Berlin and Frankfurt - Global law firm K&L Gates LLP is advising The Carlyle Group (Carlyle) on the proposed takeover of vwd Vereinigte Wirtschaftsdienste Aktiengesellschaft (vwd group). On September 18, 2012, Carlyle announced its decision to launch a voluntary takeover offer for all vwd group shares at €2.80 per share.
This is the second public takeover made by Carlyle Europe Technology Partners II in the German technology sector since its 2008 creation, with a K&L Gates team led by Frankfurt private equity partner Andreas Füchsel and counsel Claudius Paul also having advised Carlyle on its 2010 acquisition of Wiesbaden-based software company P&I Personal & Informatik.
Carlyle is acting jointly with vwd group shareholder Edmund J. Keferstein, as well as EDG AG manager Philipp Henrich and EDG AG supervisory board member Prof. Dr. Lutz Johanning. EDG AG is a subsidiary of vwd group.
The transaction is being led by Andreas Füchsel and Frankfurt finance partner Dr. Matthias Grund. Frankfurt counsel Dr. Bastian Bongertz is advising on acquisition financing. Frankfurt counsel Claudius Paul and associates Katja Findeisen and Tom Pagels are advising on corporate law. Berlin partner Dr. Tobias Bosch and associates Dr. Torsten Kraul, Dr. Friederike Gräfin von Brühl, Dr. Sophia Sepperer, and Olaf Fiss are advising on the IP/IT/commercial aspects of the deal, and Berlin counsel Nicolas Roggel and associate Dr. Teimuraz Kuprashvili are providing advice on employment law. Frankfurt partner Dr. Christian Büche is advising on financial services regulatory issues.
The Carlyle Group is one of the world’s largest investment companies. As of June 30, 2012, the company managed approximately U.S.$156 billion across 99 funds and 63 fund of funds vehicles. Carlyle invests in four segments – Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Fund of Funds Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. Carlyle invests in the automotive and transport, energy, financial services, industrial, infrastructure, consumer and retail, aerospace and defense, pharmaceutical, technology and services, and telecommunication and media sectors. The Carlyle Group has 1,300 employees in 32 offices across six continents.
The vwd group provides market data and innovative applications for clients in Private Banking, Retail Banking, Asset Management, and Wealth Management. vwd group’s best known brands are vwd market manager, vwd portfolio manager, finanztreff.de, vwd fonds service, vwd portfolioNet, TradeLink, Tai-Pan and EDG Zertifikate-Rating.
Andreas Füchsel commented: “Due to the complex issues involved, particularly regarding acquisition financing and management participation, public takeovers by private equity investors in Germany are relatively rare. We are pleased that, following our advice on the P&I transaction, Carlyle has again chosen to rely on our experience in this sector for the LBO of the vwd group."
K&L Gates includes lawyers practicing out of more than 40 fully integrated offices located in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East, and represents numerous GLOBAL 500, FORTUNE 100, and FTSE 100 corporations, in addition to growth and middle market companies, entrepreneurs, capital market participants and public sector entities.