Mergers and acquisitions
Our seasoned team has acted in the full spectrum of corporate transactions, be it public company takeovers or contentious buyouts. With offices around the world, we can help you to get the deal done quickly, within regulations and with minimal fuss.
We have extensive experience of advising on public company takeovers, private equity investments, leveraged buyouts and other corporate transactions.We help develop strategies for achieving our clients’ business objectives. Whether you are a public or private company, our team can guide you through the complex negotiations necessary to complete a merger, acquisition or disposal.
Sometimes these negotiations are contentious, as when we advised a minority stakeholder in their bid to buy out other shareholders and gain control over a target company – a move opposed by that company’s board. We challenged the board’s actions and won, eventually structuring a deal advantageous to our client.
When acquisitions cross borders, we leverage the full power of our international team to get the deal done quickly and in line with regulations in each country. A global team of lawyers from our offices in London, Milan, Hong Kong and Singapore recently assisted Renault with the $1.5b acquisition of Lotus F1. In the nine-month process, we were able to extract Renault from engine-supply agreements with other F1 teams without any money changing hands. We also obtained four separate court adjournments to stave off more than a dozen creditors intent on forcing Lotus into liquidation, which was unprecedented.
More than 500 jobs at Lotus were saved, and Renault’s future in Formula 1 was secured. ‘It’s rare to be able to affect people’s lives as directly as we did in that project'.
Our US team represented one of the world’s largest manufacturers of graphite and carbon-based products in its $150m convertible preferred stock issuance, followed by a tender offer and merger with a value of $695m.
Acquisition of consumer goods distribution business Limited
Represented DKSH Group, a leading market expansion services provider in Asia, on its acquisition of the consumer goods distribution business of Auric Pacific Group Limited in Singapore and Malaysia for approximately S$218.4 million.
Asia Pacific’s leading premium flexible workspace provider
Represented JustCo Holdings (JCH) and JustGroup Holdings on the proposed combination of the businesses of the two entities into JCH.
Acquisition of The Sufferfest
Represented fitness training app Sufferfest in its acquisition by Wahoo Fitness, a US-based leader in connected fitness devices.
Strategic acquisition of the Uttam entities
Acted as Singapore counsel to Nithia Capital in relation to its joint venture with CarVal Investors to acquire Uttam Galva Metallics Limited and Uttam Value Steels Limited.
Cornes Safe Navigation Holdings Limited
Represented Cornes Safe Navigation Holdings Limited in its acquisition of Safe Navigation (HK) Limited, Safe Navigation Pte. Ltd in Singapore and Safe Navigation Inc. in the US, a group of companies engaged in the supply/resale of navigational data and services to the marine market.
Shun Ho Property Investments Limited
Represented Shun Ho Property Investments Limited, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Houston Venture Limited, on the acquisition of Enhance Invest Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Henderson Land Development Company Limited.
Acquisition of the minority shareholding in Australian pharmaceutical company
We acted for Lupin in relation to its acquisition of the minority shareholding in a pharmaceutical company in Australia.
Acquisition of the U.S. subsidiary of a U.K. pharmaceutical company
Advised an Italian company in its acquisition of the U.S. subsidiary of a U.K. company in the pharmaceutical industry.
Biotech/healthcare merger and acquisition
Advised in the acquisition of and merger into a biotech/healthcare company based in North Carolina.
Ladbrokes acquisition of bookmaker.com
We acted for Ladbrokes in relation to its acquisition of the bookmaker.com on-line gaming business in Australia.
Reorganization of a leading Californian pharmaceutical company
Advised, as lead investor counsel, in a reorganization, US$1 million bridge loan, and US$7 million strategic investment by a leading pharmaceutical company in a biotech/medical company based in California.
Sale of the South Beach Diet brand to MidOcean Partners
We represented the founders of the South Beach Diet in the sale of the South Beach Diet brand to MidOcean Partners, a leading private equity firm.
