Last updated: June 4, 2021
With a team from several offices led by partners Dr. Johan Schneider and Dr. Thorsten Kuthe, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek advised internationally operating Joh. Friedrich Behrens AG on the sale of its business operations in an asset deal together with a share deal for numerous foreign subsidiaries. The buyer is a subsidiary of Great Star Europe AG, Switzerland, which prevailed over numerous interested investors in a highly complex international bidding process. All 160 jobs at Behrens AG headquarters and in addition about 290 jobs at the international subsidiaries are set to be retained. Closing of the transaction, which was notarized on March 26, 2021, is i.a. subject to the approval of the German Federal Cartel Office.
In November 2020, Behrens AG had filed for insolvency in self-administration at Reinbek local Court to initiate the reorganization that has now been implemented. Insolvency was filed due to the company’s failure to repay SME bonds of some EUR 15 million that were due at the end of 2020. As a result of the pandemic-related restraint on the capital market, refinancing efforts had also failed. Prior to the insolvency, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek had already advised the client on restructuring the bond and on issues related to capital market law. During the insolvency proceedings, Heuking also drafted an alternative reorganization option by way of an insolvency plan jointly with the self-administration team led by Dr. Tjark Thies of Reimer Rechtsanwälte. In the complex international M&A process, which had to be concluded under high time pressure, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek involved no less than 13 network firms from various foreign jurisdictions on behalf of the seller in addition to Heuking’s own Swiss office.
Joh. Friedrich Behrens AG, based in Ahrensburg near Hamburg, is a listed manufacturer of tools and fasteners for trade and industry. With 14 subsidiaries, three branch offices, and five joint ventures, the company is operating in the key markets and is represented by sales partners in more than 40 countries. Most recently, Behrens AG generated annual sales of just below EUR 120 million.
The sale of the business operations of the insolvent Joh. Friedrich Behrens AG from Ahrensburg near Hamburg was completed on June 1, 2021.
Counsel to Joh. Friedrich Behrens AG
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek:
Dr. Johan Schneider (Insolvency/M&A, Lead), Hamburg
Dr. Thorsten Kuthe (Capital Markets/Bonds), Cologne
Dr. Jörg Schewe (Corporate/M&A),
Dr. Stefan Bretthauer (Antitrust),
Dr. Johan-Michel Menke (Employment),
Fabian G. Gaffron (Tax),
Dr. Hans Markus Wulf (IT/Data Protection),
Christian Spintig (IP),
Dr. Sebastian Jungemeyer (Product Law),
David Loszynski (Insolvency/M&A),
Dr. Ullrich Schlichtherle (Real Estate/Tenancy),
Dr. Markus Wrogemann (Corporate/M&A),
Dr. Christina Küster (Insolvency), all Hamburg
Dr. Bodo Dehne (Foreign Trade),
Marcel Maybaum (IP), both Düsseldorf
Anna Richter, LL.M. (Capital Markets/Bonds), Cologne
Marcel Hostettler, MBA, MAS in Finance (Corporate/Swiss Law),
Eric Chris Baumgartner (Corporate/Swiss Law), both Zurich
Reimer Rechtsanwälte (Self-administration), Hamburg:
Dr. Tjark Thies,
Dr. Arno Doebert
Brinkmann & Partner:
Dr. Christoph Morgen (Administrator)