Baker McKenzie advised the South African Sappi Group, one of the world's leading pulp and paper manufacturers, on the acquisition of Cham Paper Group's specialty paper business. The sale comprises an enterprise value of CHF 146.5 million. Shortly before Christmas, the transaction received antitrust approval in Germany. Approval in Austria was obtained today.

The transaction is structured as a share deal and comprises several subsidiaries of Cham Paper Group from which the remaining assets and businesses were spun off prior to the sale. Baker McKenzie advised Sappi from the planning stage onwards, in particular with regard to the legal due diligence, the contract negotiations and on merger control , with notifications in Germany and Austria. The overall coordination of the Baker McKenzie team was carried out by Brussels-based partner Werner Berg, the contract negotiations were led by Zurich-based partner Martin Frey. The most significant assets of Cham Group being transferred by the transaction are located in Italy. All the Italian aspects of the transaction were handled by the Milan office of Baker McKenzie, coordinated by Milan-based partner Pietro Bernasconi and counsel Alessandro Pennisi.

The acquisition enables our client to expand its current portfolio of specialty papers by combining them with the largely complementary portfolio of the target.

"This will enable Sappi to offer its customers a broader product portfolio and a wider range of products. The separation of the businesses remaining with the vendor and the evaluation of the acquired businesses in a tight time frame represented the challenges of this transaction" said Baker McKenzie partner Werner Berg, commenting on the transaction.

A global leader in dissolving wood pulp and paper-based solutions, Sappi Limited (listed and in the Top 40 on the JSE - SAP), is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. Sappi group has over 12,000 employees, manufacturing facilities on three continents in seven countries (eight operations in Europe, three operations in America and five operations in South Africa) and customers in over 150 countries worldwide

The Cham Paper Group Holding AG is a leading manufacturer of coated specialty papers. The company was founded in 1657. Following the divestment of the paper business, the company will focus on its real estate business and will operate under the name «Cham Group».

Baker McKenzie's Corporate / M&A team regularly advises on domestic and international transactions and restructurings. Most recently, Baker McKenzie advised LKQ Corporation on the acquisition of the Stahlgruber GmbH, Sika on the acquisition of Faist ChemTec, Materialize NV on the acquisition of ACTech GmbH, Sulzer AG on the acquisition of Transcodent, Trimble on the acquisition of Müller-Elektronik, Tokheim Service Group on a strategic partnership with Kärcher, SPIE on the acquisition of LÜCK Group, Grünenthal Group on the Acquisition of Adhesys Medical GmbH, Flowserve Corporation on the sale of the Gestra Group, ZF Friedrichshafen on the sale of the Cherry Group, GFKL on the acquisition of the Tesch Group and CORESTATE on the acquisition of HFS Financial Services and Hannover Leasing.

Legal advisors to Sappi Limited:


Dr. Werner Berg (Antitrust partner, Brussels)


Corporate/M&A: Martin Frey (partner, Zurich), Dr. Alexander Blaeser (associate, Zurich), Pietro Bernasconi (partner, Milano), Alessandro Pennisi (counsel, Milano), Federica Longo (associate, Milano)
Antitrust: Andreas Traugott (partner, Vienna), Lisa Weinert (associate, Brussels), Dr. Anita Lukaschek (special counsel, Vienna)
Tax: Mario Kumschick (of counsel, Zurich)
Employment: Giulia Spalazzi (associate, Milano)
Real Estate: Chiara Sciaraffa (associate, Milano)
IP: Julia Schieber (associate, Zurich)

as well as other lawyers in the Baker McKenzie-offices in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Milano, Rome and Zurich.

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