Mr. Schmitz’s practice principally involves advising US and foreign clients on acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and other international transactions. The transactions involve companies in a wide range of product and service sectors. Because of Mr. Schmitz’s international background and German fluency, nearly all of these transactions are cross-border in nature — principally between the United States and Europe.
Representative Legal Matters
Mr. Schmitz’s selected transactional experience is as follows, the first seven of which represented the respective client’s "largest transaction ever":
- Ecolab Inc. – Merger between this NYSE company and Nalco Holding Company (NYSE) with operations in 150 countries (USD8.3 billion).
- Bemis Company, Inc. – Acquisition by this NYSE company of the Food Americas operations of Alcan Packaging, a business unit of Rio Tinto plc (USD1.2 billion) and the follow-on divestiture ordered by the US Department of Justice.
- Prestige Brands Holdings, Inc. – Acquisition by this NYSE company of 17 over-the-counter healthcare brands from GlaxoSmithKline plc (USD660 million).
- AgraQuest, Inc. – Sale by this US biotech company to Bayer CropScience, a member of the Bayer AG group (USD500 million), selected by 2013 M&A Advisor Healthcare and Life Sciences "Deal of the Year" Award.
- Gardner Denver, Inc. – Acquisition by this NYSE company of Thomas Industries Inc. (NYSE) with operations in over 20 countries (USD734 million).
- SwissairGroup AG – Acquisition by Gate Gourmet AG of Dobbs International Services, Inc. and Dobbs International (UK) Limited from Viad Corp. (USD790 million).
- Turtle Wax, Inc. – Acquisition by this US company of the European car care business of Sara Lee/DE N.V.
- Starbucks Corporation – Acquisition by this NASDAQ company of a controlling interest in Beijing Mei Da Coffee Co. Ltd., the operator of 60 Starbucks retail stores in Beijing and Tianjin, People’s Republic of China.
- Gardner Denver, Inc. – Acquisition of nash_elmo Holdings, LLC (formerly a division of Siemens AG) with operations in 20 countries (USD224 million).
- Brady Corporation – Sale by this NYSE company of Asian and European die-cast business (USD192 million sales) to Boyd Corporation.
- Ranked lawyer for Corporate/M&A, Illinois, Chambers USA, 2014-2016
- "Foreign expert" in Germany and the US for Corporate/M&A, Chambers Global, 2012-2013
- Ranked lawyer, The International Who’s Who of Merger & Acquisition Lawyers, 2012
- Awardee, Christifideles Award, Chicago Archdiocese, 2012
- "Leader in Corporate/M&A: Overseas Counsel," Chambers Global, 2011
- Highly recommended for M&A transactions, The Legal 500 US, 2010
- Profiled lawyer, Chicago Lawyer
Professional Associations and Memberships
- German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest - Member of Board and Executive Committee
- Chicago Bar Association - Member
- Chicago Council on Foreign Relations - Member
- St. Athanasius School Board - Member
- Chicago Chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA
- Illinois~United States (1984)
- DePaul University College of Law (LL.M. Taxation) (1990)
- University of Munich (1985)
- Northwestern University School of Law (J.D. cum laude) (1984)
- University of Freiburg (1981)
- University of Notre Dame (B.A. magna cum laude) (1980)
- University of Innsbruck (1978)