McDermott Will & Emery has won out over Shearman & Sterling to advise AV Holdings on the competition aspects of its sale of plastic container business Schmalbach-Lubeca to US packaging company Ball Corporation
AV Holdings, a joint venture between Eon and Allianz Capital Partners, is instructing Shearman & Sterling on the corporate side, while Ball is being advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom on both corporate and competition. Shearman has a strong relationship with Eon and advised on competition aspects when it sold VAW Aluminium to Norsk Hydro and when it sold its 65 per cent share in logistics group Stinnes, which was being sold to the German state-owned railway Deutsche Bahn. McDermott also has historical links with Eon, which was created when Viag merged with Veba in 1999. Viag had a long-standing relationship with the US firm. McDermott partner Scott Megregian is leading the deal out of the London office. He told The Lawyer: "We've done a lot of international work for Schmalbach and we do a significant amount of Eon's international work. We do quite a good job on the multi-jurisdictional process, which means that we were more likely to get the work." Earlier in the year, McDermott advised on both the corporate and competition aspects when Schmalbach-Lubeca sold the other half of its business to Australian packaging company Amcor. According to Shearman's Brussels managing partner Hans Jurgen Meyer-Lindemann, the competition aspects of the deal are minimal. Schmalbach has European production plants in Germany, the UK, France, Austria and Poland. But in Germany and Austria, only the buyer has to make filings. "The buyer has no operations in Europe so it was not a big deal in terms of antitrust," he said.