Messer Griesheim, a leading producer of industrial and specialty gases, has sold its operations in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States to Air Liquide for the amount of €2.7 bn. At the same time, the owners of Messer Griesheim, Allianz Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs and the Messer Industrie GmbH (MIG) have reached a principal agreement whereby MIG will acquire the stakes in Messer Griesheim from the two other owners. International law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has advised the Messer family on this complex transaction.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer had already advised the Messer family in 2001 when Allianz Capital Partners and private equity funds managed by Goldman Sachs took over a 67 per cent stake in Messer Griesheim from Hoechst AG (now Aventis). This allowed the necessary restructuring to be successfully concluded and now enables the independent management of the Messer Group under the direction of the Messer family. “In the last three years, we were able to clearly demonstrate our expertise across all phases of a private equity transaction,” said Hans-Gerd Wienands, legal tax partner from the Freshfields Cologne office who led the deal. “This transaction sets the course to the benefit of all involved.”
The team coordinated by Wienands included, among others, partners Dr. Franz Aleth, Dr. Kai Hasselbach and Dr. Jürgen Sieger (all from corporate law, Cologne), Ralph Kästner (financial law, Frankfurt), Dr. Stephan Eilers (tax law), Matthias Koch (IP/IT), and Dr. Joachim Pfeffer (competition law, Cologne).