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Obtaining Competition Committee clearance for a merger of foreign companies active in Uzbekistan

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Lawyers of Kosta Legal have advised a major Uzbek joint venture company in the telecom industry, established by an Uzbek state-owned corporation and a US company, on competition law issues resulting from the change of its US shareholder.

In the course of a foreign merger deal, the US shareholder merged with another US company active in Uzbekistan. As the result of the merger, shares in the Uzbek company owned by the merging US shareholder were transferred to the second US company, which became a new shareholder. Acting as local counsel, Kosta Legal was responsible for obtaining merger clearance from the State Competition Committee, drafting new foundation documents for the Uzbek company and negotiating these and other documents with all the involved parties. A significant challenge of the case was that the Uzbek Competition Committee does not have clear guidelines for evaluating mergers of foreign entities active in Uzbek markets. Therefore, there is much ambiguity as to the criteria of merger assessment and many ancillary factors are taken into consideration by the Competition Committee.

Our client was a major Uzbek Internet provider operating under the brand name of a well-known Russian telecom company active in Uzbekistan.