Weber Automotive’s Sale From Self-Administered Insolvency

Clifford Chance has advised Weber Automotive on the sale of the major part of group to the Weber family.

The sale took the form of an asset deal under which the relevant assets were transferred to a newly established company with the Weber family as sole shareholder. This company will continue the relevant commercial operations. The sale covered the Weber Automotive GmbH production sites in Markdorf, Bernau and Neuenbürg (Germany) and the holdings in Weber Magdeburg GmbH, Weber Automotive Corp. (USA) and Albert Weber Hungária Kft. (Hungary). The purchase agreement is subject to various conditions being met for both the buyer and the seller. Closing is due to take place in the summer.

Weber Automotive GmbH had filed for self-administered insolvency in July 2019. This allowed the company to consult with creditors on implementing restructuring and strategy measures while also continuing its commercial operations. The difference between this arrangement and normal insolvency proceedings is that the existing management retains commercial and strategic responsibility.

The management and its chief insolvency advisor Martin Mucha (Grub Brugger) have since been working closely with the administrator for the creditors, Dr. Christian Gerloff (Gerloff Liebler), to find new investors. The Weber family was the sole owner of the company until 2016 and had sold the majority holding to the financial investor Ardian.

Weber Automotive employs more than 1,500 people across seven sites producing drive components for cars, commercial vehicles and recreational vehicles with a focus on complex motor and gearbox parts and the assembly of complete systems for leading global car and commercial vehicle manufacturers and other suppliers. The company is currently expanding its business model beyond the automotive sector and is investing in new drive technologies such as electric drives, fuel cells and synthetic fuels.

The Clifford Chance team advising Weber Automotive comprised partners Stefan Bruder (Picture – Corporate) and Stefan Sax, counsel Joachim Ponseck and Cristina Weidner and associate Diana Schulte-Stiefermann (all Restructuring) (all Frankfurt), as well as partner Markus Muhs, senior associate Wenzel Richter (both Munich), associates Natalie Hemberger and Michael Kümmel and senior transaction lawyer Carina Soesanto (all Frankfurt) (all Corporate), partner Ines Keitel and senior associate Christopher Fischer (both Employment, Frankfurt), partner Dominik Engl (Tax, Frankfurt), partner Claudia Milbradt and senior associate Nicolas Hohn-Hein (both IP, Dusseldorf) and partner George Hacket and senior associate David Santoro (both Finance, Frankfurt). Alongside Martin Mucha, the Grub Brugger team comprised partners Michael Jilek, Manon Hotz, Volker Muschalle, Karl Sebastian Schäfer, Julius Beck and Dennis Lang and senior associates Tobias Rentschler and Stefan Vogel.

Involved fees earner: Stefan Bruder – Clifford Chance; Dominik Engl – Clifford Chance; Christopher Fischer – Clifford Chance; George Hacket – Clifford Chance; Natalie Hemberger – Clifford Chance; Nicolas Hohn-Hein – Clifford Chance; Ines Keitel – Clifford Chance; Michael Kümmel – Clifford Chance; Claudia Milbradt – Clifford Chance; Markus Muhs – Clifford Chance; Joachim Ponseck – Clifford Chance; Wenzel Richter – Clifford Chance; David Santoro – Clifford Chance; Stefan Sax – Clifford Chance; Diana Schulte-Stiefermann – Clifford Chance; Carina Soesanto – Clifford Chance; Cristina Weidner – Clifford Chance;

Law Firms: Clifford Chance;

Clients: Weber Automotive GmbH ;