Allen & Overy LLP fields a specialist corporate team, which is supported by practitioners in a wide range of ancillary disciplines to cover all the intricacies of complex multijurisdictional deals and transactions involving a Belgian component. With the firm having an office in Antwerp, the group is seen as a first port of call among Dutch and Flemish clients. The Brussels office is also a key centre of activity for the corporate practice in Belgium. The team's varied portfolio of work includes domestic and international M&A, private equity transactions, joint ventures and corporate governance advice. It is also active in IPOs and other equity capital markets transactions. Wouter Van de Voorde heads up the group, which includes Dirk Meeus, Pierre-Olivier Mahieu and Frederiek Adams. It generates mandates from clients in sectors such as media, technology, energy and financial services, among others.
Commercial, corporate and M&A in Belgium
Allen & Overy LLP
Wouter Van de Voorde
Other key lawyers:
Dirk Meeus; Pierre-Olivier Mahieu; Hans Kets; Frederiek Adams; Sophie Rutten; Diewertje Castelein; Juno Hautekiet; Gabrielle De Vliegher
‘Allen & Overy understands extremely well what the client needs. They give practical answers and solutions.‘
‘I like working with Wouter Van de Voorde. He is absolutely excellent. He is proactive and very business-oriented.‘
‘Smooth working together of lawyers across countries, so we can build a team consisting of our usual counterparts based in Belgium, combined with great colleagues in the jurisdictions required for a specific transaction, particularly for Europe and Asia. Fact that Dirk Meeus is a very senior partner leading global corporate practice gives additional leverage to ensure that the request from “small Belgium” does not get de-prioritized in such other jurisdictions.‘
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton generates a strong flow of work from Belgian and international companies, financial institutions and private equity firms. It also acts for a wide range of domestic state-owned enterprises and other public sector organisations. The Brussels team has a strong track record in cross-border deals, including those with no nexus to Belgium. In 2019, highlights included Laurent Ruzette working with members of the Paris office to advise Axéréal on its acquisition of the global malt business of Cargill (Boortmalt). In a more recent mandate, Laurent Legein and Géraldine Bourguignon acted for Collibra on its $112.5m Series E financing round. Counsel Carlo Meert and senior counsels Filip Moerman and Jan Meyers are other names to note. Associate Marijke Spooren is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Laurent Legein; Laurent Ruzette; Filip Moerman; Géraldine Bourguignon; Carlo Meert; Marijke Spooren
‘Excellent and dedicated partners and associates.‘
‘Broad experience, great cross-border teamwork, hands-on, responsive, excellent drafting.‘
‘High-quality team; is able to conduct a transaction with a very small team.‘
‘Innovation was embedded in the transaction itself. CGS&H aligned traditional company and contract law with the more innovative thinking needed in IOT environments. They helped their client gain the understanding and insights necessary to close the deal.‘
‘Filip Moerman was key to the successful outcome of the negotiation. He combined the expected outstanding legal skills, with a capacity to listen to the parties around the table and an excellent feeling for the negotiation momentum.‘
Ackermans & van Haaren
Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev)
BNP Paribas/BNP Paribas Fortis
CVC Capital Partners
Engie / Electrabel
The Kiskovski family, shareholders of MAK-SYSTEM
- Advised CVC Capital Partners on its 2019 exit sale of Continental Foods, the European activities of the Campbell Soup Company, to GBfoods, a division of Spanish food group Agrolimen and in its original acquisition of Continental Foods in 2013.
- Advised Umicore on its acquisition of Freeport-McMoRan’s cobalt refining and cathode precursor operations in Kokkola, Finland. The Kokkola cobalt refinery is the largest cobalt refinery in Europe.
- Advising the Walloon government on the investigation of contested privatisations by municipality-owned Nethys and the subsequent legal challenge of the decisions of Nethys to sell VOO, as well as utility Elicio and ICT services provider WIN and advising Nethys on the renegotiation of the terms of the sale of VOO to Providence Equity and the unwinding of the sales of Elicio and WIN.
Clifford Chance has a well-established reputation in strategically significant M&A and other transformational corporate assignments. Under the joint leadership of Xavier Remy and Niek De Pauw, the team distinguishes itself in high-profile and groundbreaking mandates spanning a wide range of industries. Remy advised a consortium (including Dutch pension fund APG, Australian investor QIC and insurer Swiss Life, joined subsequently by Flemish government fund PMV) on its successful acquisition of Macquarie's 36% stake in Brussels Airport. Other recent mandates involved areas such as energy, manufacturing and real estate. Senior associate Patrice Viaene is active in domestic and international M&A connected with the technology and infrastructure/industrial sectors.
Xavier Remy; Niek De Pauw
Other key lawyers:
Henri D’Ursel; Patrice Viaene
‘Nick De Pauw: resourceful, experienced and very helpful. Nick is a seasoned advisor that is very amiable and pleasant to work with. He is very accessible and will always call back or reach out within a short timeframe. We very much appreciated his technical knowledge and his practical application. We strongly recommend him and his outstanding reputation is exemplary.‘
‘Commitment, knowledge, skills and collaboration: a perfect mix!‘
‘Very commercial, has got to understand our business and industry very well, excellent service.‘
‘Throughout his career, Xavier Remy has demonstrated a remarkable pragmatism in finding common ground between the interests of opposing parties in M&A transactions.‘
‘The CC corporate team in Brussels may not be the largest team in numbers but it is a strong team which, in my view, punches above its weight. They are involved (in one way or another) in most of the significant Belgian transactions. Partner Niek De Pauw stands out for me and manages a small but very effective and competent team of associates. The team is also cost-conscious and delivers high-quality work at acceptable rates/fees.‘
‘The Clifford Belgium M&A team has an exceptional knowledge of our company and the sector we operate in.‘
‘We have been working with the team at Clifford Chance on multiple projects. The team has an outstanding work ethic with in-depth knowledge of a wide range of subjects combined with a getting things done mentality.‘
Ardian / Dedalus Holding
Mitsui & Co.
Corialis / CVC
Sitecore / EQT
- Advised Dedalus Holding on the €975m acquisition of part of Agfa-Gevaert’s healthcare division.
- Advised Mitsubishi Corporation on their €4.1bn acquisition, in consortium with Chubu, of Eneco.
- Advised Mitsui & Co. on the acquisition of 62% of the shares of Belchim Crop Protection from the company’s founding family, Belchim Management.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL
Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL's team is adept in a wide range of domestic and cross-border corporate matters, including public and private M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions, restructurings and compliance and governance work. In 2019, Dominique Maes and Kim Stas were among the advisers to the former shareholders of V!GO Group on their sale of the company to Germany-headquartered Ottobock. Elsewhere, the firm also has a notable capital markets practice, which is led by global head Koen Vanhaerents. Roel Meers is the overall head of the corporate finance group, which also includes Luc Meeus, Davinia Martens and associate Harold Vanden Berghe.
Other key lawyers:
Koen Vanhaerents; Dominique Maes; Luc Meeus; Davinia Martens; Kim Stas; Harold Vanden Berghe
‘I do recommend the team of Baker McKenzie given their exceptionally good understanding of our business. They know what is relevant and what is not. The quality of the team is excellent, and their deliverables of a consistent high quality. Whenever relevant they can quickly get subject matter experts involved. They are very flexible and always available when needed. And besides being highly regarded professionals, they are also very pleasant to work with. Compared to other law firms we work with they really stand out in terms of understanding the business, quality standards and easy to work with.‘
‘Baker McKenzie is really flexible in getting the available knowledge around the table. Whenever necessary they are very fast in engaging experts with certain expertise or from other international offices involved.‘
‘One of the best teams in the Belgian market based on legal competence, hard work, business acumen and international network.‘
Mithra Pharmaceuticals SA
KBC Securities NV
Sequana Medical NV
Belgian Growth Fund
VPK Packaging Group
Core Equity Partners
Arrow Electronics, Inc.
Ergon Capital Partners
SABCA (Société Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques)
BVI Holdings Mayfair Limited
- Acted as lead counsel to Galapagos NV, a Belgian clinical-stage biotech company focused on the discovery and development of small molecule drugs, listed on Euronext Brussels, Euronext Amsterdam and NASDAQ, on its $5.4bn collaboration with Gilead Sciences, Inc., a US-based global research-based biopharmaceutical company, which in addition to the R&D collaboration also involved the issue of shares and warrants.
- Advised Spanish tour operator Wamos on its acquisition of the majority of the Thomas Cook travel agent shops in Belgium.
- Advised Baloise on its acquisition of the non-life insurance portfolio of Athora Belgium (formerly known as Generali Belgium).
DLA Piper covers the entire gamut of corporate matters for blue-chip Belgian and international clients, with its team being heavily involved in high-value M&A, private equity and venture capital deals, and domestic and cross-border reorganisations. In addition, it provides general compliance advice and also offers commercial contracts support. The practice demonstrates particularly strong capabilities in the technology and pharmaceuticals sectors, and it is also increasingly active in the real estate space. Elsewhere, Michaël Heene is a global co-head of the financial services M&A practice. Another notable individual is Koen Selleslags, who was the lead adviser to Showpad on a €70m capital raise in 2019. Caroline Daout and Erwin Simons are also recommended.
Caroline Daout; Michaël Heene; Koen Selleslags; Erwin Simons
‘Pragmatic approach with focus on the important (legal) issues and understanding of the business. Quick response time and outstanding quality and experienced colleagues.‘
‘Erwin Simons has an excellent focus, always a pleasure to work with.‘
‘Michaël Heene and Gregg Moons are splendid gentlemen. Serious and hard as stone, but fun and pleasant to work with. You can take them with you on a Sunday brunch with your in-laws and nobody will notice these are high-end lawyers.‘
‘Michaël Heen and team are extremely engaged and quite naturally become part of the deal team whenever we work on transactions. I highly appreciate their proactive attitude. In particular, Michaël is not afraid to challenge his clients, which I appreciate deeply.‘
‘Responsiveness, availability and outstanding quality of output.‘
Waterland Private Equity
Torqx Capital Partners
Group Forrest International
Picsolve International Limited
Ackermans & Van Haaren
- Advising Singapore Technologies Engineering on the $383m acquisition of Newtec.
