International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised Wielton S.A. (“Wielton”) on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of UK-headquartered semi-trailer manufacturer Lawrence David Limited (“LDL”).
Headquartered in Wieluń and listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, Wielton is the third largest producer of semi-trailers, including tippers and tautliners for traction units, in Europe and the market leader in several Central and Eastern European countries as well as in Central Asia.
Peterborough-based LDL is one of the leading manufacturers of semi-trailers in the British market, with a product portfolio including curtainsiders, box vans, platforms and rigid bodies. With sales revenue of circa £74m in 2017/2018, the LDL group sells approximately 3,500 trailers and semi-trailers annually in the UK.
The transaction is to be carried out in two stages, firstly the £26m acquisition of 75% of the shares in LDL to be completed in October 2018, followed by the acquisition of the remaining 25% for up to a further £22m, depending on earnings of the LDL group to the end of its 2021/2022 financial year.
The WFW London team advising Wielton was led by Corporate Partner Jan Mellmann, supported by Corporate Partners Christina Howard and Mark Tooke, Senior Associate Hayley Arrow, Associates Kylie Gue, Fred Neville-Jones and Jasmine Lossouarn and Trainee George Garthwaite. Tax advice was provided by Partner Tom Jarvis, Senior Associate David Jacob and Associate Edward Moore. Real Estate advice was provided by Partner Gary Ritter and Associate Dan Sargeant, with Partner Nick Walker and Associate Rachael Davidson leading on environmental and health and safety matters. Senior Associates Anna Robinsonand Devan Khagram and Associate Chris Warwick-Evans advised on employment matters.
The WFW team worked closely with Wielton’s M&A advisers, JP Weber, led by Managing Partner Gregor Piechowiak and supported by Business Advisor Kamil Olejnik, and their Polish legal counsel Domański Zakrzewski Palinka Sp.k. (“DZP”), led by Partner Przemyslaw Furmaga and supported by Senior Associate Adam Pawlisz.
Jan commented: “We are delighted to have assisted Wielton, together with JP Weber and DZP, on its first UK acquisition which represents another important step forward in its international growth strategy, following other recent acquisitions in France and Germany. This was a high profile transaction for the automotive sector, which involved heavily structured corporate acquisition and shareholder documents, as well as tax, real estate, environmental, employment and IP/IT expertise. That Wielton opted for WFW to advise them on such a transaction is testament to the firm’s ability to bring first rate multidisciplinary expertise to bear in complex, cross-border European M&A transactions”.