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WFW advises HQ Equita on sale of MEN Holding GmbH19 April 2018

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised German financial investor HQ Equita (“HQ Equita”) on the sale of MEN Holding GmbH (“MEN”) to the DBAG Fund VII, managed by Deutsche Beteiligungs AG (“DBAG”). It has been agreed not to disclose the purchase price or any further details of the contractual agreements.

MEN is a leading European developer and manufacturer of fail-safe, durable computers and electronic assemblies for challenging environmental conditions. Its electronics are particularly beneficial for safety-critical functions in control engineering. The components are used for data processing inside trains, aircrafts, industrial plants or medical equipment.

HQ Equita acquired MEN from its three founders, including CEO Manfred Schmitz, in 2013, on which transaction WFW also advised them. All three remained as investors in MEN, which has strengthened its presence in the Asian markets since then, most notably by establishing a local sales company in Shanghai.

Founded in 1992, HQ Equita, the mid-cap buyout firm of HQ Capital, has investments of over €1bn in 30 companies. It focuses on acquiring entrepreneurial equity interests in small and mid-sized enterprises. Investors in HQ Equita include financial institutions, family offices, foundations and trusts, most notably its founder the Harald Quandt family office, one of the oldest and largest independent multi-family offices in Germany.

DBAG is a public listed private equity company whose funds enable institutional investors to invest in equity or equity-similar instruments in non-listed companies. Founded over 50 years ago, DBAG currently has investments in over 20 companies with a total value of circa €1.8bn.

The WFW Germany team advising HQ Equita was led and co-ordinated by Munich corporate Partner Dr Simon Preisenberger, with Hamburg Partner Verena Scheibe advising on tax matters. They were supported by tax Senior Associate Jörg Walzer and corporate Associate Marian Peter Wieczorke.

Simon comments: “We are pleased to have advised our long-time client HQ Equita on another important transaction. That we were able to close this transaction so swiftly and efficiently is testament in particular to the close co-operation between our legal and tax teams”.

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