One of the only firms with a dedicated worldwide multidisciplinary chemicals sector group, Freshfields helps clients adapt to volatile energy and commodities markets, new technologies, stringent and deconverging regulations and industry consolidation in the fast-changing chemicals sector.
Freshfields regularly works with many of the world’s top 100 chemicals companies, advising on market-defining matters. Our global network of lawyers across practice areas has a comprehensive, in-depth understanding of the chemicals sector. We help our clients navigate complex public and private M&A transactions, execute complex carveouts, spinoffs and divestitures and create JVs to tackle, amongst others, energy and procurement challenges.
In every major global financial centre, we guide our chemicals clients through the most challenging crises, ranging from regulatory and compliance investigations, high-stakes litigation and arbitration and cybersecurity incidents. We advise on traditional, sustainable and project financings, ESG and shareholder engagement matters, compliance with REACH and equivalent regulations, emissions trading programmes, commercial and critical feedstock and energy supply agreements, real estate transactions, and antitrust, sanctions and foreign investment matters, among others.
Recent client successes
Advising Solvay on several corporate transactions, including its recent JV with Orbia Group for the production of suspension-grade polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), creating the largest capacity for suspension-grade PVDF in North America, as well as on the global competition law aspects of its important business reshaping transactions.
We advised Solvay on the global competition law aspects of its important business-reshaping transactions, including: the €1.6bn sale of its global polyamide business in a further step in Solvay’s transformation into a multi-specialty chemicals company; successful remedy negotiations in order to secure timely phase I clearance from the European Commission for its $5.5bn acquisition of Cytec Industries; its €4.3bn 50:50 JV with INEOS which prompted a phase II merger investigation by the European Commission and the negotiation of a complex remedies package; the unconditional EU clearance of its €3.4bn acquisition of chemical company Rhodia, which also required merger filings in the US, Asia and Russia; and the $7.1bn sale of its pharmaceuticals group to Abbott Laboratories which involved some 60 jurisdictions worldwide and the negotiation of phase I remedies in the EU.
Advising LANXESS AG on multiple transactions, including on its $1.3bn acquisition of the microbial control business of International Flavors & Fragrances.
Advising ENEOS Corporation, the largest oil company in Japan, on its acquisition of JSR Corporation's global elastomers business, which includes the manufacture and sale of synthetic rubber.
Advising Advent International on its €3bn acquisition of Evonik’s PMMA/Acrylics business involving a carve-out of more than 20 jurisdictions.
Advising Borealis AG on the divestiture of its fertiliser and technical nitrogen business to Agrofert.
"The firm has very strong capabilities to deal with complex cross-border topics."
"They provide excellent advice, are responsive, and have great depth of expertise."
"Everyone at the firm is on the A-team – they show attention to detail and an understanding of issues, both legal and financial. In cross-border deals, it feels very comfortable; there is no misunderstanding due to different legal systems."