CMS has advised Axel Johnson International, a privately owned Swedish industrial group and part of Axel Johnson, one of the Nordic region’s leading trading groups, on an acquisition of a majority stake in the IOW Group with a presence in Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and the Baltic countries. 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 €750 million strengthens its European market position as distributor and service provider of mobile drivetrain solutions in Europe. 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. Economic growth in the region seems to have remained solid despite political changes in some Central Eastern European markets” – says Eva Talmacsi, a CEE-focused corporate partner managing the CMS team working on the transaction.
The CMS pan European team working on the transaction was led by Eva Talmacsi, a CEE-focused corporate partner based in London, with Marek Sawicki and Atanas Bangachev, corporate partners from the Warsaw and Sofia offices respectively, overseeing the Polish and Bulgarian aspects of the deal. The team included transactional lawyers from four markets: Izabela Gebal (Warsaw), Valentina Santambrogio (London), Iveta Manolova, Veliko Savov (Sofia), Zuzanna Jurga, Grzegorz Paczek, Mateusz Baszczyk (Warsaw) and Pavel Kocian (Prague). The competition workstream was coordinated by Warsaw partner Malgorzata Urbanska supported by the Polish team including Agnieszka Starzynska and Krzysztof Sikora. The employment related aspects were covered by Patricia Jares (counsel, Germany), Björn Otto (partner, Germany) and Maciej Andrzejewski (Poland) and the real estate aspects by Piotr Przybylski and Marcin Pasik from Warsaw. The project team was also supported by Denitsa Dudevska (Sofia), Martin Wodraschke (Co-Head of the CMS Auto-Tech Group, based in Budapest) and Nevena Radlova (Sofia) responsible for IP/Competition aspects.