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Privatization in Lithuania: Current Trends and Perspectives

The privatization process in Lithuania – which lasted for more than 20 years – is about to end. The most hectic period has already passed and the biggest objects have already been privatized. As the Lithuanian state-owned Property Bank and State Property Fund, which are authorized to perform privatization procedures, do not have the high amount of privatization work they did 20 years ago, the merger of these enterprises is expected in the near future.   

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Privatization in Croatia: Sale of Crown Jewels

The recent revival (2013-2014) of privatization in Croatia is, paradoxically, not driven by the country's recent membership in the European Union, but instead by a simple desire to save the state budget. The budget deficit was (and still is) so huge that the current Government has been forced to put its crown jewels on the table and try to sell them as fast and as efficiently as possible.   

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Privatization in Bulgaria: The Special Rights of State’s Preferential Share in Incumbent VIVACOM Revoked. What Now?

In 2004, 65% of the capital of the incumbent telco Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (VIVACOM) was sold to Viva Ventures Holding by the Bulgarian Government in a privatization procedure. In 2005, a public offering of the remaining shares was launched with 34.78% of the company’s capital being offered on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. During the next few years the company went through several major restructurings, in the process becoming, it claimed, a “leader in developing modern telecommunication services.”   

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PPPs in Hungary

During the early 2000s, the Hungarian Government strongly supported the implementation of public-private partnership programs (PPPs) in Hungary. At that time, PPPs were considered to be instrumental in the revival and the required upward surge of the Hungarian economy. Thus, Hungary took the lead in the implementation of PPPs in the CEE region.   

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Privatization in the Czech Republic: The Czech Government Proceeds with Caution

Since the last large-scale privatizations in the Czech Republic almost a decade ago, the sales of state-owned enterprises have been few and far between. The most recent headline privatization was the 2013 sale of a minority stake in the national airline CSA to Korean Air. The sale had become somewhat crucial as the government no longer wanted to support the loss-making airline. Despite the nominal price paid for the stake, the government successfully secured the future of the airline and potential new business for Prague Airport. With a new government in place since January 2014 there has been talk of privatizing some of the remaining state-owned assets. However, for the time being the government seems to want to hold on to the most profitable assets.   

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Privatization in Austria

1. State-Owned Enterprises in Austria 

In order to renew its largely destroyed industries after World War II, the Republic of Austria has experienced an extended period of strong governmental intervention, in particular due to nationalization measures of important industry sectors including manufacturing and energy.     

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Privatization in Russia: Contesting Determinations of Cadastral Value in Privatizations of Land

Unlike in most European jurisdictions, land plots and buildings aren't considered uniform real estate objects in Russia, and as a result there are situations where a building and the land plot under it have different owners. In many cases, the State owns the land, while individuals own the buildings or other constructions thereon. As a result, privatization of land plots in Russia remains on the agenda mainly in this context.   

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Privatization in Serbia

Privatization in Serbia began in 1989 with the major social and economic reforms introduced by Ante Markovic, the last Prime Minister of former Yugoslavia. Despite Serbian authorities harshly criticizing Markovic’s privatization program as an impermissible sale of socially-owned property (a form of ownership used in socialist countries, not quite equal to publicly-owned property as the rest of the world knows it), in 1991 Serbia enacted a law on transformation of ownership with internal increase of the capital of socially-owned companies by employees with discounts and repayment from workers’ salaries in multi-annual installments. 

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Privatization in Moldova: Opportunities Still Available

1) Are there any special laws regarding privatization in Moldova or are ordinary private M&A laws applicable?

Similar to all post-Soviet countries, Moldova adopted privatization laws to facilitate the transition from a planned to a market economy. The first regulation of the early 1990s allowed for privatizations to be carried out in all economic sectors, including the social sector.    

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Privatization of JSC Macedonian Power Plants

The energy sector in Macedonia has been one of the areas where privatization has progressed with the most difficulty. Up to 2004, the vertically-integrated and state-owned JSC Macedonian Electricity Company (MEC) exclusively provided the generation, transmission, distribution, and supply of electricity, as well as imports, transits, and maintenance of the integrity of the electricity system. In 2004, MEC was split into two independent new joint-stock companies. Its legal successor MEPSO assumed the transmission function, while ESM assumed the electricity generation, distribution, and supply functions. In 2005, ESM was further unbundled into two independent joint-stock companies:  Macedonian Power Plants (MPP), which assumed the electricity generation part of the company, and ESM, which retained the electricity distribution and supply parts. In 2006, ESM was privatized by Austria's EVN AG and was rebranded into the EVN joint-stock company. As a result of the restructuring and privatization process, therefore, the key players in the electricity market currently are three separate and regulated monopolies: (i) generation – the state-owned MPP; (ii) transmission – the state-owned MEPSO; and (iii) distribution and supply – the privately owned EVN.  

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PPP Cautiously Revives in Latvia

The beginning of the PPP story in Latvia can be dated to February 16, 2000, when the first Concessions law entered into force. Partnership in 70 concession projects were launched on the basis of that law until October 1, 2009, when the Law on Public-Private Partnership broadened PPP options as well as confirming decision-makers’ interest in developing that style of partnership. However, the 2009 PPP reform coincided with the start of the global economic crisis, which hit Latvia even more than other CEE countries. The subsequent international loan program for Latvia contained a prohibition on state and municipalities entering into any long term PPP relationship. In fact, all decisions on further PPP projects were frozen for three years and were allowed again only recently after closure of the international loan program in 2013. Thus a new start is awaited for PPP projects.   

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Privatization in Turkey: Recent Developments on Turkey's Privatization Adventure

Turkey started its privatization adventure in 1984, with the transfer of incomplete facilities to the private sector for completion or establishment of new facilities in their place. Since 1985, Turkey’s privatization portfolio has included shares in 270 companies, 22 incomplete facilities, 1439 real property assets, eight highways, two bridges (i.e., the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridges), 120 operation facilities, six ports, and the licenses for the national lottery and vehicle inspection stations. In addition, certain companies and real property assets in the portfolio were removed from the process for various reasons. In the past 29 years, more than half of the companies in the privatization portfolio have been privatized. Today, 23 companies, 565 real property assets, 37 operation facilities, two ports, eight highways, two bridges, and the licenses for the national lottery remain in the privatization portfolio.   

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Privatization in Slovenia

Almost one year since the Slovenian National Assembly gave a “go-ahead” to the sale of state equity investments, the privatization procedure in the country is generating critical reactions from experts. While the majority of European countries are still struggling to recover from the economic crisis, the success of current privatization in Slovenia is being called into question, especially in light of recent affairs connected to the sale processes and political turbulence in the country.   

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Privatization in Ukraine

Privatization was a high priority for new-born Ukraine in the early 1990s. The first Ukrainian privatization act was adopted within the first months of independence of our country. The privatization process underwent a great deal of review and scrutiny and faced issuance of "privatization certificates," a mass sale of state-owned objects, forming of industrial and financial groups, etc.  

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