European firms see deals uptick in December

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Despite 2016 coming to an end, deal activity showed no signs of slowing down for European firms in December.

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The Lawyer’s European deals round-up using exclusive data from The Lawyer Market Intelligence (LMI) reveals the most active players in a month that saw plenty of M&A, divestment and private equity activity.

One firm in particular had a busy December. Gleiss Lutz picked up a number of mandates including advising commercial bank Helaba on the sale of Hannover Leasing Group to real estate investment manager Corestate Capital. The team was led by Frankfurt corporate partners Jan Bauer and Detlef Bauer.

Partner Jan Bauer also led the firm in advising investment company Deutsche Beteiligungs on its acquisition of a majority stake in automotive supplier Dieter Brau.

In the same month Gleiss Lutz advised Japanese BPO firm Outsourcing on its $85.2m (£69.2m) acquisition of recruitment agency Orizon Holdings from private equity firm Silverfleet Capital Partners. The Gleiss Lutz team was led by Stuttgart corporate partner Michael Burian.

By far the biggest deal of the month for the firm was advising cloud platform GoDaddy on its €1.69bn (£1.43bn) acquisition of Host Europe Group from private equity firm Cinven. Corporate partners Gerhard Wegen and Adrian Bingel led for the firm, working alongside both Slaughter & May and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

In addition to M&A work, the firm also picked up a mandate advising on a major infrastructure project, the A6 motorway expansion in southern Germany. The firm, led by banking and finance partner Eva Reudelhuber, advised the European Investment Bank in respect of project financing for the expansion.

Meanwhile, in Switzerland Homburger won a role on the $5.5bn acquisition by chemicals and biotechnology company Lonza Group of drug capsules manufacturer Capsugel. The firm advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS, which provided debt financing to Lonza, on Swiss law. The Homburger team comprised financial services partners Benedikt Maurenbrecher and Jürg Frick, together with tax partner Dieter Grünblatt and corporate partner Daniel Daeniker.

In another banking and finance transaction Homburger advised Commerzbank and UniCredit in respect of the refinancing of technology group OC Oerlikon. The firm advised the lenders on Swiss law with a team that included financial services partner Daniel Haeberli and tax partner Stefan Oesterhelt.

At the start of December, the firm represented UBS on the issuance of €1.25bn bail-in bonds with a team that again included partners Benedikt Maurenbrecher and Stefan Oesterhelt.

Away from the banking and finance sector, the firm led by partner Georg Rauber advised Zur Rose Suisse after the pharmaceutical wholesaler entered into an agreement with retailer Migros to operate pharmacies in Migros stores.

In Benelux, De Brauw and NautaDutilh both secured roles on major deals. The former advised technology company Philips on the $2bn sale of its 80 per cent stake in light manufacturer Lumileds to Apollo Global Management. The firm was led by partner Arne Grimme and is the second major deal the firm has advised Philips on this year after the IPO of Philips Lighting in May.

Meanwhile, Nauta Dutilh worked alongside Noerr and Latham & Watkins in advising hotel booking platform Trivago on its $428m IPO. The Nauta Dutilh team comprised partners Paul van der Bijl, Martin Grablowitz and Antonia Netiv.

In other deals Cuatrecasas advised Pernod Ricard on the sale of brandy and wine company Domecq, while Kinstellar advised building materials manufacturer Xella on the Czech aspects of its €2.2bn sale to private equity group Lone Star.

Meanwhile, Schoenherr advised UNIQA Insurance Group on the sale of its Italian insurance company UNIQA Assicurazioni for €295m. The firm additionally won a role alongside Kirkland & Ellis advising EQT fund EQT VI on the divestment of software company Automic for €600m.

To submit a deal to be included in The Lawyer’s UK or European deals round-ups, and for inclusion in The Lawyer Market Intelligence, email

The post European firms see deals uptick in December appeared first on The Lawyer | Legal News and Jobs | Advancing the business of law.

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