Baker & McKenzie, London and DGKV as Bulgarian counsel advised the global tobacco company British American Tobacco (BAT) on the second biggest M&A deal for 2017 so far! The over EUR 100 mln acquisition of assets of the leading Bulgarian cigarette maker Bulgartabac Holding (Bulgartabac) covered its main range of tobacco brands (Victory, Eva Slim and GD) and its distribution and retail assets in Bulgaria and Bosnia. Bulgartabac shall continue to produce cigarettes through its subsidiaries Blagoevgrad-BT AD and Sofia Bulgartabac AD. The deal has a huge economic impact. It shall help BAT almost triple its market share in Bulgaria, while it shall also create 1000+ new jobs and become one of the country's five largest taxpayers. “We are committed to the Bulgarian market and are excited about this significant investment in the country, which seems to have some bright future ahead”, said before the media Richard Widmann, Head of Markets Central Europe Cluster at BAT.
BAT, the second largest tobacco company in the world by global market share, was one of the most prominent candidates to privatize Bulgartabac earlier in 2005, but then the deal collapsed. The international company was also among the bidders for its privatization in 2011 when it withdrew its proposal based on commercial reasons.
DGKV's work on this significant project included exhaustive due diligence exercise of the assets and the distribution business in Bulgaria, preparation of transaction documents and transactional work, as well as full support in the negotiations process. The law firm’s M&A team was led by Partner Violetta Kunze. She was assisted in the extensive work by Partners Vessela Stancheva-Mincheva and Viara Todorova, Senior Associates Ralitsa Gougleva, Dr. Teodora Tsenova, Kaloyan Krumov and Associates Dimo Staykov, Ivan Punev, Rusalena Angelova, Vlada Tsenova, Vladislav Antonov, Nikola Minchev, Kamen Gogov, Tsvetelina Bayraktarova and Galin Atanasoff.