Lear Corporation’s Acquisition of a Kongsberg Automotive ASA’s Business Unit

Mayer Brown and Noerr advised Lear Corporation, while Squire Patton Boggs, Morris Law and Khaitan & Co advised Kongsberg Automotive ASA on the deal.

Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA), a global automotive technology leader in Seating and E-Systems, executed its acquisition of substantially all of Kongsberg Automotive’s Interior Comfort Systems (ICS) business unit.

Kongsberg Automotive’s ICS business unit is a leader in automotive comfort seating solutions, including massage, lumbar, seat heat and ventilation, with production sites across Europe, China, India and the US.

Under the terms of the deal, Lear will acquire Kongsberg Automotive’s ICS business unit for €175 million, on a cash and debt free basis. The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and adjustments, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. Market dependent, the acquisition is expected to be funded through debt financing.

Kongsberg Automotive’s ICS business unit brings operational leadership personnel and more than 3,800 employees globally from its production, engineering and sales facilities throughout Asia, Europe and North America and is expected to generate approximately US$300 million in revenue in 2021.

Lear serves every major automaker in the world and ranks 179 on the Fortune 500. The acquisition will further advance Lear’s vertical integration and expand its product offerings.

The multi-jurisdictional Squire Patton Boggs team that advised KA was led by partner and EMEA Chair of the Global Corporate Practice, Tony Reed, in Paris (Picture), supported by associate Dan Hassett, and comprised some 40 lawyers from offices in London, Leeds, Shanghai, Warsaw, Prague, Berlin, Cleveland, and Miami and around the firm’s global network.

The Mayer Brown team was led by Corporate & Securities partners Dr. Marco Wilhelm (Picture – Frankfurt) and Bob Palmer (London) and included: Corporate & Securities – partners Richard Smith and Andrew Stewart (both London), Dr. Ulrike Binder (Frankfurt), , Esther Chang (Chicago), counsel Dr. Malte Richter (Frankfurt), senior associates Tina Hoffmann, Stefanie Skoruppa (both Frankfurt) and Katrina Murphy, associates Priya Mistry and Alexander Sperling (all London), Stephanie Coirin (Chicago) and Thomas Wu (Palo Alto); Tax Transactions & Consulting – partners Volker Junge (Frankfurt), Simon Rose (London), Zal A. Kumar (New York), Remmelt Reigersman (Palo Alto), counsel Kitty Swanson and senior associate Kirsten Hunt (both London); Employment & Benefits – partners Christopher Fisher, Miriam Bruce, Jay Doraisamy (all London) and Ryan Liebl (Chicago), counsel Vanessa Klesy and Björn Vollmuth (both Frankfurt), senior associates Svenja Fries (Frankfurt), George Carr, Katherine Fox and Liam Kellett (all London), associates Marius Höfler (Frankfurt), Allegra Dowley and Ann Robson (both London); Intellectual Property – partners Christoph J. Crützen (Frankfurt), Mark Prinsley (London), Clayton McCraw and Tripp Fussell (both New York) and Kristine M. Young (Chicago), counsel Konstantin von Werder (Frankfurt), associates Benjamin Beck (Düsseldorf), Seth Bruneel (Washington) and Leigh K.Y. Tong (Hong Kong); Litigation & Dispute Resolution – partner Luiz Aboim (London), senior associate Christine Merkel (Frankfurt), associates Matthias Jannausch (Düsseldorf), Samantha Green and Rhys Morgan (both London); Real Estate – counsel Elmar Günther and Andreas Hilfrich (both Frankfurt), Robert Patterson (London) and Philip Runkel (Charlotte), senior associate Benjamin Schulz (Frankfurt), associates Hannah Bommes, Christian Gerhards (both Frankfurt) and Isabel Hershman (London).

The Noerr’s team included Jens Peter Schmidt, Fabian Hübener, Philipp Studt-Tartarotti (all Antitrust, Brussels), and Jochen Hegener (Antitrust, Munich).

The Morris Law’s team consisted of Olof Myhrman, Martin Vildhede, Therese Andersson, Ana Ferreira Rodrigues, and Jesper Almqvist.

The Squire Patton Boggs team advising Kongsberg Automotive was led by Tony Reed, Paris-based partner and EMEA Chair of the firm’s Global Corporate Practice, and associate Dan Hassett, and included 40 lawyers from across the firm’s international offices.