Acquisition of a majority stake in the Hong Kong subsidiary of an independent British brand
We represented a brand consultancy group in the acquisition of a majority stake in the Hong Kong subsidiary of an independent British brand and customer experience design consultancy agency.
Acquisition of a Malaysian company for RM120 million
We advised on the acquisition of a Malaysian company with ownership of a well-known major hotel in Malaysia by a BVI registered investment holding company for RM120 million.
Acquisition of a Shenzhen apparel business and joint venture
We advised a PRC-based, Hong Kong-listed fashion group in its acquisition of a Shenzhen apparel business and proposed joint venture with an Italian fashion group.
Acquisition of a Hong Kong bank
Advised a PRC insurance and finance group in its acquisition of a licensed bank in Hong Kong.
Acquisition of Chineses insurance company
Advised a foreign insurance company in its proposed CNY200 million acquisition of a minority stake in a Chinese P&C insurance company.
Asian Sovereignty fund
Advised an Asian sovereignty fund in its proposed acquisition of a state-owned PRC property development company through open bidding at an equity exchange.
Sale of a majority stake in a French joint venture
We represented a US based graphite material science company in the sale of its majority stake in a French joint venture to the minority partner.
IPO for Hightex Group
Hightex Group is a UK, Swiss and German membrane and renewable energy company. Withers has acted for Hightex Group on their IPO on the AIM market. We have also advised Hightex Group on their reverse takeover of West 175 Media Group Inc., the acquisition of HighTex International (HTI) AG, and on the acquisition of SolarNext AG, a German company active in the solar and alternative energy sectors.
Sale and leaseback of 139,941 containers by a Chinese marine shipping company
Withers acted for a Chinese leasing company in the sale and leaseback of 139,941 containers by a Chinese marine shipping company. The acquisition was financed by a USD$233 million loan facility from a German bank and a Chinese bank in Singapore.
Targetti Sankey SpA
We advised Targetti Sankey SpA in a €242 million syndicated loan to assist in the acquisition of the Danish lighting company Louis Poulsen Lighting A/S.
We advised Hitachi Chemical, in its investment in Ito Group Holdings, a Singapore limited exempt private company and its US, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian and European subsidiaries. The acquisition is part of the company's expansion efforts to capture demand from emerging countries and other target markets for its products which range from functional materials to advanced components and systems and have applications in the automotive, energy storage, electronics and diagnostics industries. Hitachi Chemicals is a division of Hitachi Ltd, the highly diversified Japanese multi-national conglomerate listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
We advised Syracuse University (USA) on its London Program which involved the acquisition of premises for use for educational purposes; employment advice in relation to urgent dismissal for gross misconduct; governance arrangements, including appointment of an interim director and new trustees; conflicts of interest in connection with the Programme's relationship with the University; advice and assistance in relation to sub-licenses for occupation of premises by other educational organisations, including in relation to real estate matters and tax treatment of revenues. The work represents a mature study abroad programme operating in the UK and in Europe, raising a variety of operational issues.
We advised TASI Holdings on the acquisition of business in a US tech company that produces long-range wireless sensor networks, used primarily in the oil and gas industry. This is TASI's fifth acquisition since 2011. TASI provides advanced test and inspection instrumentation & systems, flowmeters and flow control products, measurement instrumentation and automated assembly and test systems around the globe in a variety of sectors including: automotive, life science, oil & gas and food & beverage.
Senior executives at King.com
Candy Crush Saga was one of the major global success stories of the free-to-play mobile device games, with more than 93 million players worldwide. We are proud to have acted for the founders of the company that owned it, King.com, in the high-profile sale of their business to Activision Blizzard for US$5.9 billion, achieving a very satisfactory outcome for our clients.
In partnership with Newlat, a leading Italian food producer, we advised on the acquisition of Kraft Heinz’s Italian infant food and nutraceuticals production plant. The Parma plant owned by US food giant Kraft Heinz, produces the well-known Plasmon biscuits as well as pasta, liquid milk, dry milk and cereals, among other products. The deal included an arrangement for Newlat to manufacture infant milks and nutrition products including Kraft Heinz owned products. The Newlat Group is one of the top ten players in the Italian food sector, with a turnover exceeding US$355 million. Its business is focused on milk and wheat-based products, with an existing base of 11 production plants.
