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SCWP Schindhelm and Freshfields Advise Sale of Bernecker + Rainer to ABB

SCWP Schindhelm and Freshfields Advise Sale of Bernecker + Rainer to ABB

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SCWP Schindhelm has advised Erwin Bernecker and Josef Rainer — the founders of Bernecker + Rainer Industrie-Elektronik Gesellschaft m.b.H. — and two foundations established by Bernecker and Rainer (the Bernecker Privatstiftung and Josef Rainer Privatstiftung, respectively) on the sale of their shares in the company to the ABB group.

The B+R headquarters in Eggelsberg, Austria will be turned into the center of ABB’s newly-founded Machine & Factory Automation business unit. 

B+R was founded by Bernecker and Rainer in 1979. According to SCWP Schindhelm, "with approximately 3000 employees and a turnover of about EUR 600 million per year, [the company] is among the leaders in the field of industrial automation."

ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. is a technology group in the fields of electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation, and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport, and infrastructure. The Switzerland-based company operates in more than 100 countries and has about 132,000 employees, and reports an annual turnover of over USD 30 billion per year.

The core SCWP Schindhelm team was led by Partner Franz Mittendorfer and included Lawyers Bettina Poglies-Schneiderbauer, Sebastian Hutter, and Simone Hogl, and Associates Stephanie Gusenleitner and Elisabeth Maria Keinert. The due diligence team consisted of Barbara Peschka, Maria Praher, Julia Schiefermair, Marie Luise Handl, Lydia Kerbler, Zsofia Kerkapoly, and Sandra Ohler.

The Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer team was led by Partner Willibald Plesser, who described the deal as "a brilliant story ... the largest strategic acquisition by ABB ever, and one of the largest M&A transactions in Austria in recent years." Plesser's team included Counsel Michal Dobrowolski and Corporate Associates Daniel Lungenschmid, Sebastian Schwab, and Patrick Tauber. HR advice was rendered by incoming Partner Karin Buzanich-Sommeregger and Associate Benedikt Sprinzl. IP/IT advice was provided by Principal Associate Lutz Riede and Corporate Associate Gernot Fritz. Tax Partner Claus Staringer and Associates Oliver Gunther and Katharina Kubik provided tax advice. Real Estate advice was provided by Counsel Felix Neuwirther and Associate Birgit Kettlgruber. Competition Partners Uta Itzen‎, Helmut Bergmann, and Thomas Lubbig and Competition Associates ‎Miriam Geiss, Anna-Wolf Posch, and Sarah Parker provided anti-trust advice. Dispute Resolution Partner Stephan Denk and Principal Associate Lukas Bauer were in charge of integrity/compliance advice. Dispute Resolution advice was provided by Partner Thomas Kustor and Associate Simone Quantschnigg. Freshfields reported that "further partners and associates from Vienna and other offices in the US, China, Germany and Italy were involved in the due diligence exercise."