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Freshfields advises Villeroy & Boch on the acquisition of Ideal Standard Group

Global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (‘Freshfields’) is advising listed Villeroy & Boch on the acquisition of all operating companies of the globally active Ideal Standard Group. The sellers of the shares in the Belgian ceramics manufacturer are entities managed by Anchorage Capital Group and CVC Credit. The purchase price is based on a company valuation of around Euro 600 million.

This transaction is the largest one in Villeroy & Boch’s 275-year-old history. Villeroy & Boch's sales in the Bathroom & Wellness Division will double to Euro 1.4 billion as a result of the merger. Including the Dining & Lifestyle business, this means an increase to over Euro 1.7 billion (around Euro 995 million in the 2022 financial year) for the Group as a whole.

Villeroy & Boch will finance the transaction with debt capital of around Euro 250 million and otherwise from existing liquid funds.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2024 and is subject to customary regulatory reviews and approvals.

Freshfields' advice covers all legal aspects of the transaction, including legal structuring and due diligence at Ideal Standard Group, negotiation of the contractual documentation, financing, integration planning and management retention, as well as advice on all corporate, capital markets and regulatory law issues.

The Freshfields team was led by Partner Prof. Dr. Christoph H. Seibt, supported by Principal Associates Tobias Dreßler, and Friedrich von der Heydt (all Corporate/M&A, Hamburg), and also included:

Partners: Dr. Boris Dzida (Labor Law, Hamburg), Dr. Martin Klusmann (Competition Law, Düsseldorf), Dr. Mario Hüther, Dr. Michael Josenhans (both Financing, Frankfurt), Dr. Alexander Schwahn (Tax, Hamburg), Stephen Hewes (Corporate/M&A, London)

Counsel: Juliane Ziebarth (Competition Law, Düsseldorf), Alexander Pospisil (Financing, Frankfurt/Berlin)

Principal Associates: Johannes W. Schiele (Corporate/M&A), Dr. Marlen Vesper-Gräske (ESG and Corporate/M&A), Dr. Tobias Franz (Tax), Dr. Flavia Lang (Labor Law, all Hamburg)

Associates: Xinyi Qiu, Dr. Bruno Gebhardi, Dr. Jean Mohamed, Valentin Müller, Jens-Ole Steiner (all Corporate/M&A, Hamburg), Severin Pretzel (Labor Law, Hamburg), Dr. Carolin Langlitz (Real Estate Law, Hamburg), Hannes Butz, Alexander Bräuer (both Financing, Frankfurt), Pavel Bend (Financing, London), Christina Hinterschweiger (Competition Law, Vienna)

Transaction Lawyer: Julia Kant (Hamburg)

Tax Manager: Marius Gorski (Hamburg)

Inhouse at Villeroy & Boch, the transaction was accompanied by Michele Cuglietta (Head Project Management), Uta Carpier (Senior Legal Counsel) and Frank Steenbock (Director Corporate Taxes & Customs).

Teams led by Hamburg partner Prof. Dr. Christoph H. Seibt have also advised Villeroy & Boch in the past, particularly on transaction projects abroad and on corporate and capital markets law issues.