Gleiss Lutz advises Rheinmetall on sale of small-bore pistons business

The Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall Group is completing an important step in its strategic positioning and is divesting its small-bore pistons business. Rheinmetall and Comitans Capital AG have signed a sale and purchase agreement for the entire small-bore pistons unit. In its civil sector operations, Rheinmetall thus continues to pursue a strategy of focusing on new technologies and alternatives to the internal combustion engine. The parties have agreed to keep the purchase price confidential.

The purchase agreement covers Rheinmetall’s small-bore pistons operations with all production sites. A total of around 3,650 people work at the Group’s small-bore pistons plants in Neckarsulm (Germany), Marinette, Wisconsin (USA), Celaya (Mexico), Nova Odessa (Brazil), Trmice (Czech Republic), Hiroshima (Japan) and at the Chinese joint venture KSHP’s factories in Shanghai and Chongqing. Business operations and production are to continue at all locations.

The target date for completion of the transaction, which is still pending approval from the relevant competition authorities, is 31 March 2024. Launched in 2021, Rheinmetall’s strategic reorientation aims at lessening its dependence on products relating to the internal combustion engine as well as a complete break with its large- and small-bore pistons business. Since the start of 2021, the Group’s pistons operations have been run as a non-core business. In a first step, the large-bore piston division was sold to Sweden’s Koncentra Verkstads AB at the beginning of 2023.

Headquartered in Munich, Comitans Capital AG is an internationally active holding company concentrating on companies in the automotive supplier sector, preparing them for sustained long-term growth.

The following team of Gleiss Lutz lawyers, led by Dr. Thomas Menke (partner, M&A, Düsseldorf), advised Rheinmetall on the transaction: Dr. Fabian Mumme, Kai Zimutta, Thomas Baldzuhn (all M&A, Düsseldorf), Dr. Matthias Karl (partner), Dr. Philipp Pichler (counsel, both Merger Control, Stuttgart,) Dr. Matthias Tresselt (partner, Stuttgart), Dr. Barbara Maske-Reiche, Dr. Joscha Meyer (both Düsseldorf), Dr. Moritz Lochmann (Munich, all Restructuring), Dr. Jacob von Andreae (partner), Vivien Etzkorn (Public Law, both Düsseldorf), Dr. Steffen Krieger (partner, Employment, Düsseldorf), Dr. Jens Günther (partner, Company Pensions, Munich), Dr. Ocka Stumm (partner), Dr. Dominik Monz (both Tax, Frankfurt), Dr. Alexander Molle (partner, Berlin), Christian Eulenpesch (Stuttgart, both IP/Tech).