infrastructure assets to I Squared Capital, a cross-border deal with a value of $2.15bn. Georgi Kanev, who specialises in data protection, IP and IT, and is frequently engaged on matters concerning emerging technologies, leads the team with of counsel Radoslav Chemshirov, who is firm-wide head of telecoms. Nina Tsifudina advises on a wide range of corporate transactions in the TMT sector.

Practice head(s):

Georgi Kanev; Radoslav Chemshirov

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Kin & Carta

GTT Communications

HCL Technologies

Meta Platforms

Vice Media

ZTE Corporation

Astound Commerce Corporation

Google

Dyanata

Dentsu

Forsta (FocusVision)

ISG Technology

Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co.

Visteon Electronics Bulgaria

GTS Telecom

Thermo Fisher

Gebrüder Weiss

Edward Jones & Co

Vorwerk International

NovEnergia

KBC Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Kin and Carta, the global digital transformation consultancy, on the acquisition of Melon Group, a digital transformation consulting firm with a presence in Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Kosovo.
  • Advised LC Interactive on the acquisition of oddspedia.com, part of iRocket, one of Europe’s leading solutions for online gambling and sports betting-related information and comparisons.
  • Advised GTT Communications on the divestiture of its infrastructure assets to I Squared Capital for $2.15bn, as well as on the post-sale integration.

Bulgaria > Projects and PPP Tier 3

Kinstellar's team regularly advises on projects in the infrastructure, industrial, energy and real estate sectors, both at a domestic level and throughout the CEE and SEE regions. Public procurement, concessions and energy projects remain the core pillars of the practice, which has a client list that includes Astronergy and NovEnergia. Managing partner Diana Dimova co-heads the team with Antonia Mavrova.

Practice head(s):

Diana Dimova; Antonia Mavrova

Other key lawyers:

Mladen Minev; Atanas Mihaylov

Key clients

Astronergy

SOF Connect

CTP

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Enery

GTT Communications

Direct Petroleum

European Development Bank

NovEnergia

Mining Legal Database

Maple Media

Yellow Tree

Work highlights

  • Advised Astronergy in relation to the potential acquisitions of major greenfield energy projects.
  • Advised SOF Connect on the 35-year concession of Sofia Airport.
  • Advised CTP on strategic real estate acquisitions aimed at the development of logistics parks in Bulgaria.
Photo Name Position Profile
Radoslav Chemshirov photo Radoslav Chemshirov Radoslav Chemshirov is Of Counsel and firm-wide co-head of Telecommunications.  He has…
Diana Dimova photo Diana Dimova Diana Dimova is a Managing Partner and co-head of M&A, Corporate &…
Svilen Issaev photo Svilen Issaev Svilen Issaev is a Counsel and head of Banking, Finance and Capital…
Georgi Kanev photo Georgi Kanev Georgi Kanev is a Managing Associate and head of IP, IT and…
Antonia Mavrova photo Antonia Mavrova Antonia Mavrova is a Partner, firm-wide Head of the Automotive and Industrials…
Atanas Mihaylov photo Atanas Mihaylov Atanas Mihaylov is Counsel and head of Tax and Restructuring & Insolvency…
Mladen Minev photo Mladen Minev Mladen Minev is a Counsel, head of Energy and Natural Resources and…
Nina Tsifudina photo Nina Tsifudina Nina Tsifudina is a Partner, co-head of M&A, Corporate & Private Equity and…