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FDI screening was for a long time a blank spot on the regulatory landscape for most countries in Central Eastern Europe (CEE). Unlike Western European Member States, relatively few countries in Central Eastern Europe had instruments to vet foreign investments and those that did exist often were of little practical consequence.

On July 7, four leading lawyers from Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Ukraine sat down for a virtual round table moderated by CEE Legal Matters Managing Editor Radu Cotarcea to discuss the increasing prominence of ESG issues and their impact on M&A transactions, due diligence procedures, and the role of the lawyers themselves.

Even though the Austrian green bond market has not been very active, issuers like Uniqa, Hypo Noe, Verbund, and the Republic of Austria have taken the first steps toward the new asset class. The main feature of such bonds is the intention and/or commitment to invest the proceeds of the issue in green projects. Most issuers initially established stand-alone green bond frameworks based on voluntarily applied market standards. An Austrian green bond standard has not yet been developed. Frameworks used in Austria are usually based on published guidelines, like the International Capital Market Association's (ICMA) Green Bond Principles. Issuers do consider the upcoming standards of the European Union, too – particularly, the EU Green Bond Standards (EUGBS) and the so-called EU Taxonomy.

Herbst Kinsky, working with Watson Farley & Williams’ Munich office, advised software and IT service provider Mait on its acquisition of enterprise resource planning specialist Nittmann & Pekoll. The Wiener Advocatur Bureau reportedly advised sellers Christian Nittmann and Angelika Pekoll-Sarica.

Dorda has advised the DigitalBridge Group on its joint acquisition with Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners of a 51% stake in GD Towers from Deutsche Telekom. E+H and Latham and Watkins advised the bidding consortium of GIP, KKR, and Stonepeak. Reportedly, Allen & Overy and Morgan Lewis also advised DigitalBridge, Freshfields and Weil, Gotshal & Manges advised Brookfield Infrastructure, while, on the sell side, Gleiss Lutz, Noerr, CMS, Schoenherr, Cuatrecasas, and Freshfields advised Deutsche Telekom on the deal.

Earlier this year the European Banking Authority (EBA) published the final Guidelines on the limited network exemption (LNE) under the Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2). Following the consultation phase initiated by the draft, further clarifications were added which are relevant to all service providers who plan to rely on the exclusion as well as those who already do.

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