- Advising Masthercell on the $315m acquisition by Catalent.
- Advising Belfius on its strategic joint venture with Candriam.
Eubelius' corporate and M&A team has expertise in a multitude of areas, including public M&A, distressed M&A, LBOs and MBOs, as well as joint ventures. Elsewhere, a separate specialist commercial and consumer protection department advises on various complex commercial contracts issues for clients operating in industries such as digital and technology, banking, insurance, food and health. Recent highlights included Filip Jenné and others acting for Care Property Invest on its circa €87m indirect acquisition of three residential care centres, as well as a €59.7m capital increase. Other notable individuals include Marieke Wyckaert, managing partner Matthias Wauters and Erwin Destuyver. Philippe Mulliez and Frank Hellemans are based in Kortrijk and Antwerp respectively.
Matthias Wauters; Marieke Wyckaert; Lars Van Bever; Philippe Mulliez; Erwin Destuyver; Frank Hellemans; Jeroen Delvoie; Filip Jenné; Ignace Claeys
Other key lawyers:
Felix Dobbelaere; Stijn Rynwalt
‘Absolute top service provided by specialists, combined with a straightforward and competitive pricing.‘
‘Stijn Rynwalt was always available for questions and requests but also open and transparent when things were not possible or hard to reach within the requested timeline. We are a young and fast-moving company and I would like to thank Stijn for his flexibility and patient explanations.‘
‘Erwin Destuyver, recommended for his very deep theoretical and case knowledge, unlimited pragmatism and helicopter view.‘
BNP Paribas Private Equity
Care Property Invest (CPI)
Domo Investment Group / Dovesco
Willy Naessens Group
Koninklijke Belgische Touring Club
- Advised the American biopharmaceutical company Gilead on entering into a ten-year worldwide R&D collaboration with Galapagos.
- Advised Hyloris Pharmaceuticals on a pre-IPO financing round with institutional investors of €15m (completed in Q1 2020) and on its subsequent IPO on Euronext Brussels completed on 30 June 2020.
- Acting for SFPI/FPIM and Sabena Aerospace on the incorporation of Blueberry and the public takeover bid for SABCA.
Led by Damien Conem, Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick's team acts for clients on public and private M&A, as well as ECM transactions. It also advises on governance issues associated with funds, listed companies and not-for-profit organisations. In addition, the group is noted for its particular expertise in real estate companies. Key figures include recently promoted partner Wim Dedecker and associate Ellen Vermeire, who advised Grand China Pharma Co. Ltd. on its potential €36m investment in eTheRNA Immunotherapies NV. Jacques Meunier has over 20 years of experience advising Belgian and international clients on corporate law issues. Christel Van den Eynden is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Christel van den Eynden; Jacques Meunier; Wim Dedecker; Ellen Vermeire; Davy Vandenbussche
‘Putting a lot of effort into diversity. Nice global network that we can build on. Evolving in terms of latest technology.‘
‘Wim DeDecker is a brilliant lawyer, but at the same time has great empathical capabilities and therefore knows how to get the best result. Both Christel Van Den Eynden and Damien Conem are excellent lawyers as well. Very hands-on and responsive.‘
‘Hands-on, very flexible, large team of experts…‘
‘Availability, practicality and attention to client expectations and desired outcomes. Christel Van den Eynden is exceptionally available and over time we have developed a strong relationship with associate Ellen Vermeire. They have come to know us and we have come to know them making working together easy and efficient.‘
‘Very deep expertise and ability to deliver under very tight time constraints. Jacques Meunier has demonstrated amazing expertise and negotiation/human interaction skills. He was able to elevate the discussion whenever we stumbled on a blocking point to find a solution meeting everyone’s need.‘
Hydro Quebec IndusTech
Dana Electric Holding
BNP Paribas Fortis
- Successfully assisted mid-market private equity firm CGE Partners with the acquisition of Enhesa Group, the market leader in global environmental, health and safety compliance assurance.
- Assisting Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, and the largest private one, with its contemplated acquisition of veterinary biotech company Global Stem Cell Technology (GST) NV.
- Assisted BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity Belgium, the private investment arm of BNP Paribas Fortis, with the acquisition of a minority participation in the JAC Group.
Linklaters has an outstanding reputation in the corporate arena, as is reflected by its strong track record in headline transactions. In addition to undertaking public and private M&A, its team has vast experience of private equity investments and exits, privatisations and corporate restructurings, among other matters. Key names to note include Arnaud Coibion, Eric Pottier and newly promoted partners Filip Lecoutre and An-Sofie Van Hootegem.
Loyens & Loeff is one of the leading firms in the Benelux market, as is evidenced by the sizeable volume of corporate transactions it handles. Its team in Brussels, which is led by Grégoire Jakhian, is equally strong in domestic and cross-border deals. Recent highlights included Robrecht Coppens, counsel Godfried Ampe and senior associate Mathias Hendrickx advising ABB on the Belgian aspects of the carve-out of its Belgian power grids business into the joint venture structure set up with Hitachi. The group's diverse expertise also includes corporate structuring, public and private M&A, corporate restructuring, and private equity and venture capital transactions. Coppens heads up the firm's multidisciplinary, cross-office start-up and venture capital team. Wim Vande Velde and Aubry Daerden are also recommended. Former partner Peter Callens is now an of counsel. In a recent development, Thomas Lenné and associate Florence Gypens joined from Fieldfisher.
Other key lawyers:
Wim Vande Velde; Robrecht Coppens; Thomas Lenné; Godfried Ampe; Aubry Daerden; Mathias Hendrickx; Filip Jorens; Florence Gypens
‘Very efficient in managing acquisitions. Wide range of expertise and was able to get an appropriate supporting legal advisor on any area we needed help with. Very good at support after deal closed.‘
‘Grégoire Jakhian: Always personally available when needed (including small and difficult cross-border transactions); great partner during negotiations: generally diplomatic and eloquent (with intellectual superiority), even with difficult counterparts, but spares no argument/confrontation in case required; high standard of legal work.‘
‘Reactivity, ability to listen, pragmatic aspect, the advice is adapted to the concrete aspects and the life of the company and not theoretical. Proven legal skills.‘
‘I was very impressed with L&L’s focus on our specific needs in the transaction they handled for us. Their service was not just exactly tailored to our specific needs, but most importantly it was also delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner.‘
‘I worked with Filip Jorens (Senior Associate) and Robrecht Coppens (Partner). Both were incredibly responsive and particularly Filip Jorens impressed me with his attention to detail and exceptional resourcing, always in compliance with our specific needs in the respective transaction.’
Agilent Technologies Inc.
Altria Group Inc.
Antin Infrastructure Partners
Cappelle Holding NV
Conquest Sustainable Infrastructure
Guggenheim Investment Management
RKW Hyplast NV
Thomas Cook Group
- Assisted Lone Star Funds, the global private equity fund, with its acquisition of the construction chemicals business of BASF, the listed major German chemical company.
- Assisted San Francisco-based investment advisory firm Iconiq Capital with subscription to the capital increase of Collibra NV. Collibra NV is the Belgian leader in data governance software business users. In the latest capital round, Iconiq Capital invested an amount of $112,500,234.
- Acted as Belgian and Dutch counsel to DPG Media on the acquisition of Sanoma Media Netherlands BV.
NautaDutilh's team advises Benelux and international clients on M&A, joint ventures, all aspects of company formations, group restructurings, corporate governance and commercial contracts issues. The group includes Elke Janssens, who heads up the private equity practice. Also recommended is Didier De Vliegher, who has a specialism in real estate corporate and finance work. Dirk Van Gerven, Philippe Remels and Nicolas de Crombrugghe are other key partners. In one notable mandate, Janssens acted for fashion retailer FNG NV on its €229m acquisition of the Ellos group from Nordic Capital in 2019. Philippine De Wolf recently left the firm to become a general counsel at Spadel. Maxime Colle joined Lydian.
Elke Janssens; Didier de Vliegher; Dirk Van Gerven; Philippe Remels; Nicolas de Crombrugghe; Maxime Colle
AG Real Estate
Vanbreda Risk & Benefits
- Advised Lineage Logistics, LLC, the world’s largest provider of temperature-controlled logistics solutions, on the acquisition of two facilities from Van Soest Coldstores.
- Assisted BlueBee and its shareholders with the sale of BlueBee to Illumina, Inc. (Nasdaq).
- Advised Invitae, a US-based leader in advanced medical genetics, on the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Orbicule.
Stibbe undertakes domestic and cross-border corporate transactions for clients such as private equity and venture capital firms, financial institutions, multinational corporates and listed Belgian companies. The firm is one of the most active in Belgium for M&A and it is also sought out for advice on corporate restructurings, joint ventures, foreign direct investments, corporate governance and corporate finance transactions. In 2019, Jan Peeters advised Kinepolis on the acquisitions of US cinema chain MJR Digital and Netherlands-based company Arcaplex Spijkenisse BV. The team, which is led by Stefan Odeurs, also includes Dries Hommez, Pascal Vanden Borre and Jan Bogaert.
Other key lawyers:
Jan Peeters; Pascal Vanden Borre; Dries Hommez; Marc Fyon; Jan Bogaert; Julien Bogaerts
‘They are quick and very efficient.‘
‘Availability and deep industry knowledge combined with a strong commercial approach, would typically describe a project team at Stibbe. Well-balanced across associates and partners. Other firms are more top-heavy. At Stibbe, I feel associates are strong enough to contribute and challenge, but have enough IQ and EQ to understand when to bring in partner support.‘
Brazilian controlling shareholders of AB InBev
Clayton, Dublier & Rice
International Finance Corporation
Lagardère Travel Retail
Monument Re, Bermuda-based reinsurer
Providence Equity LLP
- Assisted Avista Capital Partners with the acquisition of a 50% stake in Vision Healthcare, an omnichannel consumer healthcare company, active in different European countries.
- Assisted Punch Powertrain NV with the creation of a €180m electrified transmission joint venture (Punch Powertrain PSA e-transmissions NV) with Groupe PSA.
