Archive for February, 2006

Chambers Global Ranks Borislav Boyanov & Co. First

Friday, February 17th, 2006

The 2006 edition of the prestigious legal directory Chambers Global is out now. Borislav Boyanov & Co. has been ranked first, yet again, in the Leading Firms band. The review reads:

‘When it comes to local law firms “this is as good as it gets” enthused clients. They praised it for its “outstanding work” with international corporates and reported: “Once you work with these lawyers, there’s no need to look elsewhere – you know you’re in safe hands.”

Mr Boyko Voynov of Borislav Boyanov & Co. on the Mediators’ List of the AmCham Commercial Mediation Center

Friday, February 17th, 2006

On 16 February 2006, a Commercial Mediation Center with the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria was officially opened. Mr Boyko Voynov, a Partner with Borislav Boyanov & Co., is one of the eleven mediators with the Center, which will aim to strengthen the role of mediation in settling trade disputes in Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian Parliament Ratified the Energy Community Treaty

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

The Bulgarian Parliament ratified the Treaty establishing the Energy Community signed on 25 October 2005 in Athens. This “first ever multilateral treaty in South East Europe” entered by and between the European Union and eight South East Europe countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and UNMIK on behalf of Kosovo – will create the legal framework for an integrated regional energy market stretching across 34 European jurisdictions, which will include both electricity and natural gas.

As a result of the Energy Community Treaty, the European Internal Market for Energy will be extended into South East Europe as a whole. Market opening, investment guarantees and firm regulatory control of the energy sectors will be enhanced. The treaty is expected to create a stable regulatory and market framework capable of attracting investment in gas networks, power generation and transmission networks, so that all parties have access to the stable and continuous gas and electricity supply. The treaty may also help the creation of an agreed policy framework for the World Bank and the EBRD support for infrastructure investments, which are estimated at $30 billion in the electricity sector alone if it is to reach EU standards by 2015. Following the contemplated expansion of the natural gas system an intermediate gas market between the Caspian Sea and the European Union will be created. In the latter aspect, according to the European Commission, the treaty is aimed to establish a supply route for gas into the European Union from the Middle East and the Caspian region and this will eventually reduce dependency on single sources of gas.

Governmental Strategy for Privatization of Bulgaria Air

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

The Government adopted a Strategy for the privatization of the national air carrier Bulgaria Air EAD. According to the Strategy 99.99% of the capital of Bulgaria Air will be offered for sale but the Bulgarian state will retain a golden share in the company entitling it to veto certain strategic decisions. The official government press release of February 2 reads that the goals which the Government intends to achieve through the privatization include optimization of the work of the airline, increase in the destinations covered and the frequency of flights, as well as ensuring higher incomes for the staff.

The privatization procedure will be open for both strategic investors active in civil aviation and financial investors. The eligible candidates will have to be incorporated as Bulgarian registered companies, in which more than 51% of the share capital must be held by Bulgarian individuals and/or legal entities or by individuals and/or legal entities of Member/s State/s of the European Union or of the European Economic Area and, in addition to that, will have to meet certain criteria. The strategic investors should have over EUR 150 mln annual revenues from aviation services for the last two financial years, with over 750 000 passengers resorting to their services for the same period. The financial investors have to prove they have controlled assets amounting to EUR 250 mln per year for the last two years and/or hold shares in other companies, totaling EUR 150 mln.

Bulgaria Air will be privatized through an open public bidding procedure that will consist of two stages – preliminary and final. In the preliminary stage candidates have to submit a preliminary offer consisting of indicative price for the shares of Bulgaria Air, evidence about the financial resources available to the candidate and a preliminary business plan for development of the privatized company. The final complex assessment will be made on the basis of different criteria, such as the bidder’s offer, amount of investments, number of jobs, destinations, frequency of flights, etc. The Head of the Bulgarian Privatization Agency was cited in the press as saying that the price offered by the bidders and the amount of the investments planned for the first two years after the privatization will have the greatest significance in the final assessment of the offers submitted.

Two Consortia Filed Offers to Construct NPP Belene

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Consortia led by the Czech Republic’s Skoda Prague engineering company and, respectively, by the Russian Atomstroiproekt, which is also involved in nuclear power station construction, filed by the end of the submission deadline offers for designing, constructing and commissioning of the nuclear power plant (NPP) Belene which will be the second one in Bulgaria. Within the next 6 months, a special tender commission will review and rank the offers and make a proposal regarding the preferred candidate to the Board of Directors of NEK, the national electricity company. According to the tender’s preliminary criteria the NPP Belene will have two units of 1000 MWe each.

Skoda Prague is subsidiary of the Czech power company CEZ, which already controls three regional electricity distribution companies in Bulgaria. Borislav Boyanov & Co. was part of the consortium lead by BNP Paribas which advised the Bulgarian Government on the successful privatization of the electricity distribution companies.