Gleiss Lutz advises M+W Group on divestment of global process automation business

Gleiss Lutz has advised M+W Group on the sale of its global process automation business (M+W Process Automation) to listed Canadian automation specialist ATS Automation Tooling Systems (ATS). The transaction is subject to antitrust clearance and is expected to be closed in autumn 2014. The transaction volume is approx. EUR 255 million.    

M+W Group’s management decided to sell its automation business as part of a general move towards focusing on its core competencies — engineering and construction. In 2013, automation contributed approximately EUR 170 million to the M+W Group’s total revenues of EUR 2.56 billion. A number of industry partners and financial investors took part in the bidding procedure, but after discussions were complete, ATS emerged successful.

M+W Process Automation currently has a workforce of 970 employees in 16 countries around the world including Germany, Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic, the US and China. It is one of the world’s largest manufacturer-independent automation solution providers focusing on software development for the control and visualization of critical production processes. Customers include companies from the automotive, chemicals and pharmaceuticals sectors, as well as other industries.    

Gleiss Lutz acted as lead counsel on the deal, coordinating several other international law firms involved. In particular, the transaction involved a number of aspects of US law, which were dealt with in close cooperation with US law firm Baker Hostetler.

The Gleiss Lutz team consisted of: Dr. Jochen Tyrolt, Dr. Michael Arnold (both partners, corporate/M&A, Stuttgart, both lead), Johannes Schrägle, Nico Holtkamp, Dr. Markus Martin (all corporate/M&A, Stuttgart), Dr. Achim Dannecker (partner), Dr. Cindy Lahusen (counsel), Dr. Markus Wystrcil (all tax, Stuttgart), Dr. Stefan Weidert (partner, IT, Berlin), Dr. Herwig Lux, Linda Bittner (both IP, Stuttgart), Dr. Claudia Wirth (real estate, Frankfurt), Stefan Kleimaier (employment, Stuttgart), Dr. Matthias Karl (partner), Dr. Philipp Pichler, Patrick Grüner (all antitrust, Stuttgart) and Frank Schlobach (finance, Frankfurt). Nicole Gerstle, Dr. Timo Fahrion, Corinna Arnold and Dr. Klaus Taraschka were involved as M+W Group’s in-house counsel.    

Gleiss Lutz regularly advises M+W Group companies in various legal fields. The present case is the first time Gleiss Lutz has advised M+W Group on a major M&A deal.