CERHA HEMPEL has advised San Pacific Investment Pte. Ltd. ("San Pacific") and San Venture Biotech Pte. Ltd. ("San Venture") in connection with the sale of their shareholdings in Erber AG to Royal DSM. Dr. Erich Erber, the founder of Erber AG, is the sole shareholder of San Pacific and San Venture. The buyer was found as part of a complex, multi-stage bidding process that lasted approximately six months, at the end of which Koninklijke DSM NV ("Royal DSM") emerged as the best bidder from among a large number of interested parties and was allowed to acquire the coveted block of shares. The contracting parties agreed not to disclose any details regarding the purchase agreement. CERHA HEMPEL and the San Pacific transaction team led by Dr. Christoph Rauch and Ms. Gentiane Gorlier planned and structured the transaction and provided legal support to the sellers.
Closing is subject to the approval of the competent competition authorities.
With its headquarters in Getzersdorf, Lower Austria, the ERBER Group is a leading group of companies in the field of food and feed safety, focusing on natural feed additives, feed and food analysis, as well as plant protection. In the 2019 financial year, it generated sales of over EUR 340 million and consists of four corporate divisions: BIOMIN, ROMER LABS, SANPHAR, and EFB. The SANPHAR and EFB divisions were not part of the transaction, having been previously carved out of ERBER Group. Including sales partners, ERBER Group is represented in over 130 countries and is still owned by the family of the founder Erich Erber. 51% of Erber AG is indirectly held by Erich Erber personally. The remaining 49% is indirectly held by the children of Erich Erber and his co-founder Margarete Erber. Erich Erber's children and Margarete Erber also sold their entire holdings in the ERBER Group to Royal DSM.
CERHA HEMPEL acted as lead and transaction counsel for San Pacific and San Venture. The team at CERHA HEMPEL consisted of Albert Birkner (Managing Partner, Corporate/M&A, Takeovers), Wolfgang Sindelar (Counsel, Corporate/M&A, Takeovers), Nadine Leitner and Martin Eichinger (Senior Associates, Corporate/M&A, Takeovers), Alistair Gillespie and Jakob Weber (Associates, Corporate/M&A, Takeovers), Bernhard Kofler-Senoner (Partner, Antitrust), Michael Mayer (Counsel, Antitrust), Zakar Stepanyan and Philipp Schaubach (Associates, Antitrust), Armin Schwabl (Counsel, Regulatory), Christopher Peitsch (Senior Associate, Employment Law), Johannes Buchinger (Senior Counsel, Banking & Finance), Katharina Majchrzak (Counsel, IP/IT), Franziska Paefgen (Senior Associate, IT & Privacy) and Ludwig Hastermann (Associate, IP/IT).
Albert Birkner as lead partner at CERHA HEMPEL for San Pacific and San Venture: "The sale of the ERBER Group to Royal DSM is one of the largest and most challenging transactions in Austria in 2020 and it stands out in the domestic M&A market both in terms of the volume of the purchase price, the complexity of the transaction structure and the large number of stakeholders involved. The successful, rapid and efficient sale of the ERBER Group, despite the extremely difficult circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, is the result of excellent collaboration, both on a professional and personal level, between CERHA HEMPEL and the other highly professional teams involved in the transaction. The sale of the ERBER Group is just one of a number of large-volume transactions which the CERHA HEMPEL M&A team has advised on in 2020. We wish to thank San Pacific and San Venture for the confidence they have placed in CERHA HEMPEL."