CERHA HEMPEL has advised Worthington Industries International S.à r.l. ("Worthington") in connection with the sale of its participations in STAKO Sp. z o.o. ("STAKO") to the Italian Westport Fuel Systems Italia S.r.l. The sale took place in the course of a structured and competitive sales process. The parties agreed not to disclose any details regarding the purchase agreement. The transaction was planned and structured, and legal support was provided to Worthington, by CERHA HEMPEL as well as the transaction team at Worthington headed by Head of M&A Andy Lederer and General Counsel Patrick Kennedy and RBI as Financial Advisor.
STAKO is one of the largest suppliers of LPG fuel storage tanks to the aftermarket segment, establishing valuable relationships with important OEMs over many years. STAKO is based in Poland and is a world leader in the production of LPG fuel storage (toroidal and cylindrical) for automotive applications.
Worthington Industries, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is a diversified American industrial manufacturing group which has its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. In the 2021 financial year, the group generated sales of approximately USD 3.2 billion. The group is one of the largest companies in North America in the steel processing sector and is a leading manufacturer of pressure cylinders, employing approximately 8,000 people across 53 sites in 7 countries.
Despite extremely difficult circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, all steps of this complex transaction were completed efficiently and according to plan, so that both the purchase agreement could be signed and closing could take place in May 2021.
The challenges were, in particular, to demerge the CNG business of STAKO into Worthington Poland so that STAKO can operate as an independent manufacturer of LPG fuel tanks, and structuring of the sales and acquisition process involving several jurisdictions around the world.
The demerger of the CNG business turned out to be a complex undertaking, which could only be realized due to the excellent collaboration, both on a professional and personal level, between CERHA HEMPEL and the highly professional teams involved in the transaction at Worthington and Wardynski as Polish counsel.
CERHA HEMPEL acted as lead and transaction counsel for Worthington. The team at CERHA HEMPEL consisted of Albert Birkner (Managing Partner, Corporate/M&A, Takeovers), Nadine Leitner and Martin Eichinger (Senior Associates, Corporate/M&A, Takeovers).