Here are four important aspects of Bulgarian merger control that an investor may want to consider before proceeding with a contemplated acquisition of businesses or assets in our country:
- Merger filings are mandatory, if the specified annual turnover thresholds are exceeded. Only turnover generated in the territory of Bulgaria is relevant. Generally the party acquiring control (i.e. purchaser, subscriber/new shareholder acquiring sole control) is responsible for filing and would be liable for a failure to notify.
- If a transaction falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the European Commission, no separate merger filing will be required in Bulgaria.
- Suspensory effect. If a transaction is caught by Bulgarian merger control rules, the parties may not implement or close the transaction before a merger clearance (unconditional) is obtained (respectively, if the clearance is subject to conditions – before these conditions are fulfilled).
- Clearance fees, paid to the national competition authority to assess the case, may be substantial: up to EUR 30,700.