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A ‘top class’ practice with ‘a dynamic and highly intelligent approach’, Bär & Karrer Ltd.’s ‘entire team is very committed to delivering custom-made advice’ in M&A transactions as well as regulatory corporate matters: recent highlights include assisting Lonza with the $5.5bn acquisition of Capsugel and advising Huntsman Corporation on the $20bn all-stock merger with Clariant. The ‘excellentRalph Malacrida, ‘M&A star’ Rolf Watter and public M&A expert Mariel Hoch are recommended. Till Spillmann joined Niederer Kraft Frey.

Homburger is active in all types of merger and acquisition work, with a particular focus on cross-border transactions. Recently, the team advised Clariant International on its $20bn merger of equals with Huntsman Corporation and assisted Johnson & Johnson with the $30bn public takeover acquisition of Actelion. On the corporate side, the group handles regulatory compliance and restructuring matters. Other active clients are General Electric, SIX Group and Sonova. Dieter Gericke leads the team, which also includes Hansjürg Appenzeller, Daniel Daeniker, Frank Gerhard and Daniel Hasler.

Lenz & Staehelin’s ‘proactive and efficient’ practice is ‘strong in both Zurich and Geneva’ and ‘can be recommended for a wide range of legal support’, not least because of its ‘dedicated in-house experience in transactional matters, commercial insight and tax expertise’. The group also covers hostile takeover situations, private equity transactions, joint ventures and M&A disputes. One of the ongoing highlights is the assistance given to Sika regarding an unsolicited takeover attempt by Saint Gobain. Hans-Jakob Diem, Rudolf Tschäni and Beat Kühni are the recommended key partners, while ‘responsive’ M&A lawyer Tino Gaberthüel is noted for his ‘deep knowledge and solution-focused, practical approach to challenging situations. The ‘pragmaticStephan Ernidelivers clear advice and attention to detail during cross-border transactions’.

Niederer Kraft Freyimpresses with handling fast-moving and complex transactions in a responsive and qualitative manner’, especially in the banking, TMT and life science industries. Recent transactional highlights include advising Actelion on Johnson & Johnson’s $30bn all-cash tender offer and assisting Boston Scientific Corporation with the $435m cross-border acquisition of Symetis; the team also assists with corporate restructurings. Patrik Peyer, who ‘translates complex solutions into simple structures’, and the ‘excellentPhilipp Haas are both recommended, as is senior associate Moritz Maurer, who joined from Pestalozzi in January 2017. The ‘responsive and deeply knowledgeable’ Till Spillmann joined from Bär & Karrer Ltd..

Baker McKenzie is recommended for its ‘global office network, efficiency and prompt reaction’ in the context of cross-border transactions, leverage buy-outs and venture deals in the banking and healthcare sectors. In Zurich, the team advised Deutsche Beteiligungsgesellschaft on its acquisition of all shares in Duagon and assisted Walter Meier with the de facto merger of its heating, ventilation and airconditioning business with Tobler Haustechnik. The client portfolio includes Selecta, Cross Private Equity, Carlyle and Ufenau Capital Partners. Head of the Geneva team Martin Anderson is recommended.

The ‘outstanding and excellentKellerhals Carrard focuses on mid-cap M&A transactions and corporate governance matters, especially in the healthcare and innovative technology sectors. The team advised Galenica on the separation of its pharmaceutical and healthcare businesses into independent companies. The ‘efficient, effective and responsive’ co-lead Ines Pöschel is recommended, as is ‘diligent and analytical’ managing partner Beat Brechbühl, who ‘never loses sight of any detail and provides clear leadership to his teams’.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) handles share and asset acquisitions, mergers, public tender offers, private equity transactions as well as commercial matters on both domestic and international level. The team, which ‘masters new subjects quickly’, advised H.I.G. Capital on acquiring a majority of the share capital in Infinigate by means of a squeeze-out merger and assisted Calida’s with the acquisition of German company Reich Online Services from a private individual. Alexander Vogel, Andrea Sieber and Daniel Schoch are recommended.

