The Legal 500

Editorial

Legal market overview

Germany’s M&A market has been stable and active at a relatively modest level, but with US investors capitalising on improved borrower conditions for takeovers in Germany, lawyers are optimistic about the market in 2014. Concurrently with this, the implementation of Basel III is expected to lead to an increase in distressed M&A. In banking and finance, lawyers remain busy with loan refinancings; large-cap transactions have reached an unprecedented level of complexity. In capital markets, the space has been characterised by aborted or postponed IPOs. Lawyers have also been busy advising clients on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

In a sign of the market’s relative stability, there were fewer large corporate crises but existing large restructuring mandates such as Pfleiderer and Qimonda kept firms busy in 2012 and 2013. On the insolvency side, the modernising ESUG legislation has been widely used and is regarded as a tool to enforce creditors’ rights. In real estate, new investments have been made as the market has been driven by low interest rates and an influx of foreign capital, both of which prompted substantial transactions and led to demand for real estate assets outstripping supply.

Public sector work has again been shaped by the topics of energy turnaround, grid extension and connection, and the politically charged subject of fracking. Public procurement practices are increasingly setting up a Brussels office as most legislation is being driven by EU law.

Tax lawyers have been busy advising clients on touchy topics such as tax avoidance and compliance, fuelled by recent heated political discussions. The antitrust legislator has also been cracking down on businesses, which sparked an increased need in the mid market for advice regarding compliance and internal investigations; the market has seen unprecedented levels of cartel proceedings.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in Germany

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • GSK Advises EnBW AG on Acquisition of Eni’s Joint Venture Holdings in Gas Business

    EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW) is acquiring the 50%  holdings of Eni Gruppe, Rome, in EnBW Eni Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, Stuttgart, thereby increasing its holdings to 100 %. This makes EnBW indirectly the sole shareholder of Gasversorgung Süddeutschland GmbH (GVS) and terranets bw GmbH. GSK Stockmann + Kollegen provided comprehensive legal advice to EnBW in connection with this transaction.
  • GSK Advises PAMERA Real Estate Group on the Sale of the PAMERA Companies to Cornerstone Group

    GSK Stockmann + Kollegen advised the shareholder of the PAMERA Asset Management GmbH, the PAMERA Retail GmbH and the PAMERA Development GmbH on the sale of these companies to the European Cornerstone subsidiary of US-American Cornerstone Estate Advisers LLC.
  • GSK Advises GEWA 5 to 1 GmbH & Co. KG on Issuance of Real Estate Project Bond

    GSK Stockmann + Kollegen advised the GEWA 5 to 1 GmbH & Co. KG in connection with the issuance of a real estate project bond in the amount of up to € 35 million. Following the issuance by the Cloud No. 7 GmbH this is the second bond issuance for the construction of an apartment and hotel tower that GSK Stockmann + Kollegen has provided advice on.
  • GSK Update: Proposal for Uniform Protection of Trade Secrets Throughout Europe

    In the information society trade secrets are among the most important assets of any business. The quantity and quality of the trade secrets represent a substantial part of the company's assets. In the European Union there are currently varying levels of protection, insofar as trade secrets are legally protected at all. This hinders cross-border business and companies that operate internationally are faced with legal uncertainty. The EU Commission now wants to change this and has submitted a proposal for a uniform level of protection and protective system across Europe.
  • GSK Newsletter: Taxation of Cross-Border Transactions in Germany

    There are a number of ways how a foreign entity or private individual can pursue business activities in Germany. First, you can become active without creating a physical presence in Germany simply by supplying goods and services to German clients from abroad. Second, the foreign business might establish a fixed place in Germany (e.g. a permanent establishment) from which it pursues its German activities. Third, the foreign business might set up a German subsidiary either as a partnership or as a corporation. Last but not least, collective investment schemes, whose taxation regime has been extensively reorganized recently, might also be an interesting alternative for foreign investors. Which route to follow will mainly depend on the kind and the size of the business activities to be carried out in Germany or with German clients as well as on tax considerations that will have an impact on the decisions to be made. This  GSK Tax Newsletter  shall provide a first introduction to the taxation issues a foreign business considering to expand its activities to Germany will have to take into account. We would be pleased to help you with any questions in this regard!
  • GSK advises 2D Holding GmbH in connection with sale of SÜDDEKOR Group to SURTECO SE

    GSK Stockmann + Kollegen advised 2D Holding GmbH in connection with the sale of SÜDDEKOR Group, a leading specialist in surface finishing of wood materials, to SURTECO SE. On October 23, 2013, 2D Holding GmbH and SURTECO SE entered into a pur-chase agreement regarding the sale of SÜDDEKOR Group consisting of  SÜDDEKOR GmbH in Laichingen, Dakor Melamin Imprägnierungen GmbH in Her-oldstatt, SÜDDEKOR Art Design + Engraving GmbH in Willich, SÜDDEKOR LLC (USA) and Süddekor OOO (Moscow) to SURTECO SE. The transaction was suc-cessfully completed on December 2, 2013 after antitrust release had been obtained. The parties agreed to keep the purchase price confidential.
  • GSK attorneys authored the German Chapter of GTDT's 6th edition of Banking Regulation

    Getting the Deal Through has published the fully revised and updated sixth edition of Banking Regulation, a volume in the series of annual reports, which provide international analysis in key areas of law and policy for corporate counsel, cross-border legal practitioners and business people.
  • GSK attorney Karl v. Hase authored the German Chapter of GTDT’s 10th edition of Dispute Resolution

    Getting the Deal Through has published its fully revised and updated tenth edition of Dispute Resolution, a volume in the series of annual reports, which provide international analysis in key areas of law and policy for corporate counsel, cross-border legal practitioners and business people. Following the format adopted throughout the series, the same key questions are answered by leading practitioners in each of the 47 jurisdictions featured. GTDT's German Chapter was authored by GSK attorney Dr. Karl von Hase. In his article he gives an overview of civil and commercial litigation in Germany, arbitration agreements and alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
  • GSK attorneys authored the German Chapter of GTDT's 5th edition of Banking Regulation

    Getting the Deal Through has published the fully revised and updated fifth edition of Banking Regulation, a volume in the series of annual reports, which provide international analysis in key areas of law and policy for corporate counsel, cross-border legal practitioners and business people.
  • Court of Justice of the European Union renders final decision on...