The Khaitan & Co team advising KA included Partner Anshul Prakash, Abhimanyu Pal (Principal Associate) and Kruthi N Murthy (Associate) advised on the overall aspects of business employees transfer, related documentation, employee communications and strategic aspects pertaining to staff onboarding with Lear and multiple concerns in terms of local labour law compliances. Radhika Agarwal (Partner), Tanvi Dabir (Associate), Ayush Kashyap (Associate) advised on corporate aspects of the transaction. Shabnam Shaikh (Partner), Sanket Shah (Principal Associate) and Jimmy Bhatt (Principal Associate) advised on the direct tax front and Sudipta Bhattacharjee (Partner) and Onkar Sharma (Principal Associate) advised on the indirect tax front. Amit Wadhwani (Counsel) and Aishwarya Wadhavkar (Associate) advised on the real estate aspects and Shailendra Bhandare (Partner) advised on Intellectual Property aspects. Supratim Chakraborty (Partner), Sumantra Bose (Principal Associate) and Tashi Gyanee (Associate) advised on employee data privacy and retention related aspects.

Involved fees earner: Radhika Agarwal – Khaitan & Co.; Shailendra Bhandare – Khaitan & Co.; Jimmy Bhatt – Khaitan & Co.; Sudipta Bhattacharjee – Khaitan & Co.; Sumantra Bose – Khaitan & Co.; Supratim Chakraborty – Khaitan & Co.; Tanvi Dabir – Khaitan & Co.; Tashi Gyanee – Khaitan & Co.; Ayush Kashyap – Khaitan & Co.; Kruthi Murthy – Khaitan & Co.; Abhimanyu Pal – Khaitan & Co.; Anshul Prakash – Khaitan & Co.; Shabnam Shaikh – Khaitan & Co.; Sanket Shah – Khaitan & Co.; Onkar Sharma – Khaitan & Co.; Aishwarya Wadhavkar – Khaitan & Co.; Amit Wadhwani – Khaitan & Co.; Luiz Aboim – Mayer Brown; Benjamin Beck – Mayer Brown; Ulrike Binder – Mayer Brown; Hannah Bommes – Mayer Brown; Miriam Bruce – Mayer Brown; Seth Bruneel – Mayer Brown; George Carr – Mayer Brown; Esther Chang – Mayer Brown; Stephanie Coirin – Mayer Brown; Christoph Crützen – Mayer Brown; Jay Doraisamy – Mayer Brown; Allegra Dowley – Mayer Brown; Christopher Fisher – Mayer Brown; Katherine Fox – Mayer Brown; Svenja Fries – Mayer Brown; Christian Gerhards – Mayer Brown; Samantha Green – Mayer Brown; Elmar Günther – Mayer Brown; Isabel Hershman – Mayer Brown; Andreas Hilfrich – Mayer Brown; Tina Hoffmann – Mayer Brown; Marius Höfler – Mayer Brown; Kirsten Hunt – Mayer Brown; Matthias Jannausch – Mayer Brown; Volker Junge – Mayer Brown; Liam Kellett – Mayer Brown; Vanessa Klesy – Mayer Brown; Zal Kumar – Mayer Brown; Ryan Liebl – Mayer Brown; Clayton McCraw – Mayer Brown; Christine Merkel – Mayer Brown; Priya Mistry – Mayer Brown; Rhys Morgan – Mayer Brown; Katrina Murphy – Mayer Brown; Bob Palmer – Mayer Brown; Robert Patterson – Mayer Brown; Mark Prinsley – Mayer Brown; Remmelt Reigersman – Mayer Brown; Malte Richter – Mayer Brown; Ann Robson – Mayer Brown; Simon Rose – Mayer Brown; Philip Runkel – Mayer Brown; Benjamin Schulz – Mayer Brown; Stefanie Skoruppa – Mayer Brown; Richard Smith – Mayer Brown; Alexander Sperling – Mayer Brown; Andrew Stewart – Mayer Brown; Kitty Swanson – Mayer Brown; Leigh K. Y. Tong – Mayer Brown; James Tripp Fussell – Mayer Brown; Björn Vollmuth – Mayer Brown; Konstantin von Werder – Mayer Brown; Marco Wilhelm – Mayer Brown; Thomas Wu – Mayer Brown; Kristine Young – Mayer Brown; Jesper Almqvist – Morris Law; Therese Andersson – Morris Law; Ana Ferreira Rodrigues – Morris Law; Olof Myhrman – Morris Law; Martin Vildhede – Morris Law; Jochen Hegener – Noerr; Fabian Hübener – Noerr; Jens Peter Schmidt – Noerr; Philipp Studt-Tartarotti – Noerr; Daniel Hassett – Squire Patton Boggs; Tony Reed – Squire Patton Boggs;

Law Firms: Khaitan & Co.; Mayer Brown; Morris Law; Noerr; Squire Patton Boggs;

Clients: Kongsberg Automotive; Lear Corporation;

Naoual Sadouqi

Author: Naoual Sadouqi