German automaker Daimler AG is the latest shareholder in the European Aeronautic Defense & Space Company (EADS) to shed its holdings in the Airbus parent.
Stuttgart-based Daimler, owner of such brands as Mercedes-Benz and Maybach, announced Wednesday that it would raise $2.9 billion from a share offering for its remaining 7.5 percent stake in EADS, which it helped form in 2000. The European aerospace and defense giant has recently been overhauling its ownership structure.
Jochem Reichert, Marc Löbbe, and Michaela Balke, corporate and M&A partners with SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz in Mannheim, are leading a team from the German firm advising Daimler on the share sale, according to German legal publication Juve. Other SZA lawyers working on the deal include capital markets partners Stephan Harbarth and Nicolas Ott and antitrust partner Hans-Joachim Hellmann. SZA was formed in 2008 by a breakaway 30-lawyer group from the German operations of Shearman & Sterling, a firm that a year later helped Daimler extricate itself from legacy liabilities stemming from its disastrous $38 billion merger with Chrysler in 1998.
Juve reports that corporate partners Marco Sustmann and Andreas Merkner from Düsseldorf-based Glade Michel Wirtz is also counseling Daimler on its exit from EADS. The Am Law Daily reported in December that both Glade Michel Wirtz and Schilling had taken the lead for Daimler on its decision to sell half its EADS holdings to a development bank owned by the German government for $2.2 billion. (Other firms advising various parties on EADS’s ownership restructuring include Magic Circle firms Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Dutch shop NautuDutilh, French firm Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, and Germany’s Gleiss Lutz, according to our previous reports.)
Daimler in-house lawyers advising the company on its separation from EADS include head of legal M&A Holger Jahn, senior counsel Peter Herz, Klaus Benner, Dennis Döpfer, and Myriam Spengler, according to Juve. Former German politician and senior judge Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt was appointed to Daimler’s management board as the body’s head of integrity and legal affairs in February 2011 and to oversee the company’s in-house legal and compliance department.
Juve reports that Magic Circle firms Allen & Overy and Linklaters are advising Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which are acting as joint underwriters for Daimler’s EADS share sale, which comes on the heels of French media conglomerate Lagardere raising $3 billion through the private placement of shares for its 7.4 percent stake in EADS, whose general counsel is Peter Kleinschmidt.
Magic Circle firm Slaughter and May, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, and leading French shop Bredin Prat have taken the lead for Lagardere on the matter. Norbert Glaoul serves as general counsel for Lagardere, which expects its disposal of EADS shares to be completed by July, the same month Daimler expects to complete its own divestiture.
EADS has agreed to purchase shares being sold by both Daimler and Lagardere.