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Freshfields advises SEB on acquisition of Lufthansa subsidiary

Global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (‘Freshfields’) has advised SEB Kort Bank AB on the acquisition of all shares in Lufthansa AirPlus Servicekarten GmbH from Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft. Together, SEB Kort and AirPlus will become a European leader in corporate payment solutions. For a cash purchase price of €450 million, the transaction will provide SEB Kort with additional scale, a strong footprint for further growth in Europe, and a modern IT platform.

The closing of the transaction is currently expected in the first half of 2024 and, among other things, conditional upon closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

AirPlus is a leading provider of corporate payment services, offering company accounts, virtual cards and corporate cards to a diversified base of about 53,000 corporate customers. Today, AirPlus has approximately 1,100 employees serving customers across five continents. The company has a leading global position, with a particularly strong footprint in the DACH region and Europe, where it generates most of its revenue. AirPlus is now operating on a modern IT platform after having made significant investments in its IT transformation for several years. AirPlus’ total revenues amounted to about €231 million in 2022.

SEB Kort is a wholly owned subsidiary of SEB Group and part of the bank’s division Corporate & Private Customers, and has about 600 employees. SEB Kort is a leading provider of corporate payment solutions in the Nordics, such as corporate cards, company accounts and co-branding. It also provides payment and financing solutions and other related services to both private individuals and corporate customers in the Nordic region. SEB Kort’s leading position has over time been created both through organic growth and selective acquisitions. SEB Kort’s total income amounted to about SEK 2.2 billion in 2022.

The Freshfields team was led by Patrick Cichy and Jan Biermann (both Corporate/M&A, Hamburg) and also included:

Partners: Alexander Glos (Financial Regulatory, Frankfurt), Tanja Walter-Yadegardjam, Jan Brinkmann (both Tax, Frankfurt), Ulrich Sittard, Elmar Schnitker (both Labour Law, Düsseldorf), Peter Niggemann (Competition, Düsseldorf), Torsten Schreier (IP/IT, Frankfurt), Richard Lister (IP/IT, London)

Counsel: Alicia Isabelle Hildner (Financial Regulatory, Frankfurt), Marius Scherb (IP/IT, Hamburg)

Principal Associates: Luisa-Katherin Remberg (Corporate/M&A, Hamburg), Sebastian Pritzkow (Competition, Düsseldorf), Alexander Müller, Sarah Rohmann (both Labour Law, Düsseldorf), Aljosha Barath (IP/IT, Hamburg), Marius Li-Yang Stein (IP/IT, Frankfurt)

Associates: Benjamin Jung, Simon Schulte, Valentin Müller, Maximilian Kind, Bruno Gebhardi (all Corporate/M&A, Hamburg), Jan Struckmann, Nikita Grätsch (both Financial Regulatory, Frankfurt), Katharina-Sophia Rieger (Corporate/M&A, Berlin), Kornelius Fuchs (Labour Law, Düsseldorf), Daniel Renner (Tax, Frankfurt), Julian Boatin (IP, Düsseldorf), Alexander Bräuer (Finance, Frankfurt), Jaymie Younger, Aaran Kotecha, Emily Parfitt, Rohan Jerath (all IP/IT, London)

Senior Transaction Lawyers: Franz Dahl (Hamburg), Lilliana Suarez Llerena (Frankfurt)

Inhouse the transaction was advised by Tove Markelin (SEB Kort) and Daniel Heuman (SEB AB).