Pestalozzi advises on corporate governance, directors’ liability, shareholder relations, compliance and restructurings issues as well as M&A deals. The team assisted CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvétique with the acquisition of wealth manager FIBI Bank and advised Adveq on its takeover by Schroders. Other key clients include Coca Cola, Swiss Life and CBS. Christoph Lang is the key partner in Zurich, while Sébastien Roy heads the Geneva practice.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltdprovides appropriate, practical advice in a responsive fashion’ and focuses on M&A deals. Recent highlights include advising AXA Life on its tender offer for all shares in Zürcher Freilager, and assisting blue-infinity with its acquisition by Dentsu Aegis. Clients recommend Oliver Triebold and ‘experienced M&A lawyersMartin Weber and Pascal Hubli, Hubli was promoted to the partnership along Tarek Houdrouge in 2017.

Vischer is particularly ‘strong in private M&A and private equity transactions for young, fast-growing companies in the healthcare and digital media sectors’. The practice advised Symetis on its $435m all-cash acquisition by Boston Scientific and also assisted Anheuser-Busch InBev with the €7.3bn sale of SABMiller’s business in Eastern Europe to Asahi. Co-head Jürg Luginbühl and associate Gian-Andrea Caprez are recommended for ‘finding pragmatic and commercial solutions, working exceptionally hard and responding quickly’. Other names to note are M&A co-leads Matthias Staehelin and Benedict Christ.

The ‘highly recommendable’ practice of Walder Wyss Ltd impresses with ‘outstanding speed, practicality and cooperation’ and advises on M&A and restructuring transactions. The group is assisting Allied World with its $4.9bn merger acquisition by Fairfax and advised Sanofi on entering a strategic partnership with Lonza worth CHF290m. Migros is a longstanding client. Markus Vischer, Urs Gnos and Urs Schenker all exhibit a ‘high level of technique’ and provide ‘concise answers’.

Wenger & Vieli’s team is ‘quick, reliable and straight to the point’ and focuses on mid-cap M&A work for energy, manufacturing, private equity and venture capital clients. Wolfgang Zürcher advised Audax Private Equity Fund on the $640m sale of Laborie Medical Technologies to North American company Patricia Industries. Zug-based partners Beat Speck and Michael Mosimann are recommended; Pascal Honold made partner in 2017.

BianchiSchwald LLC offers advice on M&A transactions, venture capital, private equity and general corporate matters, particularly for clients in the manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries. Recent highlights include advising Stadler Rail on a joint venture with Austrian railway maintenance company ÖBB-Technische Services. Manuel Bianchi della Porta counts French food retail company Casino among his long-term clients. Thomas Schmid heads the practice and Andreas Bättig, Marc Metzger as well as Hans-Peter Schwald are other names to note.

Bratschi Ltd is adept at advising on transactional as well as contentious and non-contentious corporate issues, predominantly in the mid-market sector. The team advised Etihad Airways on the sale of Darwin Airline to the Swiss subsidiary of Adria Airways and assisted St. Galler Nationalbank with the sale of its Portuguese business division. New clients include Löwengarten Holding. The ‘solution-minded’ Christian Stambach, Thomas Peter and Martin Moser are the key contacts.

CMS offers ‘advice on short notice’, ‘transparent fees’, an ‘effective global network’ and ‘services that are tailor-made and focused on the clients’ needs based on a deep understanding of their businesses’. The practice is especially recommended for its M&A expertise and telecom sector knowledge, but also engages in private equity, W&I insurance and directors’ liability matters. Recently, the team advised Sunrise on the CHF500m sale of Swiss Towers to a consortium. ABB, Heraeus and Dover Corporation are also active clients. ‘Hands-on lawyerMarquard Christen, ‘dedicated’ team lead Stefan Brunnschweiler, ‘strong negotiatorAlain Raemy, ‘rising star’ Daniel Jenny and ‘reliable’ associate Andrea Ferchl are all recommended.

Eversheds Sutherland AG offers ‘competitive prices and very good, client-focused service that is spot-on and practical, as well as an easy telephone access for smaller questions’. The main focus areas are M&A transactions, private equity, restructuring and other corporate law matters. In notable recent matters, the group advised Parker Hannifin on its relocation from Luxembourg to Switzerland, including the formation of a new principal company, and assisting Monsanto with cross-border corporate reorganisation issues. Oliver Beldihas a hands-on, practical approach and is highly knowledgeable about the Swiss legal environment’, while Marc Nufercomes up with creative solutions and gets transactions done’.

id est avocats sàrl engages in corporate matters and M&A deals, with a strong focus on the TMT sector in the Western region of Switzerland. Biotech company Genkyotex received support during its merger with Genticel, while the lawyers also advised Artanim Interactive on its acquisition by Dreamscape Immersive. Ravenpack and Beqom are other active clients. Michel Jaccard and Juliette Ancelle are the names to note.

