CMS is providing advisory services to a Chinese investor — China Everbright International Limited (CEI) — on its EUR 123 million acquisition of Novago, a Polish waste management company, from the Abris Capital Partners private equity fund. Norton Rose Fullbright advised Abris on the transaction, which awaits final approval by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.
Abris acquired a majority interest in Novago — which was established in 1992 — in early 2013. Novago’s activities include municipal waste treatment, the production of alternative fuel (RDF – refuse-derived fuel), recycling, and the production of electricity and heat in CHP facilities and landfilling. Last year, the company treated 890 thousand tonnes of waste at its six sites, and its revenues amounted to PLN 135 million (EUR 30 million).
CEI is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and is one of the largest environmental protection companies in China, operating in the environmental energy, environmental water, greentech, and environmental technology segments.
According to press releases, the acquisition of Novago is the largest Chinese investment in Poland and the largest acquisition in the environmental treatment industry in Central and Eastern Europe. CMS Partner Dariusz Greszta, who led the firm’s team along with Senior Associate Paulina Lasocka-Wysoczanska, said: “The direct investment of a Chinese listed company – China Everbright International Limited in Poland – is an example of the interest of Chinese investors in the Polish market and Polish assets. Naturally, the geographic distance and the difference between the two cultures create a number of challenges in day to day business, however, we are becoming better and better in understanding each other’s expectations. Our previous experience in co-operating with investors from a given cultural circle and contacts with our lawyers operating in China are very helpful to that effect. In many cases such knowledge/expertise allows us to carry out negotiations in a more effective manner or to envisage risks that may emerge at various stages of the transaction process.”
Greszta and Lasocka-Wysoczanska were supported by CMS Associates Magdalena Trzepizur and Piotr Przybylski.
The Norton Rose Fulbright team in Warsaw advising Abris consisted of Partners Rafal Hajduk and Pawel Bajno, Of Counsels Adam Kozlowski and Artur Jonczyk, and Senior Associate Grzegorz Filipowicz.
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