Gleiss Lutz helps ZF secure approval from EU Commission for acquisition of WABCO

On 23 January 2020 ZF Friedrichshafen AG received approval from the EU Commission for its acquisition of the commercial vehicle supplier WABCO. The phase 1 approval in Europe was issued, without any requirements or conditions, after intensive preliminary proceedings that lasted several months.

As a result of the merger, the commercial vehicle know-how of ZF and WABCO will be consolidated to face the challenges of the 21st century commercial vehicle industry in the areas of autonomous driving, electrification and connectivity. The purchase price for WABCO is around seven billion US dollars.

In addition, as lead counsel Gleiss Lutz, together with a team of international law firms, coordinated the merger control proceedings in the other jurisdictions in which filings were required.

Gleiss Lutz’s competition/antitrust team consisted of: Dr. Matthias Karl (partner, lead), Dr. Philipp Pichler (counsel), Patrick Grüner (counsel), Dr. Johannes Hertfelder (partner), Rhued Gaiser, Alexandra Bruch, Daniela Drixler, Dr. Lukas Aberle, Dr. Matthias Klöpfer, Dr. Juliane Langguth (all Stuttgart), Kristina Winkelmann (Brussels, all competition/antitrust)

The in-house advising was done by general counsel Dr. Jan Eckert, Dieter Eckhardt (head of M&A), Dr. Martin Grabolle (M&A) and Sebastian Windolf (competition/antitrust).

E.CA Economics handled the advising from a competition economics perspective: Dr. Rainer Nitsche, Dr. Anselm Mattes, Juri Simons.

Gleiss Lutz has advised ZF for many years on antitrust matters and in transactions, including on the sale of its Engineered Fasteners and Components business, on the carve-out and sale of its Rubber & Plastics business to a Chinese investor as well as in connection with the merger of TRW and ZF.