CC and Freshfields steer major European acquisition for China’s Jinsheng

Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have advised on Chinese company Jinsheng Industry’s SFr650m (£436m) acquisition of business units from Swiss-based Oerlikon, one of the largest outbound Chinese investments in the German-speaking market in 2012.

Clifford Chance, led by Shanghai corporate partner Glen Ma and Munich corporate partner Stefanie Tetz, led for Jinsheng on the acquisition of Oerlikon’s natural fibres and textile components units. Düsseldorf-based competition partner Marc Besen advised on the antitrust aspects.

Freshfields acted for Oerlikon, with Düsseldorf corporate partners Stephan Waldhausen and Gregor von Bonin leading the team.

The two magic circle firms worked alongside multiple local firms across the US, Europe and Asia on the complex carve-out of the business units, sold using an auction process.

The business units accounted for sales of approximately SFr1.1bn in 2011. Jinsheng intends to take over all 3,800 employees and all production sites pertaining to the units.

After closing, they will operate under the traditional company name Saurer, reviving the name of the company which was merged into Oerlikon in 2007.

Ma said: “This is further evidence of Chinese companies’ continued strong M&A interest in global leading business in the manufacturing sector in Europe, and is indicative of Chinese companies’ increased level of sophistication and capability in managing large-scale, multi-jurisdictional and complicated cross-border M&A transactions.”

The transaction is subject to clearance by the relevant antitrust authorities. It is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013.

Background to this deal:

Jinsheng is headquartered in the Jiangsu province of China and engages in the production and sales of textiles machinery. It has instructed Clifford Chance on its previous overseas investment, the acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in Germany’s EMAG Holding in 2010. Clifford Chance’s transaction team on that deal was also led by partners Tetz and Ma, alongside Munich corporate partner Nicole Englisch.

Freshfields, on the other hand, has also previously worked with Oerlikon. Last year, the firm, fielding London finance partner Ian Frost, advised the Swiss based high-tech industrial group on the restructuring of its syndicated debt facilities, working closely with the group’s general counsel Björn Bajan and head of international legal affairs Marc Pfeffer.

For more on firms’ roles on Chinese outbound M&A into Europe, see City analysis