Shearman gets the nod from Hypo Real Estate

A longstanding law school friendship has seen Shearman & Sterling’s German office score a new client in the guise of Hypo Real Estate Holdings – the newly demerged real estate arm of HypoVereinsbank.

Shearman corporate partner Alfred Kossmann received the instruction from former law school classmate Martina Peterhofen, who will be the number two to Hypo’s new chief executive Georg Funke.

Although Shearman has acted for HypoVereinsbank in the US, it has never done so in Germany.

Kossmann also attributed the win to the firm’s experience of advising on demergers in the region, although to date these type of deals have been few and far between.

Those the firm has worked on include the spin-off of Celanese from parent company Hoechst in 1999 and acting for the banks in the Rhone-Poulenc demerger.

The newly-formed entity is due to list on the German stock exchange today (6 October). However, the listing is not an initial public offering as such, as there will be no capital increase. Instead, the existing shareholders will receive shares in Hypo on a pro rata basis.

Other firms advising the newly-formed entity on international aspects included Spain’s Uría & Menéndez, Arendt & Medernach in Luxembourg and Dutch firm Boekel De Nerée. Shearman also handled the UK side of the deal from its London office.

The demerger is also likely to bring work the way of Irish firms because the holding subsidiary that deals with international activities, Hypo Real Estate International, will be based in Dublin, where Funke is understood to be relocating.

Hengeler Mueller partners Michel Hoffmann Becking and Rainer Krause advised HypoVereinsbank, a client that it has acted for since the merger between Hypo-Bank and Vereinsbank in 1998.

Hengeler has also made a name for itself acting on the big German demergers, including both the Celanese and Rhone-Poulenc deals.

Allen & Overy handled the UK aspects for HypoVereinsbank.