- Assisted Lagardère Travel Retail with the acquisition of International Duty Free, engaged in the operation of travel retail shops in airports and train stations, including in the Brussels and Brussels South Charleroi airports and in the Brussels South train station.
ALTIUS has a proven record in mid-market M&A and cross-border reorganisations. In addition, corporate dispute resolution is another area of strength. It generates a strong flow of work from multinational companies, investment companies and Belgian and international funds. Recent highlights included Jérôme Vermeylen and Gerrit Vandendriessche acting for Stockholm-listed company Sinch on its acquisition of Belgian artificial intelligence company Chatlayer. Elsewhere, the group advises clients operating in the energy and infrastructure, life and health, mobility, sports and entertainment industries. Tom Vantroyen and Marie Brasseur are also recommended.
Jérôme Vermeylen; Tom Vantroyen; Marie Brasseur
Other key lawyers:
‘They provide hands-on, practical advice at a very high level.‘
‘A top team of lawyers with the expertise of a top tier international firm, but with the partner involvement and accessibility of a smaller independent firm. They offer solid legal analysis combined with a pragmatic approach.‘
‘Altius teams come up with pragmatic solutions and actionable recommendations to get deals done. Additionally, we can really count on their transversal capabilities (M&A, antitrust, regulatory, real-estate) to cover all the intricacies of our processes.‘
‘Very good attention and availability in the M&A process. Very good problem-solving attitude. Good value for money. Very good collaboration.‘
‘Solid knowledge and wide spectrum which allows you to move fast forward in the case.‘
‘Altius’ team is available, proactive, efficient and with great expertise.‘
‘The team we worked with was very focused on our needs and had a very pragmatic approach to solve upcoming issues. Everything was discussed and delivered in time. We were 100% satisfied with its work.‘
Industrial Opportunity Partners
Indufin Investment Fund
- Assisted CANON/IRIS Group with the sale by IRIS Group of its Hybrid Technology Solutions business unit, including companies and businesses in Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy, to private equity group Livia.
- Assisted Indufin Investment Fund with its investment in Springbok, a next gen hybrid agency (digital marketing).
- Assisted Industrial Opportunity Partners (IOP), an operations-focused US-based private equity firm, with the European aspects of its acquisition of PolyVision Corporation, formerly a subsidiary of Steelcase Inc.
ARGO Law's corporate finance team is equally strong in M&A and private equity transactions, as well as capital markets work. Its client roster includes medium and large-sized private businesses, listed companies, Belgian and international private equity funds. The group includes Nico Goossens, who led the advice to VGP NV on its €200m capital increase through an accelerated bookbuild offering. Goossens co-heads the practice with Bert Van Ingelghem and Kris Verdoodt. Also noted are managing associates Louis Hoet and Jolien Loos, who joined from Allen & Overy LLP and Laurius respectively.
Nico Goossens; Bert Van Ingelghem; Kris Verdoodt
Other key lawyers:
Noemi Blumberg; Mattias Verbeeck; Henri Nelen; Louis Hoet; Jolien Loos
‘The team is always very competent, calm and available. They have a good combination of general know-how and specialist skills. They have a good sense of managing priorities and are result-oriented.‘
‘Bert Van Ingelghem is an excellent lawyer, thinking out of the box and business-oriented, fighting the right battles and fast thinker. Louis Hoet is pragmatic, and in my view, a rising star. Excellent legal and market knowledge and very available.‘
‘Excellent knowledge, very responsive and client-friendly.‘
‘Bert Van Ingelghem is not only a real pleasure to work with as a person, but is also a brilliant lawyer, combining technical skills, with soft skills (communication, negotiation) and a clear sense of the direction to go in difficult circumstances. Top-notch. Mattias Verbeeck is probably one of the best associates I have seen in the past years. Brilliant mind, strong drafting skills, very communicative.‘
‘Kris Verdoodt: on top of his files, always available, understands without too much words what you are looking for and provides strategic and legal advice without any hiccups.‘
‘Argo stands out because of its personal approach, in-depth case knowledge, humble and confident, pro-active communication and detailed documentation. These elements create trust and piece of mind during stressful times.‘
‘Argo offers very high-quality services, protecting their clients while never losing sight of their final objectives. They are always deal-minded and pragmatic. Always a pleasure to work with.‘
Down2 Earth Capital
DG Infra Yield
Senior Living Group
We Are Jane
- Acted for Down2Earth and Gimv on the sale of Contraload to Tosca, an American supplier of reusable packaging and supply chain solutions, backed by Apax Partners funds.
- Acted for Vectis Private Equity and the selling shareholders on the sale of Amadys to Equistone.
- Acted for infrastructure fund DG Infra Yield on the sale of its portfolio of residential care homes to Care Property Invest, being the fund’s first exit.
CMS combines its cross-departmental strengths, Belgian law expertise and international reach to handle all aspects of headline mid-market M&A. Vincent Dirckx leads the corporate and M&A team, which is also sought out for advice on fundraisings, multijurisdictional group reorganisations and corporate governance issues, among other matters. Dirckx led the advice to Korys (Colruyt's investment vehicle) on an investment round, as well as its investment in Urbantz. Stéphane Collin has expertise in intra-group mergers and splits, and post-merger integration. Virginie Frémat and Jean-François Goffin are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Stéphane Collin; Virginie Frémat; Jean-François Goffin
French Group Boulanger
Toshiba TEC Corporation
Stanley Security Group
Dupont Nutrition and Bioscience
Editions Ciné-Revue- Rossel Group
Crédit Mutuel Arkéa
- Acted for French Group Boulanger on the acquisition of Krëfel group in both Belgium (74 stores) and Luxembourg (11 stores).
- Assisted Celyad with a broad range of corporate finance matters, including debt-equity swap deals on the US market and with warrant issuings.
- Advising the group D’Ieteren on the restructuring of its activities of vehicle distribution and retail business.
Deloitte Legal offers legal and tax expertise in domestic and cross-border mid-market M&A and private equity deals, as well as debt and equity capital markets transactions. In the venture capital sphere, its team is particularly active in matters with a nexus to the biotech and cleantech industries. Elsewhere, other mainstays of the practice include advice on corporate restructurings and governance issues. Director Kristof Maresceau was involved in the drafting of the new Belgian Companies Code. Another notable individual is Tim Baart, who was among the advisers to Cartamundi on its acquisition of the United States Playing Card Company. David Roelens is the head of the practice.
Other key lawyers:
Benoît Feron; Christoph Michiels; Emmanuel Leroux; Marc Van tieghem; Tim Baart; Rik Galle; Kristof Maresceau
‘The team is outstanding in understanding the client’s DNA and adapts quickly to the preferred way of working, which enables a smooth collaboration in which in-house and external legal advisers overlap.‘
Ports of Antwerp & Zeebrugge
LRD (Leuven Research and Development – tech transfer office of KUL – Catholic University of Leuven)
Marfo Food Group BV
Sweco Belgium NV
Royal Boskalis Westminster
Vebego International BV
Xior Student Housing
- Acted for the shareholder of Containerdienst Vindevogel on the sale of Containerdienst Vindevogel to Integra via the newly incorporated holding company Vindevogel Flanders.
- Advised Go4Circle vzw, Coberec Metals vzw, Coberec Textiles vzw and Coberec Paper vzw on their legal merger (effective as of 1 January 2020) into the Belgian federation of waste and recycling.
- Acted for Sweco Belgium BV on various acquisitions of Belgian companies.
Fieldfisher is known for its strengths in highly regulated sectors, such as energy, chemicals, finance and information technology. Its corporate team is led by Louis-François du Castillon, who has 20 years of transactional experience. It advises clients on domestic and cross-border M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions, restructurings and corporate governance issues. Marie Evrard and of counsel Dorothée Vanderhofstadt are other key individuals. Thomas Lenné and Florence Gypens joined Loyens & Loeff.
Louis-François du Castillon
Other key lawyers:
Marie Evrard; Dorothée Vanderhofstadt
‘We were impressed by the quality of the members of the team. They were committed and devoted from day one and throughout the whole process of our transaction. We would definitely work again with them and recommend them.‘
‘Good value for money.‘
‘The team showed excellent coordination in a complex cross-border transaction. Although the global pandemic context made this multi-jurisdictional deal particularly challenging, the team was pragmatic, responsive and provided valuable advice all the way to the closing.‘
‘In all the files we have entrusted to Fieldfisher, the lawyers have shown an exceptional availability, in addition to their skills.‘
Doyen Auto (Parts Holding Europe)
SWEN Capital Partners
Casinos Austria International Holding
- Acting for Gigarant, the guarantee fund of the Flemish government, on the financial restructuring of the FNG fashion group.
- Acting for Japanese glass producer AGC on the set-up of a joint venture with the Belgian Splifar Group.
- Acting for Excelya on its multi-jurisdictional acquisition of Zeincro.
Led by Thomas De Muynck, Jones Day's team in Brussels demonstrates its strong deal execution capabilities in complex domestic and international M&A, where it acts for multinational corporates and mid-market Belgian companies. It also excels in private equity and venture capital transactions, as well as capital markets work. The group includes recently promoted partner Jonas Van den Bossche, who advised Union Betco NV on the sale of a 70% majority stake in Belgium-based De Neef Chemical Processing NV to the Soudal Group (Jonelinvest NV). Another of counsel to note is Paul Van Hooghten, who joined the firm in 2019.
Thomas De Muynck
Other key lawyers:
Paul Van Hooghten; Jonas Van den Bossche; David Vanderstraeten
‘The team we worked with, Thomas de Muynck and David Vanderstraeten, were very attentive and quick in their turnaround and comments. We also appreciated their responsiveness in prioritising the areas we wanted to focus on.‘
‘Thomas is exceptional – commercial, pragmatic and extremely responsive.‘
BLACKB / Darts-ip
Alven Capital SA
Arsenal Capital Partners
De Neef family (seller of De Neef Chemical Processing NV)
Hansteen Holdings Limited
- Advised Arsenal Capital Partners on the acquisition of Belgian-based Histogenex NV. Arsenal is a leading specialised private equity firm that invests in middle-market healthcare and speciality industrials companies.
