Arsov Natchev Ganeva successfully represented Bulgarian insurance and asset management group Eurohold Holding in the appeal procedure against the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) decision that banned Eurohold from buying the Bulgarian assets of Czech utility company CEZ before Sofia District Administrative Court.
In June 2019 Eurohold Holding purchased the Bulgarian assets of CEZ for EUR 335 million, but in October 2019, further to an in-depth investigation CPC blocked the deal, claiming that it would negatively affect the efficient competition on the relevant markets.
With its decision 751 as of July, 22, 2020 overturning the CPC ban, the court entirely upheld the arguments elaborated by ANG in the Eurohold’s claim that CPC substantially violated the administrative procedural rules and unprecedentedly infringed the rights of the companies participating in the concentration. The court further accepted ANG’s position that according to the EU’s Merger Regulation and the acts and documents associated with its implementation, the competition authority should predominantly seek ways to make the concentration possible, through commitments if necessary, rather than forbidding the concentration outright. We believe that the fact the court rendered a judgment, which practically applies the spirit and aims of the Merger Regulation to give priority of the parties contractual agreement and thus the deal’s validity, will establish a sound case line with significant impact on the Bulgarian competition jurisprudence.