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WFW advises Aurelius Group on the acquisition of Scholl footwear

24 July 2014

EN | DE |

Watson, Farley & Williams (“WFW”), a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce that it has advised German private equity firm Aurelius Group (“Aurelius”) on the acquisition of Scholl’s international footwear division from Reckitt Benckiser Group plc.

Under the agreement, Aurelius will acquire the international rights for the Scholl footwear business, excluding North and South America.

Aurelius Group, which is listed on the Munich Stock Exchange and has offices in Munich and London, plans to support the development of Scholl footwear through investment and organic growth focused on new product offerings and expansion into new markets. The brand already enjoys a high level of brand awareness and positioning across Europe and many Asian markets. In 2013, Scholl Footwear generated revenues of around €90 million. The deal marks Aurelius’ fourth investment of 2014.

WFW advised Aurelius on all corporate aspects of the transaction, which is expected to close in Q3. In October 2013, WFW advised Aurelius on the acquisition of the value-added sales activities of the Unified Communications business within the NEC Group.

The WFW team was led by London partner and Head of Corporate Jan Mellmann, supported by London partner Mark Tooke, who advised on intellectual property matters, and corporate partners Christopher Osborne in Bangkok and Pascal Roux in Paris. Corporate senior associate Luca Sfrecola (Rome), associates Georgina Don, Jenny Hodges (both London) and Neil Calder (Singapore), and solicitors Iñigo Hernáez Pérez-Iriondo (Madrid) and Andrew Carpenter (Hong Kong) also assisted.

WFW partner and Head of Corporate Jan Mellmann, said: “We are delighted to have advised our client Aurelius on the acquisition of Scholl footwear. The deal underlines our belief that there are opportunities for private equity to invest in and grow great companies in the European market. Scholl is a widely recognizable and respected brand which, coupled with their investment, Aurelius believes has great scope for organic growth. The international presence and wide-ranging expertise of our corporate practice allowed us to advise Aurelius on this notable multi-jurisdictional deal.”

WFW partner and Head of Private Equity Simon Preisenberger, commented: “Key to the success of the acquisition was the seamless and efficient cooperation between Aurelius’ experienced in-house legal team and our deal teams in seven of our international offices. Aurelius has benefited from the ability of our London team to advise on English law through German native speakers (notably the lead partner Jan Mellmann).”

Aurelius Group General Counsel, M&A Michael Ruoff, said: “The acquisition of Scholl footwear is a marquee transaction for Aurelius in that it is a business with a great brand and tremendous potential for organic growth, and also because of the complexity of the transaction. The deal involved 10 jurisdictions and was a combination of an M&A transaction with the formation of a long-term partnership. We are thankful to the WFW deal team for their key role in this complex, multi-jurisdictional deal.”