Renault on the acquisition of Lotus F1
We advised Renault on its €1.5 billion investment in motorsport and technology. This was a multi-jurisdictional and multi-party project involving Mr Bernie Ecclestone, CVC, FIA, key sponsors of Lotus, incoming and outgoing drivers of Lotus F1 as well as outgoing minority shareholders.
Thor Equities and Invesco
Via della Spiga 26 is a beautiful building in the 'golden triangle' of Milan, housing Dolce & Gabbana's flagship store as well as the offices of Tiffany & Co. We helped Thor Equities and Invesco to acquire the site, negotiating with a family who had held the property for generations and were initially locked in dispute between themselves. Our clients and the vendors were grateful for our help in brokering what had seemed an impossible deal.
Two food entrepreneurs
We used our experience of working with entrepreneurs to help the founders of a food business providing goods to UK high-street retailers as they sold their company. Our lawyers assisted with the commercial aspects of the sale to a private equity firm, handling complex UK remittance tax issues and US tax issues. We were also involved in our clients’ reinvestment in a new holding company.
Successful financial services senior executive
Withers was called on to act for a well-known managing partner of an international investment firm when his reputation was under threat. Our robust approach to reputation management prevented the filing of false statements in a form U-5 (Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration) that would have had a detrimental effect on his future career and earnings.
A leading financial services company
We advised the partners in relation to a review of the structure of the their business, optimizing succession planning and convert to a limited liability partnership status. We undertook an extensive review of the business and its assets. This included examining the tax profiles of each partner as well as regulatory issues, inherent business risk and setting goals for the future.
A New York financial services company
At Withers we like a challenge, so it is always pleasing to be presented with complex cases such as a reverse triangular merger on which we were instructed by a client that held extensive real estate in New York City and Long Island. Our client wished to transfer stock in the merger, and requested advice on shareholder liability as well as the state and city real estate taxes.
The CEO of a globally recognized jewelry brand
This well-known, publicly held brand has more than 1,200 retail outlets throughout the US. We negotiated a new package (valued in excess of $2 million annually) on behalf of the incoming chief executive.
Chief financial officer of software firm
We represented the chief financial officer of a software company in connection with a SEC investigation. The commission was alleging that there had been accounting improprieties on our client's watch, but we were able to obtain a favourable resolution of all charges.
A household name UK supermarket
With much of our history focused on acting for successful individuals, families and entrepreneurs, we are not afraid to go up against large financial institutions. In one complex case, we acted against one of the largest UK banks in a dispute relating to a loan for the development of a household name supermarket, and the use of an interest rate swap to ‘hedge’ the loan.
A luxury yacht builder
An Italian luxury yacht builder consulted Withers when it found itself in dispute with a Maltese client over a shipbuilding agreement. This was essentially a contractual dispute involving delay, construction in accordance with strict shipbuilding specifications and a claim for liquidated damages.
A Russian holding company
We acted on behalf of the holding company and shareholders behind one of the largest conglomerates of heavy industrial companies in Russia. The company was in dispute with a bank over the basis of a loan the bank had given it. The complex legal proceedings included an LCIA arbitration in London, anti-suit injunctions and injunctions in the Netherlands.
An Azerbaijani-owned company
Increasingly, we are called upon to represent corporate clients in international arbitration. For example we acted at the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on behalf of a subsidiary of an Azerbaijani company that was in dispute with a conglomerate of Israeli companies over a joint venture agreement. The case related to a license to drill oil just off the coast of Israel.
Our civil fraud team acted for the largest oil and gas company in Central and Eastern Europe, winning a $40 million settlement after a London court agreed that our client had been fraudulently sold a lower grade of crude oil than it believed it was purchasing from the commodities trader Glencore.
