Beijing-headquartered King & Wood has played the lead counsel role in China Wolong Group’s acquisition of Austria’s largest motor manufacturer ATB Group in an investment exceeding e100m (£85.73m).
Zhejiang-based private enterprise Wolong has acquired Vienna-listed ATB Group from A-Tec Industries, an insolvent international industrial group head- quartered in Vienna.
A-Tec Industries was represented by partner Matthias Schmidt of Austrian firm Preslmayr Rechtsanwälte. ATB Group hired Vienna’s Hausmaninger Kletter for legal advice, with partner Michael Herzer playing a lead role.
The King & Wood team was led by Beijing partner Cheng Xiaofeng, who joined the Chinese firm from Allen & Overy in 2010. Over the past eight months, Cheng has been a frequent flyer between China and Europe to assist his client and to coordinate the five European law firms that are also providing legal support to Wolong in the transaction.
One of the core European firms involved is Austria’s 170-lawyer CHSH. The firm’s team on the transaction was led by partner and head of M&A practice Albert Birkner.
As ATB also has business units in Germany, the UK, Poland and Serbia, a number of local firms in these countries have also played supporting roles in the deal, such as Frankfurt-based Greenfort, led by partner Daniel Roeder.
“The past eight months have been very intense. One of the main challenges is the clash of different European and Chinese business cultures, and different ways of thinking,” said Cheng.