Python’s ‘reliable’ practice provides ‘very good value for money’ based on ‘proactivity, concise legal documents and great partner availability during deals’. The team specialises in commercial contracts work, M&A transactions, reorganisations, asset and stock purchase agreements, as well as joint ventures. Marc Iynedjianunderstands problems quickly and is very business-minded’ and the Zug-based Thomas Steinmann is a ‘very good negotiator’ who ‘gets deals done’.

Thouvenin Rechtsanwälte is the ‘perfect size for SME clients’, provides ‘a very high service level with feasible and practical advice’ on M&A, reorganisations, joint ventures, corporate governance and general corporate law and is ‘able to act quickly and without fuss’. Microsoft Corporation retains the group for general corporate matters. Markus Alderknows the challenges of small and medium-sized enterprises’, while Arlette Pfister, Thomas Loher and Michael Bösch are also recommended.

FBT Attorneys-at-Lawtackles every project with enthusiasm, great professionalism and dedication’. The practice focuses on M&A deals, corporate regulation, contract drafting, investments, shareholder agreements and asset protection. Team lead Marco Villa and Jean-Luc Bochatay are ‘solution-oriented and pragmatic’.

Froriep offers ‘excellent expertise, good response times and availability, as well as relevant advice and understanding of the clients’ businesses’. The team handles M&A transactions in the privately held sector, investment rounds for start-up companies and non-profit enterprises. A recent highlight was the strategic-investment support given to Livingdocs after it received capital from NZZ Mediengruppe. Freshpoint and Novavest Real Estate have been clients for several years. The practice is led by Catrina Luchsinger, while the ‘very professional and responsiveMattias Johnson in Zug, the ‘smart, prompt and thoroughJulie Wynne in Geneva and ‘effective’ associate Evelien Zemp are also recommended.

GHR Rechtsanwältestands out in terms of responsiveness and the ability to provide advice in an uncomplicated manner’. The practice has expertise in corporate governance, compliance and shareholder relation matters, as well as M&A transactions, divestments, takeovers, spin-offs, restructurings, joint venture and capital transactions. The team advised F24 on its acquisition of Dolphin Systems. Craig International Supplies is a regular client. The ‘attentive and responsive’ Marc Grüninger ‘provides clear and spot-on advice’, while the ‘professional’ Rolf Hartmann ‘is able to give very specific answers directly and organises processes in an excellent way’.

Jacquemoud Stanislasdelivers the same quality as a larger law firm, but with a very personal touch’, ‘focuses on getting the deal done’ and possesses ‘solid private equity industry knowledge’. The ‘excellentPhilippe Jacquemoudhas a rare business sense’ and ‘manages his team well’, while Guy Stanislas is ‘responsive and solution-driven’.

Lalive specialises in corporate transactions, public-private partnerships and commercial contracts. Alexander Troller and Jean-Paul Vulliéty are the main contacts in Geneva, while Simone Nadelhofer and Daniel Bühr lead the practice in Zurich.

Mangeat Attorneys at Law LLCis a very strong firm that offers rapid response times, flexibility and careful advice in consideration of the clients’ business objectives and constraints’. The practice handles matters concerning corporate governance, compliance, M&A, business reorganisation and shareholders agreements. Recent highlights include advising Tosk Energji on a joint venture with an independent commodities trading house in relation to the purchase and operation of a petroleum products terminal. Sequoia Asset Management is another key client. Fabien Aeplihas strong listening skills and takes in both the bigger picture and its details’.

Oberson Abels Ltd advises on general corporate, restructuring and contract law as well as financing and M&A transactions. The practice assisted two private banks in Geneva with the sales of their subsidiaries and also supported a French investment fund in its acquisition of a construction company. Sébastien Bettschart and Stefan Eberhard are the key partners.

Prager Dreifuss AG focuses on M&A transactions and corporate restructuring, as well as contract and liability issues. The practice was active for Swissgas and Schweizerische Aktiengesellschaft für Erdgas regarding the establishment of a buyers’ consortium for the acquisition of a majority stake in FluxSwiss Sagl. The main contacts are M&A specialists Andreas Moll and Daniel Hayek, Matthias Bürge and corporate lawyer Urs Bertschinger.

