Gleiss Lutz advises Gruppo Banca Leonardo on merger with Drueker & Co.

Italian investment bank Gruppo Banca Leonardo and M&A advisory firm Drueker & Co. have agreed to merge businesses. Shares of both companies have been exchanged in the process. The merger will create one of the largest independent investment banks in Europe. Established in 1989 by Siegfried Drueker, German corporate advisors Drueker & Co. have a staff of some 30 M&A professionals in Germany. Gruppo Banca Leonardo, which has a headcount of 260 and a capital base of more than 800 million euros, currently manages funds of approx. 7.5 billion euros. The merger with Drueker is part of Banca Leonardo’s strategy to establish an independent pan-European platform for the provision of corporate finance and M&A advisory services.

Completion of the transaction, which still requires the approval of Banca d'Italia, is envisaged for late 2007.

Gleiss Lutz advised Gruppo Banca Leonardo on implementation of the transaction in cooperation with Italian law firm d'Urso Munari Gatti. Gleiss Lutz’ team comprised Dr. Alexander Schwarz (lead, partner), Dr. Rainer Loges (partner), Dr. Cai Berg (all Corporate/M&A, Frankfurt and Munich), Dr. Kai Birke (Banking/Finance, Frankfurt) and Jörg Buschbaum (Labour and Employment, Frankfurt).