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27 March 20232 minute read

DLA Piper advises VARTA AG on agreement with banks on restructuring concept

DLA Piper has advised VARTA AG on the negotiation and agreement with the financing banks on an extensive restructuring concept. The agreement with the banks is still subject to committee approval by the banks and provides, among other things, for an extension of the financing until December 31, 2026 and an amendment of the credit conditions.

The restructuring program includes an adjustment of production and structural costs as well as targeted investments in growth areas such as the energy transition and e-mobility. Supplemented by measures to strengthen operations, this will create the key prerequisites for stabilising the company and achieving positive performance in the long term. The area of energy storage systems is to be significantly expanded in view of the strong demand in the renewable energy market. Further growth in the area of large-format lithium-ion round cells is also to be secured. VARTA is already supplying a customer from the premium automotive segment with cells from a first production line in Ellwangen. In the area of small lithium-ion button cells (CoinPower), VARTA wants to broaden its customer base and open up new markets.

Furthermore, the program provides for comprehensive savings measures and measures to increase efficiency, which build on the cost optimisations already underway. External costs are to be reduced through centralised procurement management, a broadening of the supplier base and the renegotiation of existing delivery conditions. In addition, the structural and organisational optimisation of internal processes is intended to increase efficiency. The measures also include cost savings in the personnel area.

Earlier this week, VARTA AG successfully completed a capital increase from authorized capital with gross proceeds of EUR51 million, on which the DLA Piper capital markets team also advised the company.

VARTA AG, with currently almost 4,800 employees worldwide, produces and markets a comprehensive battery portfolio ranging from micro batteries, household batteries, energy storage systems to customized battery solutions.

The DLA Piper team was jointly led by client relationship partner Dr Roland Maaß (Capital Markets, Frankfurt) and partners Florian Bruder (Restructuring, Munich/Frankfurt) and Dr Wolfram Distler (Finance, Frankfurt). Also involved were partners Sylvia Ebersberger (Commercial) and Pascal Kremp (Employment; both Munich), senior associates Juliane Poss (Capital Markets, Frankfurt), Hubertus Neu (Corporate, Cologne) and Patrick Reuter (Finance, Frankfurt) as well as associates Theresa Keß, Manuel Schreck (both Restructuring) and Theresa Schenk (Capital Markets, all Frankfurt).