Baker McKenzie advised the long-established Cologne company Gottfried Stiller on the equity investment by VR Equitypartner GmbH, a subsidiary of DZ BANK. The Gottfried Stiller Group, successful in the stationary and online trade ( of sanitary products, is looking to further grow with the Frankfurt holding company.

Baker McKenzie advised Gottfried Stiller Group on all legal and tax aspects in connection with the transaction, which comprised both a sale and a complex re-investment by way of a capital increase.

"As part of the investment, we were able to support our client in the continuation and further development of its successful growth strategy and the planned development of additional markets," comments Dr. Heiko Gotsche, Corporate Partner at Baker McKenzie, who led the transaction.

Founded more than 85 years ago, the Gottfried Stiller Group is a family-run Mittelstand business that has developed very successfully into a leading multi-channel supplier of sanitary products. In addition to the specialist stores in Cologne and Bochum, the core of the business and growth driver is the web shop, which regularly wins awards in customer surveys and comparative tests. The webshop was the first online store in Germany to be launched in its segment in 2003 and is now one of the top German sanitary online retailers. The Gottfried Stiller Group, which employs around 200 staff, sells products from all well-known manufacturers as well as high-quality private labels.

VR Equitypartner is one of the leading private equity investors in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The company supports medium-sized family businesses in solving complex financing issues. VR Equitypartner offers majority and minority shareholdings as well as mezzanine financing. As a subsidiary of DZ BANK, the company consistently prioritizes the sustainability of corporate development over a short-term exit philosophy. VR Equitypartner’s portfolio currently comprises some 100 investments with an investment volume of EUR 500 million.

Baker McKenzie's Corporate/M&A team regularly advises on domestic and international transactions and restructurings. Most recently, Baker McKenzie advised Bayer on the sale of its stakes in Currenta to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Evergrande on its JV with hofer powertrain, SPIE on the acquisition of OSMO, Toppan Printing on the acquisition of Germany based Interprint Group, Evonik on the sale of its methacrylates business to Advent International, Mayersche Buchhandlung on merger with Thalia, Sika on its offer to acquire Parex, Rexnord on the sale of VAG Group to Aurelius, DBAG Fund VII on its investment in Kraft & Bauer Holding and Thor Industries on the acquisition of Erwin Hymer Group.

Legal advisor to Gottfried Stiller Group:
Baker McKenzie
Lead: Corporate/M&A: Dr. Heiko Gotsche (partner, Dusseldorf)
Team: Corporate/M&A: Cosima König (associate, Dusseldorf), Johanna Jürgens (associate, Dusseldorf)
Banking & Finance: Dr. Oliver Socher (partner, Frankfurt), Kira Wenzel (associate, Frankfurt)
IT/IP: Dr. Holger Lutz (partner, Frankfurt), Dr. Rembert Niebel (partner, Frankfurt), Simone Bach (associate, Frankfurt), Andreas Jauch (associate, Frankfurt)
Tax: Christoph Becker (partner, Frankfurt), Dr. Thomas Schänzle (partner, Frankfurt)
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