- Acted for the selling shareholders on the sale of 100% of Darts-ip to U.S.-listed Clarivate Analytics (US) LLC. Darts-ip provides global information and analytics that support IP prosecution and litigation activities.
- Advising Hansteen Holdings Plc on the sale of its Belgian real estate portfolio to a Belgian real estate investor, and the Belgian aspects of Blackstone’s takeover of Hansteen Holdings Plc.
Lydian's practice mainly focuses on mid and upper mid-market M&A and private equity transactions, with its other work covering joint ventures, governance (and other corporate) advice and equity capital markets transactions. Under the leadership of group head Peter De Ryck, the firm has become a key source of referral work from US, UK and European law firms. It also generates mandates on a standalone basis from strategic investors, portfolio companies, corporate finance houses and private equity firms, among other clients. Counsel Florence Colpaert is another key individual in the team, which has undergone significant expansion at associate level. Patrick della Faille joined Faber Inter.
Peter De Ryck
Other key lawyers:
‘Small team, with a strong and dedicated focus on delivering the service. Strong involvement and knowledge of the transaction from senior partner, at all stages of the transaction.‘
‘Lydian is an excellent law firm. Key contact in the corporate team is Peter De Ryck. Peter is an excellent lawyer, who takes a very practical and client-friendly approach. His commercial thinking makes any advice outstanding!‘
‘You have the expertise of a top law firm and the rates of a smaller one, which is of course to the benefit of the client.‘
‘Florence has an in-depth knowledge of corporate law and has a hands-on and pragmatic approach.‘
‘I work on a regular basis with Peter De Ryck (partner) and Florence Colpaert (senior counsel). Qualities : they think along, easily accessible, technically competent, solution-driven…‘
‘Peter de Ryck is a go-to partner for Belgian corporate work, functions as an extension of international law firms in Belgium, outstanding.‘
‘The practice has a very strong domestic footprint and can bring advice in all areas of law. Lawyers are responsive and efficient.‘
House of HR
European Dental Group
La Financière Patrimoniale d’Investissement (LFPI)
Waterland Private Equity
- Extensive advice to House of HR, a large, fast-growing Belgian human resources and recruitment consultancy, and its majority shareholder the French private equity fund Naxicap, in connection with the company’s corporate restructuring.
- Advised US-based Novelis on the Belgian law aspects of its acquisition of Aleris – a massive $2.8bn international merger in the aluminium industry, and the subsequent divestment of Aleris Aluminium Duffel.
- Acted for Dana, a major global automotive supplier, on setting up a Belgian joint venture with Hydro-Québec, Canada’s largest electricity producer.
Simont Braun acts for clients on a broad cross-section of mandates, such as the structuring of corporate and family entities, public takeovers and securities issuances. In one highlight, Axel Maeterlinck advised France-based Dugas on the acquisition of its Belgian distributor. Beyond its involvement in major deals, the group also assists clients with handling corporate disputes, such as shareholder matters and post-acquisition claims. Sandrine Hirsch is the practice head.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Alain Foriers; Steven Callens; Axel Maeterlinck; Fanny Laune
‘Agile, multidisciplinary and integrated team that is oriented towards simple and pragmatic solutions.‘
‘Axel Maeterlinck provides precise and pragmatic corporate advice, is very responsive, and brings calm and serenity in the room. Emmanuel Cornu is very experienced and has broad-ranging capabilities in IP and distribution matters. He also thrives at finding the right balance in negotiation strategies.‘
‘We would recommend particularly Sandrine Hirsch, Axel Maeterlinck and Steven Callens. Sandrine Hirsch is really outstanding in many respects. She delivers premium quality, both in M&A and complex governance issues. Her engagement to clients in terms of availability and attention to detail is impressive. One of the absolute top lawyers on the Brussels market. Also, Steven Callens and Axel Maeterlinck are excellent and really a pleasure to work with.‘
‘Very good value for money, very skilled and friendly lawyers that are always available.‘
‘Very involved and great knowledge of market practices.‘
Belgian Families of AB Inbev
Financière de Tubize
Argef (Argenson Gestion Finance SA)
Club Optic Libre
- Advised P&V, a leading insurance group in Belgium on the acquisition of Private Insurer, a Belgian insurance company dedicated to insurance products involved in unit linked funds.
- Advised Orex, a Belgian engineering consulting firm specialising in geotechnics, on the sale process of 100% of the shares to the Dutch multinational listed group named Fugro.
- Advised Andera Partners on the corporate aspects of the dematerialisation of its bonds in Infra International, a company that installs and maintains underground and overhead infrastructure networks (telecoms, electricity, gas and water).
Corporate boutique Strelia, which undertakes a mix of transactional and contentious work, has particular strengths in matters connected with the retail, financial services and food sectors. It is also increasingly making a name for itself in the biotech sector. In addition to handling domestic work, the firm is also sought out in cross-border deals. The practice is led by Olivier Clevenbergh, who led the advice to French film company Pathé on its acquisition of the Euroscoop group in 2019. Elsewhere, the team advises clients on joint ventures, and private equity and venture capital transactions, among other matters. Gisèle Rosselle and Laurent Verhavert are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Gisèle Rosselle; Laurent Verhavert
‘Strelia is a “small” practice, led by accessible and friendly partners. The team is constituted of result-driven, proactive and enthusiastic lawyers.‘
‘Strelia provides a first-class and world-class M&A legal service and negotiation support while being very reactive and affordable for start-ups / scale-ups which is unique in the market.‘
‘We mainly work with Olivier Clevenbergh. What we appreciate in him is that he does not only advise on the legal issues but gives a broader guidance in the way we should make our deals, without being too intrusive.‘
‘I believe the manner in which Gisèle Rosselle approached us as a client and her approach to leading the negotiations can be summarized as: pragmatic if possible but firm and relentless on material items.‘
‘We mostly work with Gisèle Rosselle for our M&A projects and she is doing a great job in delivering accurate and timely work but also in thinking together with us in finding solutions to issues that arise. She knows our business very well.‘
‘Gisèle is straightforward and to the point, and is a good negotiator.‘
‘Reliable and accurate.‘
Mvgm Property Management
Agfa Graphics NV
Hydro Group (previously Sapa Group)
- Advised ING on the auction sale of Cel Data Services, a pioneering technology company, to UK-headquartered Cennox.
- Advised several leading French groups on the expansion of their activities in Belgium.
- Advised LCL, a pioneer data centre and solutions provider, on its activities in Belgium.
Van Bael & Bellis' team demonstrates strong capabilities in high-profile corporate transactions and other complex mandates of the utmost significance for its clients. The overwhelming majority of its work has a cross-border component and spans public takeovers, private M&A, corporate restructurings and joint ventures, among various other matters. In 2019, practice head Michel Bonne and senior associate Hannelore Matthys advised Pentax Medical on establishing its operations in Belgium to distribute and deliver endoscopy equipment and related services directly in Belgium and Luxembourg. Elsewhere, the group has experience of undertaking work connected with sectors such as energy, telecoms, aviation and insurance.
Other key lawyers:
Hannelore Matthys; Sarah Arens
‘Michel Bonne and Sarah Arens are highly dedicated and always striving for a supreme level of quality in their work.‘
‘Michel Bonne: strong professional, very quick responses/reactions to answers. Hannelore Matthys: also a very strong professional, she provides well-provided answers within a very short time frame. She thinks out of the box and and makes proposals outside the expected framework.‘
‘Hands-on, high availability and quick response to, sometimes, urgent matters. Capable to translate legal matters into a language, which is comprehensible for people outside of the law practice. Checks (and double-checks) if matters brought forward are correctly understood and translated for both customer and practice, which enables easy and flexible communication. Very close follow-up of all issues.‘
Active Capital Company (private equity)
Council of Bureaux
- Acted for semi-public entity Nethys on the sale of a 51% stake in its telecom subsidiary, VOO, (with an enterprise value of over €1bn) through an auction process.
- Acted for Orchestra-Prémaman, the largest French and Belgian retailer of children’s toys and clothes, on its cross-border judicial reorganisation and restructuring following its financial distress. This was one of the largest judicial reorganisations in the Belgian market in 2019.
- Created and coordinated an ad hoc integrated international network of top-tier independent law firms to assist its long-standing client Boortmalt with all of their legal work in five continents.
White & Case LLP excels in advising Belgian and international clients on M&A, joint ventures, public takeovers, MBOs and MBIs, as well as equity investments and privatisations. In 2019, practice head Thierry Bosly was part of a cross-office team that acted for Socotec Group on its acquisition of ArchEng. Elsewhere, other recent mandates spanned the fintech, aviation, and food and beverage sectors. Also notable is that the firm is particularly active in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector, where it acts for a number of global corporates. Bosly works with counsel Thomas Glauden and associate Nick Hallemeesch. Muriel Alhadeff joined E-Merge.
Other key lawyers:
Thomas Glauden; Nick Hallemeesch
‘Very professional team, always available. It is a pleasure to work with them, you can trust them to settle your problem. I personally particularly appreciate their drafting skills.‘
Active Ownership Capital
Asea Brown Boveri
Bank Degroof Petercam
Crédit Mutuel Arkéa
CXM Holding SA
Guardiola Invest SA
Hamon & Cie SA
Le Pain Quotidien
Value Retail Management
- Advised private equity firm Cobepa SA on the acquisition of a majority stake in Enoplastic S.P.A., a leading global player in the manufacturing of closures for the wine and spirits industry, and the execution of a strategic agreement with the shareholders.
- Advised Dassault Belgique Aviation (DBA), wholly-owned subsidiary of the French aerospace group Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault, on the sale of its entire 96.85% shareholding in Société Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques (SABCA), a leading aerospace listed company in Belgium. The acquirer is a new joint venture company established by the independent Belgian MRO provider Sabena Aerospace and the Belgian sovereign wealth fund SFPI/FPIM.
- Advised Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, on the creation of a joint venture with Casa Tarradellas, with their respective stakes 40% and 60%.
Ambos' corporate and M&A team acts for industry-leading names operating in areas such as biotechnology, energy, financial services, construction, real estate and retail. Christina Trappeniers and Caroline Wildemeersch jointly lead the group, which leverages its in-house experience to advise Belgian and foreign companies on a wide range of mandates. In 2019, Wildemeersch and Karen De Clercq acted for the shareholders of Orbit GeoSpatial Technologies NV on the sale of the company to Bentley Systems International Limited. Other drivers of work for the team include private equity and venture capital transactions, joint ventures and corporate restructurings, as well as advice on shareholders' agreements and strategic alliances.
Christina Trappeniers; Caroline Wildemeersch
Other key lawyers:
Alexis Goeminne; Jens Van Hecke; Karen De Clercq
‘We are used to working with Alexis Goeminne. Alexis has a strong knowledge of our business and of course of the corporate M&A domain. He is always on standby for his clients and easy to reach. Alexis is very responsive, hands-on and very pragmatic.‘
Orelia Group (Palmyra Brands)
ISS Facility Services
Kebek Private Equity
Oxford Global Resources (ASGN Inc.)
Maatschappij van de Brugse Zeehaven (Port of Zeebrugge)
Kharon Funeral Services
- Advised Orelia Group on the sale of shares in six real estate companies owning various care homes and assisted living flats through a contribution in kind of the shares in Cofinimmo for an aggregated value of circa €105m.
- Advised Holding My-Assist on the acquisition of all shares in two real estate companies and the subsequent contribution in kind of two care homes and assisted living flats in Care Property Invest for an aggregated value of €34m.
- Advised Tans Group on the acquisition of various real estate companies.
At ASTREA BV CVBA, Steven De Schrijver is particularly active in domestic and cross-border transactions with a nexus to technology-related sectors. He primarily acts for clients based in North America. De Schrijver co-heads the practice with Frédéric Verspreeuwen, who has nearly 20 years of corporate experience. Another name to note is Micha Van den Abeele, who was the lead adviser to the CEO of Medipartner on the MBI by the WeAreJane investment fund in 2019. Her other experience includes corporate restructurings, joint ventures, mergers and demergers.
Steven De Schrijver; Frédéric Verspreeuwen
Other key lawyers:
Dieter Veestraeten; Micha van den Abeele
‘Hands-on, responsive and high-end quality work.‘
‘Astrea offers value for money with a seasoned and dynamic team combining a wide range of true specialties with a no-nonsense and hands-on approach.‘
‘Frédéric Verspreeuwen has become one of our favourite partners to engage in Belgian M&A transactions. An excellent dealmaker, with smart, pragmatic and qualitative solutions for complex challenges, assisted by a reliable team of talented transaction lawyers, one of which, Seppe Laenen, should definitely be mentioned as rising star.‘
‘Frédéric Verspreeuwen and Seppe Laenen are always available, and respond quickly and efficiently when advice is requested.‘
Radius Payment Solutions
Eyeonid Group AB
- Acting as lead counsel to the largest media concern in Belgium, DPG Media (owning a.o., the largest broadcasting company) on the set-up of an ambitious joint venture with Telenet, a listed company (telecom operator, owning TV platform, affiliate of the Liberty Group).
- Acting as lead counsel to Alcopa on the set-up of a joint venture for its automotive retail business with Spanish retailer BERGE.
- Acting as lead counsel to founder/CEO and management on the sale of loadcarrier pooling group CONTRALOAD to APAX controlled TOSCA group and their reinvestment in Tosca.
At contrast, the corporate and M&A team has a wealth of experience handling cross-border transactions for leading Belgian and international companies, including those involving complex regulatory issues. It is notably active in matters involving non-profit organisations and international cooperatives. The practice is led by Bart Bellen, who is dual Belgian/New York-qualified, and has acted on deals across Europe and further afield. Herlinde Burez is an expert in distribution law issues.
Bart Bellen; Herlinde Burez
Other key lawyers:
Ine Schockaert; Milena Varga; Kristof De Wael; An Moonen
‘Mr Bellen was able to identify all the key issues with the minimum of fuss and disruption. He provided much valued and independent opinions which allowed the board to address the issue properly. He liaised very effectively between all the parties which really helped in moving all the parties involved to the right solution. The speed and sensitivity with which Mr Bellen dealt with the issues was superb.‘
‘Contrast has the magic power to explain complicated legal matters in simple language that the client can easily understand, without losing the priority and focus.‘
‘Young team but very professional.‘
‘Availability, quick response time, have a sound business logic, good sparring partner.‘
- Acting as lead counsel to Aminolabs for all-round commercial, corporate and competition law affairs. This client is one of the largest sports and health nutrition manufacturers in Europe.
Led by Eric Deltour, Dechert LLP acts for domestic and international clients on their most complex and strategically significant transactions. In addition to having a longstanding presence in Brussels that dates back to 1968, the firm is well-known for its global footprint. Deltour has 35 years of corporate and M&A experience. Senior associates Ysabelle Vuillard and Geoffroy Fink are other key practitioners in the group, whose sector experience includes pharmaceuticals/life sciences and TMT, as well as hotel management, spa and wellness centres.
Other key lawyers:
Ysabelle Vuillard; Geoffroy Fink
‘Responsive and creative.‘
‘Always eager at finding alternative solutions that fit with all parties involved.‘
- Advised the French chemicals group Arkema on its proposed acquisition of Fixatti, the Swiss-Belgian group with activities in Germany, China, India and numerous other jurisdictions, that specialises in producing high-performance thermobonding adhesive powders. The transaction is pending approval from antitrust authorities in the relevant countries.
intui's team has extensive experience of executing complex domestic and cross-border M&A deals, and it also represents clients in corporate litigation. In addition, reflective of its prominence in the Belgian market, the firm was instructed to co-author the Belgian Code on Companies and Associations. Anneleen Steeno and Robbie Tas are among the names to note in the group, which saw Caroline Hotterbeekx and Naomi Glibert make partner and counsel respectively.
Anneleen Steeno; Robbie Tas; Caroline Hotterbeekx
Other key lawyers:
Kim Van Herck; Matthias Jans; Naomi Glibert
‘Good presence in the Belgian corporate mid-market with strong M&A practice – “down to earth” approach.‘
‘Availability of all staff (associates & partner) is exceptionally high.‘
‘Great lawyers who listen to you and defend your point of view.‘
‘Very large involvement from the partner on the file. The other person working on our file was more than an “assistant”. They worked together as a very good team.‘
‘Anneleen and Matthias are great professionals and pleasant to work with.‘
‘Robbie Tas – Excellent manager and driver of the practice. Anneleen Steeno – The power of the practice and often final lead. Matthias Jans – Personal approach, knowledge and empathy combined.‘
‘Anneleen is a strong negotiator who is able to deliver significant value as she is always well-informed and in control. Working with Matthias is very pleasant, he is highly knowledgeable and knows when to push or hold back.‘
Tinc Development Partners
Vortex Capital Partners
- Advised Vortex Capital Partners (Dutch private equity investor) on the acquisition of the majority of the shares of independent mortgage broker Hypotheek.winkel.be.
- Advised TINC (Euronext Brussels-listed infrastructure investor) on the acquisition of a majority stake in Datacenter United, representing a total investment commitment of €12m.
- Advised Crelem Bakeries on the acquisition of the industrial bakery operated by Vermaut Boerenbrood NV – Dr. Oetker group (seller).
Laurius' practice, which excels in corporate and private equity deals with an international dimension, is jointly led by managing partner Dirk Wellens in Antwerp and Brussels-based senior partner David Ryckaert. Reflective of the firm's excellent reputation, it works closely with a sizeable number of foreign and international law firms, and is a member of First Law International. On the domestic front, Wellens led the advice to the shareholders of Brussels Aviation Medical on the sale of their shares to Attentia in 2019. Elsewhere, the firm's other work includes venture capital transactions, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. Ryckaert has specialist expertise in incentive schemes in LBOs.
Dirk Wellens; David Ryckaert
‘Dirk Wellens is very much client-oriented, always going the extra mile to deliver quality work on time. Dirk understands our needs and business flows better than anyone else, such that he is more like a sparring partner than just a legal adviser.‘
‘Strong involvement of senior partners, problem-solving attitude by investing in understanding the deal dynamics and showing flexibility as opposed to rigidity in drafting documents and clauses without losing sight of the risks.‘
‘Quality of the partners (Dirk Wellens and Bert Luyten) and the service they provide. Senior people that wish to go the extra mile for their clients.‘
‘Dirk Wellens: charisma, leadership, style, team formation.‘
‘Agile, proactive and highly skilled team (on all levels), with strong communicative interaction with the client. They are in control and manage things in such a way that the client can be at ease. Powerful and hands-on management on both partner level and team members level. Impressive track record. Post-transaction follow up is as clearly managed as the transaction itself.‘
‘Special mention for Ayse Özkan: she’s in control, communicates swiftly and clearly, and knows all the details of the transaction. She takes immediate action where necessary and gets things done! A very calm, always friendly person with a very positive attitude, 100% client-oriented, who seems to be insensitive to stress.‘
Buysse & Partners Private Equity
Buysse & Partners Smart Assets
ELBA International / ESAS Netherlands
IK Investment Partners
- Advised ESAS, a leading Belgium company installing, monitoring and maintaining connected devices with more than 1,000 employees, on the acquisition of Spitters, a leading Dutch company in telecommunication networks.
- Advised BPSA on the acquisition from UBS Euroinvest Immobilien of ‘La Couronne’ also known as the ‘Glaverbel Building’, an iconic landmark office building in Brussels.
- Advised the Versele family on the design and implementation of a management incentive scheme for the management of Mr.Mallo.
Monard Law generates a strong flow of work from clients such as multinational companies, large Belgian corporates and growth companies. Nicole Segers heads up the corporate side of the practice, which covers domestic and cross-border M&A, incorporation, venture capital financings and general corporate law advice. Another name to note is Katrien Vorlat, who has over 20 years of corporate and M&A experience. In 2019, Pieter Van den Broeck acted for Vertommen on the sale of a large Mercedes dealership to Swedish family-owned multinational company Anders Hedin Invest AB. Jeroen Raskin is another key figure in the team, which also includes commercial head Kristof Zadora and recently promoted partner Maxime Monard.
Nicole Segers (Corporate); Kristof Zadora (Commercial)
Other key lawyers:
Katrien Vorlat; Jeroen Raskin; Benoit Samyn; Maxime Monard
‘Stand out availability. Pleasant to deal with. Pragmatic approach.‘
‘Jeroen Raskin is pragmatic and efficient. He is also a good listener.‘
‘The team excels in to-the-point communication and delivering excellent work on time, always in line with the promised deadlines and taking into account priority of the requests. Another strong unique point is the way they can put themselves between parties looking for a common ground to build relations, instead of only listening to their client. A very strong commercial way of communication that creates win-win situations with respect from each party at the table for the firm.‘
‘Experienced team with very strong personal involvement and dedication.‘
‘We work together with Jeroen Raskin, who is a top company lawyer. Jeroen has many years of experience and manages a whole team of younger lawyers. This allows him to quickly play ball and we receive impeccable advice from him.‘
‘Strong dedicated team. Very responsive and accurate follow-up.‘
‘Partner Maxime Monard- Very competent- Good communicator- Well appreciated at different levels in organisation – Very solution-oriented and pragmatic- Efficient- Good price vs value.‘
Down to Earth
Internationall General Insurance Group
ScioTeq (part of TransDigm group)
- Assisted the shareholders of longstanding client Genae Associates (founder and PE fund Korys) with the competitive and successful auction sales process whereby Genae Associates was sold to IQVIA, a leading listed health care multinational.
- Acted for Greenyard Group, a global player in the production and distribution of fresh, frozen and prepared fruit and vegetables, in connection with the sale of 100% of the shares in Greenyard Portable Logistics SA to Valies Capital Partner SA, a Portuguese private equity fund.
- Advised Anhairco and its shareholders on the sale of its production facility to Estée Lauder, its stock and formulas to Pool Service (Italy) and a partial demerger.
Osborne Clarke's team leverages the firm's standout reputation in the technology sector to undertake corporate and commercial work for clients operating in the industry. In addition, it is also sought out to advise on matters related to the life sciences and healthcare space, and the retail sector is another area of strength. The group is active in mid-market Belgian transactions and is also strong in cross-border deals. Corporate and M&A head David Haex led a cross-practice team, which advised Five Elms Capital as the lead investor on a $15m Series B financing round for Proxyclick. Stefan Deswert heads up the firm's commercial offering. Marie Canivet, Ruth Wirtz and Hadrien Chef are other key figures at the firm.
David Haex (Corporate, M&A); Stefan Deswert (Commercial)
Other key lawyers:
Marie Canivet; Ruth Wirtz; Hadrien Chef
‘Commercial and pragmatic. Good relationship with other firms and senior lawyers in Belgium. Able to drive to commercial solutions in a quick time frame.‘
Five Elms Capital
The Adecco Group
MEAG MUNICH ERGO Assetmanagement GmbH, acting on behalf of DEUTSCHE KRANKENVERSICHERUNG AG (‘DKV’)
- Advised Clarivate on its acquisition of darts-ip, an award-winning Belgian tech company.
- Advised Bone Therapeutics on concluding a €15m fundraising composed of bridge loans, new equity, convertible bonds and subordinated bonds.
- Advises Brico, one of Belgium’s largest DIY store chains, on day-to-day legal matters and litigation matters.
PwC Legal leverages strengths in areas such as tax, finance and accountancy to cover the gamut of corporate and M&A work. It is notably strong in corporate reorganisations and rationalisations, including those with a cross-border dimension. In the start-up sphere, the team advises start-ups and scale-ups on matters ranging from early stage issues to the internationalisation of their businesses. It also acts for corporate and private equity investors operating in this space. Distressed M&A and insolvency matters are another driver of activity. Karin Winters heads up the practice.
Other key lawyers:
Pierre Queritet; Elise De Baerdemaecker; Bart Vanstaen; Ive Serneels; Christophe Wathion; Arno Debelle;
‘Hands-on approach, flexible, complementary team, open for discussion, available.‘
‘Our M&A experience with Bart Vanstaen and his team has shown a great availability and engagement towards us as a client. Their pragmatic approach is much appreciated.‘
‘Elise De Baerdemaecker is very customer-oriented combined with top legal expertise.‘
‘Great availability, very responsive, excellent case management.‘
‘Over the past five years, Karin Winters has built PwC legal into an impressive full-service law firm. It is a very professional outfit and, as part of the Big4 consulting firms, has access to great resources and capabilities.‘
‘In my experience, the PwC team’s strength is its commercial feeling and pragmatism.‘
‘Bart Van Staen’s straightforward, transparent communication is the base for a trusted relationship.‘
Axis Parc Fund
- Assisted Paris-based European leading private equity firm Apax Partners with an integrated buy-side due diligence in the legal, employment and tax areas, as well as structuring service.
- Assisted Belgian biotech company Univercells with its structuring in view of a €50m investment by the American private equity fund KKR.
- Acting as trusted legal adviser to Arbonia and Vasco Group, representing this client in arbitration proceedings and advising them on the divestment of important real estate property to three different buyers.
Quinz' team comprises of practitioners with previous experience of practising at Magic Circle and international law firms, as well as working in-house at blue-chip companies. Although it has a particularly strong profile in Belgian mid-market corporate transactions, the group is also regularly involved in larger deals. Bart Lintermans has particular experience of undertaking corporate and commercial work with a nexus to the life sciences and real estate sectors. Other key figures are Klaas Thibaut and associate Wout Hooyberghs, who were among the advisers to UCB Pharma on the asset sale of its alprostadil business to Advanz Pharma in 2020.
Bart Lintermans; Klaas Thibaut
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has exceptional quality. Partners are very involved in the projects.‘
‘Bart Lintermans is a very good, hands-on lawyer.‘
‘Exceptional team of relatively young lawyers with strong experience and international expertise. Positioned between the larger firms and smaller firms, hence placed in a very nice sweet spot for files of larger size but predominantly Belgian dimension.‘
‘Klaas Thibaut – an excellent lawyer with very strong skills on corporate/financing side. Strong understanding of business needs. Very responsive.‘
‘High availability, very pragmatic and to the point, hands-on.‘
‘Strong lawyers, coming from big names in the sector, but working in a more pragmatic and personal way.‘
‘Klaas Thibaut – good personal relationship. Responsive. Commercial. Wout Hooyberghs – very meticulous. Very deep in his files.‘
‘The team is pragmatic and solution-oriented and provides good value for money.‘
Green Park Investment Partners
Downtown Real Estate
Wrist Ship Supply
- Advised Ethias (one of Belgium’s leading insurers) on a joint venture project with Weerts Group in respect of the set-up of a logistic fund with a focus on Western and Eastern Europe and a value of circa €700m.
- Advised Luminus (one of Belgium’s leading energy suppliers) on different acquisitions of several companies active in the B2B segment of electrical systems and data communications.
- Advised Green Park Investment Partners, a Belgian private equity firm, on its investment in, and operational partnership with, BOEMM, a group active in the industry of temporary staffing and interim work through brands such as JobFIXers and White & Moore.
Squire Patton Boggs' Brussels team, which is a core part of a much larger global practice, acts as a one-stop shop on domestic and cross-border commercial, corporate and M&A mandates. It is led by Bart Vanderstrete, who worked with Paris-based EMEA chair Tony Reed and associate Evelyne Kerkdijk to advise Lincoln Electric on the integration of Air Liquide Welding’s business into the client's Benelux entities, as well as a post-integration restructuring. Labour and employment head Marga Caproni plays a key role in M&A and restructurings, where she advises US, European and Belgian clients. Counsel Amaury de Borchgrave d’Altena is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
Marga Caproni; Amaury de Borchgrave d’Altena
‘Bart Vanderstraete (Partner) has been an invaluable contact to the company through a reorganisation of operations in Belgium: responsive, reliable, knowledgeable and efficient. Ably assisted by associate Evelyne Kerkdijk.‘
‘We are working mostly with Amaury de Bochgrave. He is very knowledgeable, especially in M&A projects. He has also good business awareness and an appropriate pragmatic approach.‘
‘The team has a unique mix of experienced partners and of counsels combined with engaged and responsive associates. In total, the mix works and guarantees 24 hours availability.‘
‘Partner Bart Vanderstrate and of counsel Amaury de Borchgrave have the willingness to go into details and think more commercially than legally. Eva Kerkrade is the go-to associate with a very convincing calm attitude.‘
‘Very pragmatic, to the point and knowledgeable.‘
AGC Glass Europe
Burke Porter Group
Owners of Prime Document
Success Hotels Group
Société de Participation Betteravière – RT
SFW Capital Partners
- Advised Live Nation on its acquisition of the Sportpaleis group, which exploits ten of the largest and most important entertainment venues in Belgium, including Sportpaleis, Lotto Arena, Stadsschouwburg, Forest National, the Capitole, the Ethias Arena, the Ethias Theater and Expo Hasselt.
- Advised AGC Glass Europe on the creation of a new joint venture with the Walloon Region in Belgium. The new joint venture, Renowindow SRL, is active in the replacement of glass within existing glass frames and will commercialise a revolutionary new product, Fineo, a double glazing product which is as thin as simple glazing, but as energy performant as triple glazing.
- Advised Success Hotels Group, which operates hotels in Germany, on setting up its operations in Belgium and acquiring the right to operate two new hotels to be developed in Antwerp and outside Brussels by Belgian developer Candor. The transaction involved a novel structure whereby Success Hotel Group acquired the usufruct over the hotels and the bare ownership is sold to third-party investors.
At Van Olmen & Wynant, Luc Wynant and Koen Hoornaert (who was hired from Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL in 2019) are the key partners in the team, which advises on M&A, debt and equity capital markets transactions and stock option plans, among various other matters. On the contentious side, Alexei Loubkine is recommended for his dispute resolution experience. The firm is notably prominent in the start-up community and it also has a sizeable venture capital and private equity client base.
Luc Wynant (Corporate); Alexei Loubkine (Corporate Litigation)
Other key lawyers:
Koen Hoornaert; Jeroen Mues
‘Focussed on the job. Very pragmatic. Always very fast in replying.‘
‘Luc Wynant is very committed, professional with high quality and efficiency. He also has a very solid team.‘
‘What struck us the most was the hands-on and customer-centric approach as well as the entrepreneurial and innovative mindset of Jeroen Mues and his team. Our understanding, based on our collaboration, is that Van Olmen & Wynant strives to build a relationship of trust with its clients and to reinforce the sustainability of the client’s business while providing excellent legal advice as a trusted adviser in a cost-efficient way.‘
‘Van Olmen & Wynant are corporate lawyers that are result driven and cost-efficient. The corporate lawyers ensure a swift deal execution and create value for the client by advising on complex legal and tax questions.‘
‘I think one of the unique elements of Van Olmen & Wynant is the versatility of the practice, ie. the fact that they are able to provide world-class advice on matters related to intellectual property, corporate law, stock options plans…‘
‘The overall level of service is truly beyond satisfaction. The corporate and M&A team is extremely knowledgeable and responsible, not only in terms of quality of the services rendered but also in terms of the fee structure. We received accurate legal advice within the required time limitation and in a highly professional manner. In addition, Van Olmen & Wynant promised and delivered a cost-efficient result.‘
‘During our recent collaborations, Koen Hoornaert, in particular, stood out. Koen Hoornaert and his team put management and shareholders at the heart of this project and created efficient and strong mutually beneficial working relationships.‘
Gillain & Co Group
ABN AMRO Participaties
Think2Act Capital NV – BMACON
KRKA Belgium SA
nWave Studios NV
ING Private Equity
BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity
De Gentse Kluis NV
Soda Data NV
- Acted for Destiny Group on the sale of its stake in Mentha Capital to Apax Partners. Apax successfully acquired Destiny’s holding company and Destiny’s managers successfully reinvested in the holding company.
- Advised Televic Rail NV on the expansion of its activities and territorial reach through the acquisition of GSP Sprachtechnologie GmbH, a Berlin-based company.
- Advised a client operating in the technology sector on a substantial financing round.
Under the leadership of David Du Pont, Ashurst LLP's team is particularly active in advice to private equity and real estate investment fund clients on the acquisition and sale of Belgium-based target companies and assets. Elsewhere, Du Pont has expertise in private M&A, joint ventures, company law and corporate governance issues. In 2019, highlights included acting for multi-asset investment platform eToro Group Ltd on its acquisition of crypto portfolio tracker app Delta. Senior associate Jörg Heirman is another name to note.
David Du Pont
Other key lawyers:
‘Very good legal expertise, communication and project management skills. Knowledgeable and fun to work with.‘
‘David Dupont (partner) and Jorg Heirman (associate). The lawyers have very good organisational and project management skills, which is very important for complex due diligence work. Moreover, they are very knowledgeable and responsive. It is a pleasure to work with them given their ability to embrace complexity and provide clear legal analysis.‘
Northleaf Capital Partners
Logistics Capital Partners
Tritax EuroBox plc
CEFIC (the European Chemical Industry Council)
The COST Association (European Cooperation in Science and Technology)
Dutch Infrastructure Fund
- Advised the Valesco Group, backed by Meritz Securities, on the acquisition of the Finance Tower for circa €1.2bn, which represented the second largest single asset acquisition in mainland Europe ever.
- Advised Northleaf Capital Partners on its acquisition of a 90% stake in Douglas Terminals from Ghent Transport & Storage NV and Hartree Partners (UK) Limited.
- Advised DIF on the acquisition of a 49% stake in Touax Rail Limited and the companies it controls.
Bird & Bird's team specialises in undertaking the entire ambit of corporate and commercial work for clients in the life sciences, financial and TMT sectors. Practice head Paul Hermant has over 30 years of experience in M&A, private equity transactions, IPOs and joint ventures, among other matters. He recently worked with counsel Pieter-Jan Van Houdenhove to advise the shareholder of Dental Labo Vanderbeken Oostende on the sale of the Labo Vanderbeken Group to Munt Dental NV. Counsel Cedric Berckmans is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Cedric Berckmans; Pieter-Jan Van Houdenhove
Promethera Biosciences SA
Network Research Belgium S.A.
Dental Lab Vanderbeken
The European Life-Science Infrastructure for Biological Information (ELIXIR)
Lantmännen Unibake Londerzeel
Workday Inc (Workday Belgium)
Sompo Japan Nippponkoa Insurance Company of Europe Ltd
Theodorus (ULB spin off investment fund)
QlikTech Netherlands (Belgian branch)
Proton World International NV, Easynet Belgium NV
In-service Aircraft for Global Observing System IVZW
The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment
Partnership For Advanced Computing in Europe IVZW
The European Research Infrastructure on Highly Pathogenic Agents IVZW
- Advised Promethera Biosciences SA, a Belgian biotech company specialising in cell-based medicines and liver diseases, on the consequences of the cancellation of its planned IPO and a subsequent Round E financing of €20-25m, as well as a joint venture with Hao Tian for the development and commercialisation of its products in South-East Asia and China.
- Advised Belgian IT group Network Research Belgium on its investment in Infohos Solutions, a leading ICT supplier for the Belgian healthcare sector. The deal was finalised through a capital increase by contribution in kind.
- Advised the shareholders of Dental Labo Vanderbeken Oostende on selling their network of dental laboratories to private equity fund Munt Dental NV.
Crowell & Moring's team is adept in mid-sized M&A deals involving IP and/or data protection issues, as well as the Belgian aspects of large, cross-border transactions. Other work includes complex restructurings, commercial contracts and privacy/data protection advice. Frederik Van Remoortel and Emmanuel Plasschaert co-head the group, whose sector expertise spans areas such as pharmaceuticals/life sciences, TMT, energy/utilities and chemicals, among others. Eric Montens was promoted to senior counsel in 2020. In other developments, counsel Stefanie Tack and senior associate Delphine Keppens joined from ORYS Advocaten and SABCA respectively. Luc Machtelinckx , who was hired from Telenet, is another key figure.
Frederik Van Remoortel; Emmanuel Plasschaert
Other key lawyers:
Eric Montens; Stefanie Tack; Delphine Keppens
‘Fast and to the point.‘
Norway Foods (Thai Union Group)
Zurich Insurance plc
Chemo Group / Exeltis
European Association of Mercedes Benz Dealers (FEAC)
Surface Mount Technology
Belgian Association of Mercedes Benz Dealers
- Acted for Audax, a leading middle-market private equity firm, and its portfolio company Mobileum on the acquisition of SIGOS, which has the largest roaming and interconnection test system in the cloud, covering almost every country in the world.
- Advised Weareone.world on legal issues relating to the launch of the 2020 digital edition of the summer festival Tomorrowland. Prepared key agreements (templates, media barters, artists’ contracts, pay-per-view and video-on-demand terms and conditions, etc).
- Assisted Telenet/Liberty Global with commercial agreements between the parties involved in the creation of a joint venture between Liberty Global and Belgian media company DPG Media to provide SVOD (subscription video on demand) services: the so-called ‘Flemish Netflix’.
EY Law's practice is gaining momentum, with the firm winning work from new and existing clients. It has built up a sizeable client following among start-up and scale-up companies, for whom it provides support on angel investment and venture capital rounds. The firm's client roster also includes entrepreneurial families, venture capital and private equity funds, as well as multinational companies. Tom Swinnen heads up the M&A team, which works closely with specialists in areas such as finance and tax to provide full-service support. Managing partner Peter Suykens leads the corporate and commercial practice. In November 2019, executive directors Dirk Beeckman and Philip Peerens joined from Questa Advocaten and KOAN Law Firm respectively.
Lieven Bultinck; Herman De Wilde; Jan Decorte; Joost De Zutter; Philip Peerens; Dirk Beeckman; Peter Suykens; Tom Swinnen
Other key lawyers:
Adrien Faelli; Lindsey Clare; Giovanni Verkooren
Q8 (Kuwait Petroleum)
Maes Energy & Mobility
Farm Frites International
VPK Packaging NV
Subaru Europe NV
Firma Cras NV
Sonic Healthcare Benelux
MHI Vestas Belgian entities
Uselect BV (Beerselect)
- Acted as lead legal adviser to one of the world’s largest oil companies, Kuwait Petroleum (Q8), on its acquisition of a network of circa 70 petrol stations in Belgium from the Walloon-based family-owned Uhoda Group. The transaction resulted in Q8 becoming the largest player on the Belgian market.
- Acted as lead legal adviser to ArcelorMittal, the worldwide leader in steel production and transformation, on the sale of ArcelorMittal Ringmill, its sole subsidiary company active in the production of windmill parts, to Callista, a German private equity fund.
- Successfully assisted the family shareholders with the sale of (and reinvestment in) the Lambrechts Group, a specialist producer of keg filling and washing solutions and supplier to the world’s largest breweries, to the Belgian family private equity fund Vybros Invest (owned by the famous Belgian Vande Vyvere family, top 100 wealthiest Belgian families).
KPMG Law in Belgium is a core part of the KPMG Global Legal Services network, and its team in Belgium is able to tap into a large multidisciplinary pool of resources worldwide to provide a full range of corporate and business law services to clients. Its notable strengths include domestic and cross-border restructurings, as well as M&A. In 2020, highlights included Frank Cleeren and Thomas Vandersmissen advising Belgian Cycling Factory on the acquisition of the cycling-tech incubator Bikeville and the non-profit organisation Flanders Bike Valley. Other key individuals include Wouter Lauwers and Patrick Geeraert in Brussels. Senior counsels Tim Fransen and Thomas De Clerck, who are based in Antwerp and Kortrijk respectively, are also recommended.
Wouter Lauwers (Brussels); Patrick Geeraert (Brussels); Frank Cleeren (Hasselt)
Other key lawyers:
Gert Cauwenbergh (Brussels); Tim Fransen (Antwerp); Thomas De Clerck (Kortrijk); Kristof Slootmans (Brussels); David Van Iseghem (Hasselt); Chrisophe Piette (Antwerp); Virginie Ciers (Brussels); Thomas Vandersmissen (Hasselt); Arthur Lahousse (Kortrijk)
Cegeka/Customizze/Sofin (Andre Knaepen)
Belgian Cycling Factory
- Advised Mediahuis on its €5m investment in Lepaya, a Duch scale-up active in the field of e-learning.
