CMS has advised Axel Johnson International, a privately owned Swedish industrial group that is part of Axel Johnson, a prominent Nordic trading group, on its acquisition of a majority stake in the IOW Group, which has a presence in Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and the Baltic countries. The sellers were reportedly advised by DLA Piper.
According to CMS, "the IOW Group is a leading distributor and service provider of mobile drivetrain systems, hydraulics, cooling systems and filter technologies in CEE."
With the acquisition, Axel Johnson International, an industrial group of more than 90 companies in 25 countries with combined annual sales of EUR 750 million, strengthens its European market position as distributor and service provider of mobile drivetrain solutions. The current owners of the IOW Group will remain as minority shareholders and will continue to lead the businesses going forward.
“The CEE region still presents many interesting opportunities for transactions, which can attract strategic investors as well as private equity funds," said CMS Partner Eva Talmacsi, who led the firm's team on the transaction. "Economic growth in the region seems to have remained solid despite political changes in some Central Eastern European markets."
Talmacsi was supported by a pan-European team at CMS including Corporate Partners Marek Sawicki (Warsaw) and Atanas Bangachev (Sofia) along with lawyers Izabela Gebal (Warsaw), Valentina Santambrogio (London), Iveta Manolova, Veliko Savov (Sofia), Zuzanna Jurga, Grzegorz Paczek, Mateusz Baszczyk (Warsaw), and Pavel Kocian (Prague). The competition work-stream was coordinated by Warsaw Partner Malgorzata Urbanska, supported by a Polish team including Agnieszka Starzynska and Krzysztof Sikora. Employment law matters were covered by German Counsel Patricia Jares and Partner Bjorn Otto and Poland Partner Maciej Andrzejewski, and real estate aspects were handled by Piotr Przybylski and Marcin Pasik from Warsaw. The project team was also supported by Denitsa Dudevska (Sofia), Martin Wodraschke (Budapest) and Nevena Radlova (Sofia).