Cologne/Paris/Shanghai – Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft and its French Partner Fidal advised China-listed Anhui ActBlue Co., Ltd., market leader in exhaust after-treatment systems, on the acquisition of the business unit “Selective Catalytic Reduction Systems” (SCR) / Commercial Vehicles of the Continental subsidiary Vitesco Technologies.
The transaction included the acquisition of all the shares in Vitesco Technologies Faulquemont S.A.S. and of further assets of the Vitesco Technologies Group. An international team of advisors led by Luther provided ActBlue with comprehensive advice throughout the entire transaction process, from structuring to due diligence and contract negotiations, including with regard to the regulatory requirements in China, France and Germany. In addition to the experts from Luther’s industry group Mobility & Logistics and the Luther China Desk, the French law firm Fidal, with which Luther jointly founded the global organisation unyer, was involved for the due diligence review of the target company and the regulatory specifics of the transaction in France. These particularly included the labour law requirements under French law and how to incorporate them into the contract structure, which is subject to German law.
The transaction further included the acquisition of assets such as production facilities and patents and the conclusion of long-term licence and supply agreements.
Through the acquisition, ActBlue will get direct access to the European and US markets for exhaust after-treatment systems and, at the same time, optimise its own R&D capacities with the aim of accelerating its growth in China following the introduction of the Chinese emission standard CN-VI on 1 July 2021. The former “Continental Powertrain Division” Vitesco Technologies is about to be spun off from Continental and, according to press reports, is to be floated on the stock exchange.
The closing of the transaction is still subject to the approval of the competent authorities in China.
ActBlue (Anhui ActBlue Co., Ltd. 8364) was founded in January 2009 by a team of PhD students from North America and specialises in the development and production of exhaust after-treatment systems for diesel, petrol and natural gas engines. ActBlue has been listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange since February 2020 and today has a market capitalisation of almost EUR 1 billion. ActBlue is the only listed company in China that specialises in the development and production of exhaust after-treatment systems.
On behalf of ActBlue:
Fidal, Corporate/M&A: Anne Fréchette-Kerbrat (Partner), Christine d'Ovidio (Senior Associate), Berengere Tosani (Associate), Yanis Aldin (Associate)
Fidal, Labor Law and Social Security: Lorraine Raimbert-Nusse (Partner), Anne-Laure Braquehaye (Associate)
Fidal, Competition Law: Alexandre Lacresse (Counsel)