- Advised the shareholder of Cogit Group on the sale of the majority of the shares of Cogit Group to Eurofiber Nederland, including the French companies EURAFIBRE SAS, AVENIR TELEMATIQUE SAS and EURA DC SAS. These companies have a strong position in the north of France in fiberoptic connectivity, cloud and managed services, as well as server hosting services in colocation datacentre.
- Assisted Financière WOW (a consortium led by Biotech Dental), alongside KPMG Avocats France, with the acquisition of 70% of Condor SAS (holding the rights to the Condor Intra Oral Scanner) from Condor Technologies NV, a Belgian company specialized in dental CAD/CAM equipment, listed on Euronext Access Paris, for a total amount of €21m.
K&L Gates GP
K&L Gates GP handles a wide ambit of corporate mandates for Belgian and international clients operating in areas such as aviation, food, IT and pharmaceuticals. Its workload spans public and private M&A, capital markets, venture capital and private equity transactions, restructurings and joint ventures, among other matters. In addition, the firm demonstrates strong capabilities advising on complex commercial issues, such as those concerning outsourcing, distribution, manufacturing and licensing agreements. Patrice Corbiau and Jeroen Smets co-head the practice.
Patrice Corbiau; Jeroen Smets
Other key lawyers:
‘We highly appreciate the responsiveness of the partner and creative capacity of the people with whom we work. We find that the prices applied are also more justified than with other firms.‘
‘Very good listening skills and a very fine understanding of the issues. The originality of the solutions and proposals.‘
Olislaegers & De Creus
Olislaegers & De Creus attracts a strong flow of work from Belgian and international clients under the joint leadership of Kristof De Creus and Michael Olislaegers, who collectively have more than 50 years of commercial, corporate and finance law experience. The team handles a full range of Belgian and European business law issues. It advises purchasers and sellers on M&A deals and also handles IPOs, joint ventures and commercial contracts issues, among other matters. Olislaegers is the chairman of Awerian, which is a network of independent corporate law boutique firms based in Western Europe. Werner Vanderhaeghe and Axel Clerens moved to Pierstone in 2020.
Kristof De Creus; Michael Olislaegers
Care Property Fund NV
Hilton International Co. (Belgium) BV
Kroy Finance Corp BV, and Atcomex BV
Cartonnage P. Van de Velde NV, and Van De Velde Packaging NV
Oiltanking Antwerp Gas Terminal, and Oiltanking Europe BV
Cranium Belgium NV, and Cranium International Holding NV
Burg Group BV
Accounting & Tax Partners NV
Algeco Belgium NV
- Advised the founding shareholders of Unizen BV on the sale of 100% of their shareholding in Unizen BV to Teamleader NV.
- Advising Oiltanking Antwerp Gas Terminal NV on the negotiation and drafting of an agreement with Ineos for the storage and handling of ethane and propane, which will be produced by the new ethane cracker and propane dehydrogenation plant to be built by Ineos in the Port of Antwerp, aka ‘Project One’.
- Advised Care Property Fund NV on various long- and medium-term project financing transactions.
Corporate and M&A boutique Quorum is a key fixture in domestic transactions and it also leverages its 'best friends network' to work with foreign law firms on cross-border deals. The practice handles a mix of M&A, private equity, venture capital and capital markets work. Restructurings are another area of activity. Davy Gorselé heads up the team, which includes Pieter Dierckx and Michiel Roovers. Maarten Van Staeyen left the firm for an in-house position.
Other key lawyers:
Pieter Dierckx; Michiel Roovers
‘Exceptional mix between experience and drive. High involvement of partners.‘
‘Davy Gorselé: combines out-of-the-box thinking with structured approach.‘
Brussels Airport Company
Cofely Services NV
Family Backed Real Estate
Group Michiels Advanced Materials
KebeK Private Equity
Louis Dreyfus Company
- Acting as the permanent legal adviser of UnifiedPost Group, a Belgian leading company in the field of digitalisation of documents, payment centralisation, robotic accounting, electronic identification and signing tools and value-adding applications. The firm advised UnifiedPost Group on multiple investment and capital transactions in the course of 2020 for an aggregate amount of approximately €47m.
- Advised the shareholders of Centrauto NV on the sale of 100% of the shares to Automotive & Mobility Invest NV. The acquisition of the Centrauto Group by Automotive & Mobility Invest NV was approved by the Belgian Competition authority in 2020. The firm assisted with the entire transaction, including the procedure in order to acquire merger clearance.
- Assisted Dutch PE firm Standard Investment BV with the acquisition of ACE BV from German RKW.
At Racine, Anthony Van der Hauwaert heads up the corporate and transactional team, while retail sector expert Stijn Claeys leads the commercial group. The firm advises publicly listed and private companies on a wide range of transactional and advisory matters, including domestic and cross-border M&A, group restructurings, share capital transactions, shareholder agreements, corporate governance and director liability. Commercial work includes advice on franchising, advertising, supply agreements and consumer protection. Claeys has particular expertise in distribution law issues.
Anthony Van der Hauwaert
Other key lawyers:
Stijn Claeys; Sien Vermeesch
‘Hands-on team with smooth negotiators.‘
‘Stijn Claeys is partner at the commercial department. His strength is that he thinks along with the client, he understands the business very quickly, goes straight to the core of the problem, does not turn around the issue, tries to find practical solutions with ear for commercial arguments (if any), but he does not avoid tricky discussions and he is witty.‘
‘Always accessible, they think also out of the box, ready to go with you until the end of the process (dedicated).‘
‘I work with Anthony Van der Hauwaert. He is very knowledgeable and friendly. He understands the need very quickly and responds to it very well and quickly.‘
‘Stijn Vanschoubroek was our single point of contact, coordinating from his side with his colleagues internally. It sounds easy, but to keep communication clear & transparent seems to be a big issue in more complex situations for many companies.‘
‘The team is very professional and discrete. Always available for helping you out.‘
‘Pragmatic, cost-efficient and client-focused approach.‘
‘Racine has a great corporate team with lots of international experience and credentials. They understand complex global deals and work smoothly together with other lawyers from other jurisdictions.‘
Group Moret Industries
KOMATSU EUROPE INTERNATIONAL
KUSMI TEA K Retail
Oris group (Hairdis)
WOLTERS KLUWER BELGIUM
- Acted for Grafton Group plc, the UK listed builders merchanting and DIY group, on the sale of its entire Belgian merchanting business.
- Advised Neuhaus on implementing an e-commerce platform including independent partners and omnichannel strategy.
- Assisted Sigma Conso and its shareholders, active in corporate performance management software, with a share transfer transaction with Fortino Capital. The firm also advised the CEO of Sigma Conso on his reinvestment in the company.
Schoups demonstrates strong capabilities in both Belgian and cross-border transactions. Although it particularly distinguishes itself acting for Belgian corporates and their owners on the sell-side of deals, its team also has extensive experience of acting on the buy-side. Its team's sector experience is particularly notable in areas such as retail, franchise and manufacturing. In 2019, the practice was strengthened by Christine Heeb's promotion to counsel and the arrival of Stefaan Wauman from Laurius. In a more recent development, counsel Liesbeth Truyens joined from Linklaters. Heeb and Wauman co-head the practice with Gwen Bevers.
Gwen Bevers; Christine Heeb; Stefaan Wauman
Other key lawyers:
‘People do their job efficiently and with good practice knowledge, as usual! Keep it this way!‘
‘Schoups’ level of service is more than outstanding, not only in the field of legal knowledge and legal practices, but in every other field we have learned to know them over the past years. Their response time is excellent, often even faster and more accurate than expected or hoped for. Advice has always proven to be most accurate and appropriate, sometimes refreshing and innovative, but nevertheless always legally correct and indisputable.‘
‘The team has a good mix of hard-working specialists who are very dedicated and active.‘
‘Gwen Bevers and Christine Heeb are extremely concise and adequate in their legal professional support. Their explaining and translation abilities of contractual concepts into the actual business are beyond great. Extremely professional and adequate. Great language skills and international skills.‘
‘They are very punctual in all the paperwork that is necessary in order to complete a transaction. They make sure that the work stays with them and that the customer doesn’t have to worry about something.‘
‘We appreciate the fact that we are billed only on the time they need to spend dealing with our questions. We are not confronted with retainers or percentage-based fees. Compared to other firms this seems to me an important advantage as it allows us to work in a much more predictable and value-based relationship.‘
‘Very professional and friendly team. Quality advice, excellent customer service.‘
Customs Support Group
- Advised Fluidra on its acquisition, including due diligence, of Aquafive (through the acquisition of all shares in a Belgian company and its subsidiaries).
- Advised Mentha Capital on several add-on acquisitions for portfolio companies, such as Customs Support Group and Insites Consulting; and on its sale of Ardena to GHO Capital.
- Advised the shareholders of Dust Mobile on the introduction of two major French private equity funds into the company’s shareholding.
Verhaegen Walravens acts for Belgian and international clients ranging from entrepreneurs to multinational corporates. It provides full support on a broad scope of corporate/commercial advisory and transactional mandates. Also notable is that the firm has a specialist practice that focuses on advising innovative companies in areas such as fintech, biotech and regtech. Other areas of strength include hospitality, senior housing, not-for-profit, art/culture and remote gambling/gaming. Founding partners Jacques Verhaegen and Philip Walravens co-head the practice with Paula Martins Costa and Anouk De Graef. Julie Borgerhoff made counsel in 2020.
Jacques Verhaegen; Philip Walravens; Paula Martins Costa; Anouk De Graef
Other key lawyers:
Procter & Gamble
Bancontact Payconiq Company
Groupement des Cartes Bancaires CB
European Card Payment Cooperation
Sistema de Tarjetas y Medios de Pago
Synergee Group SA
- Assisted Monus, a Belgian holding company, with the disposal of its controlling shareholding in Belgian football club KV Mechelen.
- Assisted six European card payment schemes operators with their joint venture to develop incoming European specifications for (among other services) contactless payments.
- Assisted the founders of a Maltese company active in the remote gambling industry with a funding round and the subsequent sale of their shareholdings.