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Freshfields advises Airbus on its acquisition of INFODAS

Global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has advised the international aerospace company Airbus on the acquisition of INFODAS, a Cologne-based German company that provides cybersecurity and IT solutions in the public sector including for defence and critical infrastructures. The transaction is subject to the customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed before the end of 2024.

With around 148,000 employees, Airbus is the largest aerospace company in Europe and a global leader in the aviation industry. The acquisition of INFODAS supports Airbus’ strategic ambition to strengthen its cybersecurity portfolio for the benefit of its European and global customers. With exponential cyber threats, along with the increasing digitalisation and connectivity of its products and systems, cybersecurity is a pivotal component of Airbus’ development. Over the last years, the group has continuously developed its cybersecurity capabilities and expertise, ensuring the best possible protection for its products, operations, customers, and ecosystem, including major programmes such as the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

INFODAS is a company with around 250 employees and annual revenues of about 50 million euros. Besides its headquarters in Cologne, INFODAS has additional offices in Germany in Berlin, Bonn, Hamburg, Munich and Mainz. The company has been certified by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) as an IT security service provider in the areas of information system auditing, consulting and penetration tests. The INFODAS’ SDoT Security Gateway product family is approved for classification levels up to secret. The products are also certified in accordance with Common Criteria and have other country-specific certificates.

The Freshfields team was led by Partner Maximilian Lasson (Corporate/M&A, Munich) who was supported by Partner Torsten Schreier (Corporate/M&A, Frankfurt), Counsel Judit Gajdics, Principal Associate Sandra Jung, Associate Charlotte Schings (all Corporate/M&A, Munich). Antitrust/Foreign Direct Investment was advised by Partner Thomas Wessely (Brussels), Counsel Uwe Salaschek, Associates Matthias Wahls (both Berlin) and Dina Madadi (Brussels). Further advisors were: Partners David Beutel (Tax, Berlin), Philipp Dohnke (Commercial/IP, Hamburg) and Ulrich Sittard (Employment, Düsseldorf), Counsel Sascha Arnold (Regulatory, Hamburg), Principal Associates Nicolas Sölter (Regulatory, Hamburg), Marius Li-Yang Stein (Commercial/IP, Munich) and Hendrik Witt (IT/Cyber, Düsseldorf), Associates Sebastian Himmelseher (Regulatory, Düsseldorf), Nina Gawert (Commercial/IP, Munich), Tobias Kalb (Employment, Munich), Moritz Lehmann (Tax, München), Zahar Qasim (Commercial/IP) and Senior Transaction Lawyer Franz Dahl (both Hamburg).

Inhouse the Airbus Legal transaction team was led by Elise Riaux (Senior Legal Counsel, Legal M&A) and included notably Laura Bellvert (Head of Competition Law), Anne Faber (Senior Legal Counsel, Competition Law), Gaëlle Barbe (Head of Third Party Management - Airbus Ethics and Compliance), Lidia Truong (Senior Compliance Manager, M&A), Dr. Clemens Völschow (Senior Legal Counsel Corporate Law) and Susanne Beer (Senior Legal Counsel Legal Real Estate).

The acting notary was Benedikt Pfisterer, München.