March 2, 2007

German lab-equipment maker Sartorius AG announces agreement to purchase a controlling stake in French peer Stedim SA.

Willkie client German lab-equipment maker Sartorius AG announced it has agreed to purchase a controlling stake in French peer Stedim SA, which is controlled by its founders. Under the agreement, Sartorius will pay €43 per share. Announced on February 21, the deal values the Aubagne-based Stedim at €310 million.   In conjunction with the acquisition, Sartorius will carve out its biotechnology division, which will be contributed to Stedim against issuance of new Stedim shares and will launch a tender offer to the Stedim shareholders.   The contribution of the newly formed German subsidiary is valued at €430 million which already reflects assumed debt of €120 million.  At the close of such operations, Sartorius will own more than 70% of Stedim reflecting an equity value of €520 million.   Stedim's founders will reinvest in the combined company, holding a substantial stake in the business.   The combined group will have headquarters in France and operate under the name Sartorius Stedim Biotech SA. The transaction will be financed by a syndicated loan, which will also be used to substitute an existing general purpose facility of Sartorius AG.   The Sartorius Group is an internationally leading laboratory and process technology provider focused in the areas of biotechnology and mechatronics and is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.   The French aspects of the deal were handled by partners Daniel Hurstel and Stéphane Sabatier and special European counsel Julien Mougel.   Partners Jochen Winter and Michael Bernhardt handled the German aspects of the deal.  

Daniel Hurstel Senior Counsel Corporate & Financial Services

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