Wenger Plattner specialises in M&A and asset transactions, but also provides corporate and contractual support in combination with deals. Recent highlights include advising the shareholders of Resource Group on management buyout issues in relation to its Aviation and Aerospace Resource division. The team also assisted real estate development company SIGNA with its acquisition of retail company Tennis-Point. Hilton Worldwide and Verizon are other active clients. Department head Oliver Künzler, Marc Nater and Dieter Gränicher are the key contacts.

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Legal Developments in Switzerland

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  • 17 February 2017: Auris Medical's Public Equity Offering

    Auris Medical Holding AG (NASDAQ: EARS) issued and priced its public offering of 10,000,000 common shares and 10,000,000 warrants, each warrant entitling its holder to purchase 0.70 of a common share.  The common shares and warrants are being sold in units comprised of one common share and one warrant at the public offering price of USD 1.00 per unit. The warrants will be immediately exercisable at a price of USD 1.20 per common share and are exercisable for five years. In connection with the offering, the Company has granted the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,500,000 additional common shares and/or 1,500,000 additional warrants at the public offering price less underwriting discounts. The offering is expected to close on or about February 21, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions. Roth Capital Partners is acting as sole book-running manager in the offering. Maxim Group LLC is acting as a financial advisor in the offering.
  • 16 February 2017: Credit Suisse successfully launched its new subsidiary Credit Suisse (Switzerland)

    Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd. was incorporated with the purpose to be organized as a Swiss bank. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Credit Suisse AG. The transfer of assets and liabilities according to Swiss merger law became effective on 20 November 2016. The transfer was aimed to evolve the legal entity structure of the Credit Suisse Group to meet regulatory requirements for systematically important banks.
  • 14 February 2017: BASF acquires Rolic Group

    BASF acquires Rolic, a Swiss based group offering innovative and forward-thinking solutions, particularly in the display and security industries as well as the optical film business.
  • 15 February 2017: gategroup CHF 300 mio. bond issuance

    gategroup successfully raised CHF 300 million through the issuance of a fixed rate 5-year senior bond with a final maturity on February 28, 2022. The bond with a coupon of 3% p.a. has been issued by gategroup Finance (Luxembourg) S.A. and is guaranteed by its parent company gategroup Holding AG. gategroup will apply for the listing of the new bond on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
  • 17 February 2017: RWS acquires LUZ, Inc.

    RWS Holdings plc, a world leading provider of intellectual property support services (patent translations, international patent filing solutions and searches), commercial translations and linguistic validation, has completed the acquisition of 100% of LUZ, Inc., a market leading Life Sciences language services provider based in San Francisco, for a cash consideration of USD82.5m.
  • 17 February 2017: Cembra Money Bank acquires invoice financing provider SWISSBILLING SA

    Cembra Money Bank has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of SWISSBILLING. The transaction is expected to close within the first quarter of 2017. The transaction consideration was below CHF 10 million and is expected to have a negative impact of 0.1% on the Group’s CET1 ratio as at closing.
  • 7 February 2017: TPF closes private offering and bank financing

    Transports publics fribourgeois Trafic (TPF TRAFIC) SA closed the financing of its maintenance and exploitation centre in the canton of Fribourg. The financing was partly made through a CHF 40 mio. private placement, a CHF 32 mio. secured bank loan and a CHF 55 mio. unsecured bank loan.
  • 3 February 2017: Migros acquires Tipesca

    The Migros Group, through Mérat & Cie. SA, has acquired Tipesca SA, a company incorporated in the canton of Tessin. Tipesca offers a wide range of fish products.
  • 24 January 2017: Sharp Corporation and Skytec Group Limited enter into strategic business alliance

    Japan-based Sharp Corporation, part of Taiwan’s Foxconn Group, enters into a strategic business alliance with Skytec Group Limited (“Skytec”) regarding the manufacture and sale of Sharp branded products and services in Europe. For that purpose, Sharp acquires a majority stake of 56.7% in the newly incorporated joint venture Skytec UMC Ltd.
  • 25 January 2017: Zug Estates CHF 100 mio. Bond

    Zug Estates Holding AG (SIX: ZUGN) has successfully issued its first CHF 100 mio. fixed-interest bond with a 0.7% coupon and a 5-year maturity.

Press Releases in Switzerland

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