Messer Griesheim

Clifford Chance advised Goldman Sachs as coordinator and JP Morgan, HypoVereinsbank and the Royal Bank of Scotland as arrangers in the largest ever European leveraged buyout. The euro1.65bn (£1bn) facilities supported Goldman Sachs Private Equity’s and Allianz Capital Partners’ acquisition of industrial gases group Messer Griesheim, bought from Hoechst/Aventis.
Messer Griesheim operates in more than 200 companies in over 50 jurisdictions and the deal involved more than 50 Clifford Chance lawyers working in 11 different offices. Complexity was increased further by the impending tax changes in Germany, which meant that the deal had to be structured to facilitate the vendor’s tax requirements.
Despite any impending downturn, the size and complexity of leveraged buyouts in Europe is continuing to increase – which will suit banking lawyers. With the German market in a state of transition, it is still one of the plum Continental jurisdictions for financing.