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2 June 20193 minute read

DLA Piper advises VARTA AG on EUR100 million acquisition of VARTA Consumer Batteries from Energizer

DLA Piper has advised battery manufacturer VARTA AG, one of the market leaders in micro batteries, on the acquisition of the Europe-based VARTA Consumer Batteries business from US company Energizer Holdings, Inc. The acquisition will enable VARTA AG to expand its product portfolio with end-user device batteries and to gain access to the retail sector, an attractive yet to date poorly penetrated distribution channel. The transaction unites the global VARTA trademark rights for consumer device batteries, micro batteries and energy storage systems under the umbrella of VARTA AG.

VARTA Consumer Batteries is one of Europe's leading manufacturers of consumer device batteries. Its product portfolio includes batteries, chargers, portable power (power banks) and lights. With a strong European distribution network comprising a large number of local companies, VARTA Consumer Batteries maintains long-term customer relationships with almost all key retailers in Europe. In the financial year 2019, VARTA Consumer Batteries expects revenues of approximately EUR300 million.

In 2002, the original VARTA AG had been split into three divisions, which were divested to different buyers. The former owner of VARTA Consumer Batteries, Spectrum Brands, sold the company as part of a larger transaction to Energizer in early 2019. To comply with divestiture requirements imposed by the European Commission, Energizer now sells VARTA Consumer Batteries to VARTA AG.

The expected purchase price after purchase price adjustments for VARTA Consumer Batteries will be around EUR100 million and is fully secured by financing commitments from a banking syndicate. Closing of the is contingent upon the European Commission’s consent and is, among other things, subject to merger control clearance.

The group's parent company VARTA AG operates through its subsidiaries VARTA Microbattery GmbH and VARTA Storage GmbH in the business segments Microbatteries and Energy Storage Solutions. The group currently operates in over 75 countries worldwide and has five production and manufacturing facilities in Europe and Asia, as well as distribution centers in Asia, Europe and the United States.

The DLA Piper team was jointly led by Corporate partners Dr Roland Maaß in Frankfurt, who has advised VARTA AG since its IPO in 2017, and Gerald Schumann in Munich. They were supported by Litigation & Regulatory partners Semin O in Frankfurt and Daniel Colgan in Brussels, Munich-based Intellectual Property & Technology partner Dr Thilo von Bodungen, Employment partner Pascal Kremp, and Intellectual Property & Technology counsel Dr Susanne Weckbach. Further assistance came from Munich-based Corporate senior associates Hanna Lütkens and Georg Haberkorn, Employment associate Thomas Wiedmann and by DLA Piper lawyers in the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Poland, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Romania.

The VARTA AG in-house team was led by Julia Weber (Head of Legal & Compliance, VARTA AG).