Valse Holdings SA
Switzerland's long-term stability and security has long encouraged investors and high net worth individuals to use Switzerland’s many banks and advisors for their assets. We brought a claim on behalf of a family investment vehicle, managed in Switzerland, that it had been negligently advised by Merrill Lynch Investment Bank.
A computer component manufacturer
A leading global computer component manufacturer with operations around the world, including the US, Singapore and China contacted Withers when it needed to carry out a major worldwide restructuring. Our team has lawyers across many jurisdictions and was glad to advise on issues of anti-expatriation, earnings stripping and transfer pricing.
Europa Investimenti and its subsidiary Cose Belle d'Italia have a long-standing track record of success in investment and financial transaction facilitation. When Europa Investimenti embarked on an acquisition of the controlling share in luxury yacht manufacturer Apreamare, Withers offered facilitation and advice for the purchase.
Withers has a strong track record in representing high-profile and high-net-worth figures in the world of sport. When leading football manager Jürgen Klopp was approached by Liverpool Football Club to become its manager, we represented him in the negotiations for his move and the extension to his contract.
Italian company Newlat specialises in distribution for the agro-food sector, offering a large point of sale network across Italy and further abroad. Withers offered advice to Netlat to assist during their acquisition of a manufacturing plant in Ozzano Taro, Italy from Heinz.
Renault Group & Gravity Motorsports S.a.r.l.
Renault Group is a French automobile manufacturer with long history in motorsport. When Renault was interested in the purchase of a controlling stake in Lotus F1 Team Ltd, Renault Group and Gravity Motorsports S.a.r.l. came to Withers for advice on the acquisition.
When the founders of a highly successful software company decided to sell the business to one of the world's largest equity houses, Withers was on hand to make sure the deal ran smoothly. We devised a tax-efficient exit for the founders and reduced their exposure to any future disputes, should they arise. Since the deal was completed, the founders have also come to us when they wanted to reinvest the sale proceeds into new ventures.
Soho House (London)
We are incredibly proud of our relationship with Soho House. Founded in London in 1995 as a private members' club for people in the creative world, Soho House has since successfully opened clubs across Europe and the US as well as restaurants, cinemas, work spaces, spas and bedrooms. It has been an amazing journey to work with them as they grow
State Bank of India in luxury hotel development
The Old War Office at 57 Whitehall, London is a prestigious and historic building. We were proud to act for State Bank of India in its client Hinduja Group's purchase of the site, which is to be converted into a luxury hotel.
The founder of an online clothing business
The founder of this highly successful online clothing retail business wanted to sell a large stake to a leading luxury goods conglomerate. As the go-to law firm for fashion entrepreneurs, Withers was brought in to ensure that the value of our client's stake was protected and negotiate a fresh incentive package. We then worked to achieve a tax-efficient strategy for the disposal of part of the founder's interest.
DieselReboot by Diesel
Withers is proud to have represented global Italian retailer Diesel during the launch of their reinventive new brand DieselReboot. During the launch, Withers worked alongside Diesel's newly appointed artistic director Nicola Formichetti and advised on the brand's new aims to 'rediscover and reactive the DNA of Diesel'.
Max Mara - Jennifer Garner campaign
Italian fashion house Max Mara has a long history of designing luxury couture clothing and has a strong reputation as one of the world's top fashion brands. When their latest campaign involved offering American screen actress Jennifer Garner the opportunity to be the face of their new sunglasses range, Withers was there to assist and provide advice for the agreement.
5 October 2023 | Event
Seminar | Outbound M&A – Investing in Southeast Asia, the US, and Europe – opportunities and challenges | Tokyo
25 April 2023 | Article
Change – How Japan's investment environment has improved over the past decade
9 January 2023 | Firm news
Withers KhattarWong strengthens cross-border M&A practice and launches its Japan Desk with Japanese partner Yutaka Sakashita
13 May 2022 | Firm news
Withers represented Magnificent Hotel Investments Limited in multi-billion dollar transactions
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