M&A Trends in Serbia during the Second Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic

by ZS Law

Živković Samardžić Law Office is an active member of the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA), an alliance of lawyers located throughout the world with expertise and experience in advertising, marketing and promotion law. GALA provides a worldwide resource to individuals and corporations interested in answers to questions and solutions to problems involving the complex legal issues affecting advertisers and marketers.

On October 12, 2021 GALA organized virtual meeting of the Corporate Law Special Interest Group to discuss current trends in M&A, with 25 participants from different member firms in attendance.

Igor Živkovski, Živković Samardžić Corporate and M&A Partner, spoke at this event on trends in mergers and acquisitions in Serbia in light of the pending COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed that although the pandemic has a negative impact on the national economy, starting from the beginning of this year investors resumed activity in the sectors that proved to be resilient or even flourishing in COVID-19 crisis, such as CPG, IT and home care products. The pandemic has also created opportunities in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors and there has been a heightened awareness of changes in the energy sector, especially with the shift towards renewables and sustainability. Moreover, global technology trends, such as digitalization and artificial intelligence, are driving M&A activity even in traditionally non-tech-related industries like banking.

Igor also noted that lawyers’ work in M&A transactions taking place during the pandemic requires focus on aspects different to those that were common before. For example, the scope of due diligence of Serbian targets has changed in a way that aside from the usual issues, it now includes risk management procedures, fiscal benefits and direct payments from the government, as well as employment structures and protection from cyber-attacks. As for the SPA, MAC clauses have seen a rebirth both in wording and significance, with special attention given to the scope and applicability of different force majeure events.

Živković Samardžić Law Office is grateful to GALA for bringing together its member firms’ corporate law specialists, who would like to deepen their understanding of corporate and M&A law and bring their knowledge up to date.

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