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2 February 20243 minute read

DLA Piper advises Yorkville Advisors on the restructuring of Sono Motors

DLA Piper has advised Yorkville Advisors on an investor deal that enables the restructuring of the solar technology company Sono Group N.V. and its subsidiary Sono Motors GmbH. The restructuring provides Sono Group with new financing for the continuation of its business operations.

Sono Motors, which initially specialized in the development of solar cars and was listed on the Nasdaq (SEV), had to file for insolvency in March last year. The insolvency affected the operating company in Germany and the financial holding company in the Netherlands. As a result of the insolvency, the Nasdaq listing was suspended. The insolvency proceedings for the financial holding company were concluded yesterday; the insolvency plan for the operating subsidiary became legally binding last week. Yorkville is the old and new investor.

As part of the restructuring, the solar business, which will be continued, was separated from the automotive business. Sono Groups Annual General Meeting also confirmed the new management, which is taking over some of the shares from existing shareholders. Yorkvilles financing has enabled both the insolvency plan of the operating company and the termination of the insolvency proceedings of the financial holding company. In the future, the operating business will focus on the development and use of solar drive components, including for buses.

The transactions were completed on 31 January 2024.

In addition to the financing and continuation of the Sono Group, the restructuring also ensured the continued employment of part of the workforce. The top priority now is the market launch of the Solar Bus Kit, a solar retrofit solution specially developed by Sono Motors for diesel and electric buses to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions. In addition, Sono Motors will continue to drive forward the development and marketing of its solar integration technology, which can sustainably power a variety of vehicle applications such as refrigerated vehicles, last-mile delivery vans and passenger cars and thus make a significant contribution to the climate and mobility transition. Ultimately, the aim is to reactivate Sono Groups listing on the Nasdaq in the medium term and resume trading.

Despite the ongoing insolvency proceedings in self-administration, Sono Motors was able to establish new customer relationships and strengthen existing ones in the course of the restructuring and deepen its cooperation with one of the ten largest vehicle manufacturers in the world by signing a new service agreement.

The DLA Piper team was led by partner Dr Dietmar Schulz with senior associate Thomas Rüsing (both Restructuring, Munich) in the core team. Also involved from Germany were partner Dr Konrad Rohde, counsel Sven Bischoff (both Tax), Tobias Daubert (Finance, all Frankfurt), senior associate Katharina Plass (Restructuring, Munich), from Amsterdam partner Henk Arnold Sijnja, legal director Pabe Suurd (both Corporate) as well as US partners Caryn Schechtman (Litigation, New York) and Craig Martin (Restructuring, Wilmington).

Sono Group N.V. and Sono Motors GmbH were supported in the self-administration by Schneider Geiwitz and Dentons as self-administrators and Pluta as administrator.