    Supplementary Protection Certificates with regard to second marketing authorization of medical compounds (decision of July 19, 2012 – Case C-130/11 –Neurim Pharmaceuticals vs. Comptroller General of Patents)

Press Releases in Germany

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • GSK adds french firm Lefèvre Pelletier to its international alliance of business law firms

    The internationally cooperating law firms Nabarro LLP (UK), GSK Stockmann + Kollegen (Germany), Nunziante Magrone (Italy) and Roca Junyent (Spain) are adding a new member to their alliance. With Lefèvre Pelletier & associés the alliance was able to gain one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in France. Thus, the alliance now has more than 980 lawyers and 31 offices in the most important financial and economic centers in Europe and thereby covers 10 jurisdictions, including Algeria, Morocco, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and China.
  • Hengeler Mueller advises KKR on investment in arago

    KKR, a leading global investment firm, announced an investment in arago AG ("arago"). arago is a German-based high-tech company specialised in IT automation. KKR will acquire a minority stake in arago and support the global roll-out of arago's product portfolio with growth equity.
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Bertelsmann on acquisition of full ownership of Gruner + Jahr

    The international media company Bertelsmann is increasing its ownership of Gruner + Jahr to 100 percent by acquiring Jahr Holding's 25.1 percent shareholding. The transaction was agreed among Gruner + Jahr's shareholders. Bertelsmann's acquisition of the remaining shares in Gruner + Jahr will become effective on November 1, 2014. The purchase price is being paid in cash, and the parties have agreed not to disclose the amount.
  • Hengeler Mueller advises LEG Immobilien AG on acquisition of portfolio of around 9,600 residential u

    A subsidiary of LEG Immobilien AG ("LEG"), acting as the buyer, and Deutsche Annington Immobilien SE ("Deutsche Annington"), acting as the seller, yesterday signed an agreement for a portfolio transaction for around 9,600 residential units and related employees in North Rhine-Westphalia by way of share deal. The total transaction volume amounts to €484m. Following antitrust approval, the closing of the transaction is expected by the end of October 2014.
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Blackstone on the acquisition of MesseTurm

    Real estate funds managed by Blackstone ("Blackstone") have acquired the MesseTurm building in Frankfurt am Main. The completion of the sale is subject to regulatory approval.
  • Hengeler Mueller advises arrangers and underwriters on financing of planned acquisition of Sigma-Ald

    Merck, a leading company for high-tech products in the pharma, performance materials and life science sectors, and Sigma-Aldrich, also a leading life science and technology company, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck will acquire Sigma-Aldrich for €13.1bn (converted). A USD 15.6bn bridge financing has been secured for the all-cash transaction. The final financing structure will comprise a combination of cash on Merck's balance sheet, bank loans and bonds. Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan and Société Générale acted as arrangers and underwriters in respect of the financing transaction. Closing is expected in mid-year 2015, subject to regulatory approvals, approval by a special shareholders' meeting of Sigma-Aldrich and other customary closing conditions.
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Neiman Marcus Group on the acquisition of mytheresa.com

    Neiman Marcus Group LTD LLC announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire mytheresa.com, one of the world's leading online retailers for luxury fashion, from Christoph and Susanne Botschen and Acton Capital Partners. In addition, Neiman Marcus will also be acquiring the THERESA flagship luxury fashion store in Munich from the Botschen family. The transaction is expected to close later this year, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Deutsche Bank on financing of planned acquisition of Concur Technologies In

    SAP SE plans to acquire Concur Technologies Inc., a leader in the market for travel and expense (T&E) management software. SAP is financing the acquisition through a credit facility agreement in an amount of up to €7bn arranged by Deutsche Bank to cover the purchase price, target debt refinancing and acquisition-related costs. The transaction is subject to Concur stockholder approval, clearances by the relevant regulatory authorities and other customary closing conditions. It is expected to be closed in the fourth quarter of 2014 or the first quarter 2015.
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Siemens on sale of stake in BSH to Bosch

    Bosch and Siemens have agreed that Robert Bosch GmbH will acquire Siemens' 50 percent stake in the joint venture BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (BSH) at a purchase price of €3bn. In addition, Siemens and Bosch will each receive from BSH an additional distribution of €250m before the transaction is completed. The transaction, which still requires regulatory approval, will probably be completed in the first half of calendar year 2015. BSH will then become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group. Under the terms of the agreement, BSH will also be allowed to produce and market household appliances under the Siemens brand over the long term.
  • GSK expands Hamburg Office with Corporate-/Litigation-Team from Brödermann Jahn

    GSK Stockmann + Kollegen, continuing on its growth course, is steadily expanding its Northern German office in Hamburg. After the market's very positive reaction to the addition of the Corporate/M&A team led by the former Latham colleagues Max Wilmann and Andreas C. Peters last year, the firm is now staffing the field of international conflict resolution with a prominent addition: