CMS has advised Ultimo Netherlands BV, a fully owned subsidiary of B2Holding AS, on its entrance into an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Debt Collection Agency AD (DCA) from Martin Despov Despov and Nikolina Todorova Stancheva. Gugushev & Partners advised the sellers on the deal, which is expected to close by summer 2016.
B2Holding is a European financial services provider, headquartered in Norway, which specializes in the investment and workout of non-performing loans primarily from the banking sector as well as providing third party debt collection solutions on behalf of clients. CMS reports that, since its establishment in 2010, DCA — which has 134 employees in Bulgaria and 25 in Romania, and focuses on the purchase and collection of unsecured retail portfolios — has become "one of the top debt purchasers in Bulgaria."
It is expected that the Bulgarian non-performing loan market will see significant growth in activity going forward (see The Buzz from May 18, 2016). The acquisition of DCA is in line with B2Holding’s strategy to gain a local presence before or as a part of acquiring portfolios in new geographical areas.
According to CMS, its multi-jurisdictional team advised B2Holding/Ultimo "on all aspects relating to the due diligence, transaction documentation negotiation, [and] regulatory topics.” The firm’s team was led by Austrian Partner Alexander Rakosi, supported by Vienna-based Attorney Lisa Oberlechner. The Bulgarian team consisted of Partner Gentscho Pavlov, Senior Associate Dimitar Zwiatkow, Attorney Maya Aleksandrova, and Associate Ivan Gergov. The Romanian team consisted of Partner Horea Popescu, Senior Associates Rodica Manea and Claudia Popescu, and Lawyer Raluca Ionescu.
Gugushev & Partners did not reply to our inquiry on the matter.
Editor's Note: After this article was published, Gugushev & Partners confirmed that it had advised the sellers. The firm's team was led by Partner Petko Angelov.
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