The Work

May 10, 2011 3:58 PM

Magic Circle Firms, Stikeman, Hengeler Mueller Lead on Volkswagen Bid for MAN

Posted by Brian Baxter

Six firms are advising on Volkswagen's potential $19 billion takeover of German truck and bus manufacturer MAN.

Volkswagen has long lusted after Munich-based MAN, one of Europe's largest producers of commercial vehicles and a key engine supplier. Volkswagen wants to merge MAN with Scania, a Swedish heavy truck and bus manufacturer that the Wolfsburg, Germany-based automaker already controls.

On Monday, Volkswagen increased its stake in MAN from 29.9 percent to 30.47 percent, according to The New York Times. Under German takeover law, that required Volkswagen to make a mandatory offer for the remaining shares of MAN it does not already own. German legal publication Juve has the breakdown on the legal advisers representing both Volkswagen and MAN on a potential deal that values the truck maker at more than $19 billion.

Linklaters corporate and M&A partners Hans-Joachim Holzapfel and Stephan Oppenhoff in Frankfurt are advising Volkswagen, Europe's largest car maker. Clifford Chance auto industry group head Johannes Perlitt and M&A partners Wolfgang Richter and Arndt Stengel in Frankfurt are also providing counsel to Volkswagen, along with antitrust partner and Düsseldorf office head Joachim Schütze.

Clifford Chance represented Volkswagen in August 2009 on an agreement to acquire 49.9 percent of Stuttgart-based automaker Porsche as the two companies pursue a combination. The firm also handled Volkswagen's purchase of a controlling stake in Scania in 2008, as well as the automaker's recent acquisitions of car dealer MAHAG and the metal and technical development units of carmaker Wilhelm Karmann.

Linklaters also enjoys a close relationship to Volkswagen, having handled work for the company related to its transaction with Porsche. Juve reports that Linklaters advised Volkswagen's supervisory board on its acquisition of Scania.

Volkswagen has also turned to corporate partners Stuart Carruthers and Robert Nicholls from Stikeman Elliott for Canadian counsel on its latest bid for MAN. Volkswagen's senior in-house legal officer is Michael Ganninger.

Bloomberg reports that German firm Hengeler Mueller is advising MAN. The firm has also been advising Porsche on matters related to ongoing merger work with Volkswagen. MAN's general counsel is Wolfgang Betz and the company recently appointed a new chief compliance officer in Philip Matthey, a former associate at Linklaters and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

Wilhelm Reinhardt, chair of the German corporate practice at Latham & Watkins in Frankfurt, is advising Volkswagen's financial adviser Credit Suisse on the MAN matter. Allen & Overy M&A partner Hartmut Krause in Frankfurt is representing Volkswagen's other adviser Rothschild, according to Juve. A merger between MAN and Volkswagen would create Europe's largest truck maker, surpassing rivals like Volvo and Daimler.

MAN said in a press release that the company's management "shares the industrial logic behind a more intensified cooperation between" MAN, Scania, and Volkswagen and that such a merger would have "significant synergy potential." MAN said it will evaluate Volkswagen's takeover offer once it is formally proposed.

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