According to competitors, Kambourov & Partners is “doing quite well at the moment and is becoming more aggressive and popular on the market” and it is little surprise that this is the case. The firm has a strong, focused team of two partners and 23 associates that can offer services in Bulgarian, English, German, Italian and French, while its international reach and visibility is assured through its membership of Lexwork International, a network of mid-sized law firms throughout the US and Europe.
More importantly, clients are very impressed by the service they receive. One large multinational company described Kambourov & Partners as “a very special law firm.”
In debt capital markets, the firm has had a relatively busy year as seen by its role acting for Kremitkovtzi on a € 350 million bond issue managed by Merrill Lynch.
On the equity side, Kambourov & Partners has been especially active. The team advised Bulbrokers on the € 320 million initial public offering of 35% of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company shareholding and, at the time of writing, was advising Chimimport on the transfer of a 30% minimum stake (worth BGN10 million) in Bulgarian River Navigation.
However, despite vast experience in capital markets, the market is more aware of the fact that Kambourov & Partners is “strong in the banking sector.” Over the past year, the firm has proved this opinion by attracting clients such as the First Investment Bank and the Central Cooperative Bank. It advised the former on the loan of € 5 million to finance a corporate group restructuring and railway infrastructure investment, and the latter on loans for the development of various agricultural regions as part of Sapard, an EU pre-accession programme.
Furthermore, Kambourov & Partners worked closely with Orel G Holding on the BGN20 million transfer of the Saglasie pension fund to Chimimport, and advised Sunny Beach on the BGN50 million transfer of its electricity distribution company to EVN.
Kambourov & Partners has also been praised by the market for its strong M&A credentials. In particular, commentators singled out Stefan Gugushev as a “star in the M&A market” for his involvement in last year’s counselling of E.ON Energie in relation to the €565 million privatization of thermal power plants in Varna, Russe and Bobov Dol. In March 2006, the firm also provided assistance to Egged Holding on the BGN20 million privatization of the Plovdiv public transport system.
At the time of writing, Kambourov & Partners was advising Nokia on its merger with Intellisync’s Bulgarian subsidiaries, and is counselling Nu Image and Millenium Films on the € 30 million privatization of Boyana Movie Studios.
Self evidently, 2006 has been busy for the M&A department, which makes its decision to expand by hiring Nikolay Bandakov as an associate in August 2005 even more prudent. Kambourov & Partners is also actively trying to get a stranglehold on the project finance market, which is quite stale in Bulgaria but is poised to pick up (especially in the real estate sphere). At the turn of 2006, Radosveta Kojuharova was brought in as an associate, and in April of the same year the firm was almost immediately rewarded when it secured the right to advise two large London pension funds on a new deal to build a second Hilton hotel in Bulgaria.