Freshfields advises Messer and CVC on acquisition of parts of Linde's America business for $3.3bnFreshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (‘Freshfields’) has advised the largest privately held industrial gases specialist Messer Group (‘Messer’) and financial investor CVC Capital Partners Fund VII (‘CVC’) on the acquisition of most of Linde AG's gas business in North America and on individual business activities of Linde AG in South America in a transaction valued at $3.3bn.
The joint venture between Messer and CVC will be named MG Industries and will operate under the Messer brand. As part of the transaction, Messer will contribute its Western European operating companies into MG Industries.
The transaction is still subject to the successful completion of the proposed merger between the industrial gases companies Linde and Praxair and the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities. It is one of the largest and most complex carve-out transactions involving German companies in recent years.
Freshfields advised Messer and CVC on all aspects of the transaction, including the complete financing package. The multijurisdictional team, which covered both the US and Europe and showcased the firm’s global private equity capabilities, included Kai Hasselbach, Stephan Waldhausen and Charlie Hayes (M&A); Alex Mitchell (finance); Norbert Schneider (tax); and Peter Niggemann, Ulrich Scholz and Lilly Fiedler (global antitrust). The US Freshfields team was led by partners Omar Pringle (M&A) and Paul Yde (antitrust) and included Drew Elphick and Milena Manos (M&A) and Jan Rybnicek, Ilana Kattan and Charles Ramsey (antitrust).
The Messer Group was advised by Freshfields as early as 2003/2004 on its formation from the former Messer Griesheim Group and subsequently regularly on transactions. For CVC, Freshfields is extensively involved in numerous global transactions.
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