Gleiss Lutz advises DBAG Fund VII on the financing of its investments in Kraft & Bauer Brandschutzsysteme and Sero Schröder Elektronik Rohrbach and on all related compliance issues

Gleiss Lutz has assisted DBAG Fund VII, which is advised by Deutsche Beteiligungs AG (DBAG), with the financing and with all the compliance issues around the investments in two German mittelstand companies, Kraft & Bauer Brandschutzsysteme GmbH (Kraft & Bauer) and Sero Schröder Elektronik Rohrbach GmbH (Sero). Completion of the purchase agreements is still subject to consent by the competition authorities. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase prices.

On the one hand, DBAG Fund VII will acquire a majority in the two companies, on the other hand the listed DBAG will also take up an investment alongside the fund, giving it, effectively, around 20% of the shares in Kraft & Bauer and Sero in future.

The sellers of the Kraft & Bauer shares are the Swiss financial investor Invision, the founding Bauer family, and the current managing director, Frank Foddi. The financing for the acquisition is being provided by a consortium comprising Kreissparkasse Biberach and Kreissparkasse Böblingen. Kraft & Bauer develops, manufactures and installs fire protection systems for machine tools. The company employs around 80 persons across the headquarters in Holzgerlingen (Baden-Württemberg), a factory in Bannwil (Switzerland), and 13 service facilities in Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

The shares in Sero are being sold by members of the family of company founder Armin Schröder, who will be leaving the management. The transaction is being financed by Commerzbank, IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg and Siemens Bank. Sero is a development and manufacturing service provider with a focus on electrical components for the automotive industry. Based in Rohrbach in Rhineland-Palatinate, the company had around 270 employees in 2017 and generated 79 million euros in turnover.

DBAG Fund VII has been investing in mid-market companies, mainly in Germany, since December 2016. The holdings in Kraft & Bauer and Sero are the fund’s fifth and sixth investments, respectively; with a volume of over one billion euros, it is the largest private equity fund initiated and advised by a German private equity company.

Gleiss Lutz frequently advises DBAG and DBAG funds on both financing and compliance aspects of acquisitions.

Led by Frank Schlobach (partner, banking and finance, Frankfurt), Gleiss Lutz provided comprehensive advice to DBAG Fund VII on the financing side of the acquisitions. For the Kraft & Bauer transaction, he was assisted by Patrick Reuter and Dr. Jan-Alexander Lange (both banking and finance, Frankfurt); for the Sero transaction his team comprised Patrick Reuter, Dr. Jan-Alexander Lange and Mara Andreano (all banking and finance, Frankfurt).

Under Dr. Eike Bicker’s lead (partner, compliance, Frankfurt) the following lawyers handled the compliance aspects: Marina Stoklasa (compliance, Frankfurt), Dr. Moritz Holm-Hadulla (partner), Dr. Dominik Braun and Dr. Vanessa Gehle (all competition/antitrust, Stuttgart).