Schoenherr advises SEB Groupe on the acquisition of WMF

27 May 2016 | deal news

Schoenherr advised the French household equipment manufacturer Groupe SEB as local counsel for Austria and Czech Republic on the acquisition of German peer WMF Group.  Groupe SEB will pay 1,020 million EUR in cash for the WMF Group and assume net debt in an amount of 565 million EUR. In addition, SEB takes over 125 million EUR of early retirement and pension liabilities. The closing of the transaction is subject to merger control clearance.

The seller, private equity firm KKR acquired a controlling stake in WMF in 2012 from private equity firm Capvis in a deal valuing the group at about 600 million euros.

WMF is a manufacturer of home appliances and hotel equipment, amongst others, cookware, kitchenware, cutlery, drinking glasses and professional coffee machines, including brands such as WMF, Silit, Kaiser, Schaerer and Hepp. The company, headquartered in Geislingen an der Steige, Germany, is represented in over 40 locations worldwide and operates nearly 200 retail shops in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

French Groupe SEB is a manufacturer of small appliances and kitchenware and is represented in over 120 countries worldwide. The group owns more than 1,000 active patents and launches over 200 new products a year. Brands include Tefal, Rowenta, Krups, Calor, Vogalu, Moulinex and Lagostina. The holding company SEB S.A. is listed in Paris and headquartered in Écully close to Lyon.

Gleiss Lutz acted as lead counsel on the deal, coordinating several other law firms in multiple jurisdictions including Schoenherr for Austria and the Czech Republic.

The Schoenherr team working on the deal was led by partners Sascha Hödl (Corporate/M&A), Thomas Kulnigg (Corporate/M&A) and Czech partner Vladimír Čížek and further supported by Daniel Koštál (Attorney at Law, Czech Republic, Corporate/M&A), Clemens Rainer (Attorney at Law, Austria, Corporate/M&A), Constantin Benes (Attorney at Law, Austria, Real Estate), Natalie Rosova (Attorney at Law, Czech Republic, Corporate/M&A), Denisa Zezulka (Attorney at Law, Czech Republic, Dispute Resolution), Rudolf Bicek (Associate, Czech Republic, Corporate/M&A), Christoph Dürr (Associate, Czech Republic, Corporate/M&A), Fabian Kacic (Associate, Austria, Corporate/M&A), Jakub Karfilat (Associate, Czech Republic, Corporate/M&A) and Teresa Waidmann (Associate, Austria, Dispute Resolution).

Sascha Hödl


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