8 March 2016
Clifford Chance Prague advises ASSA ABLOY on the sale of its global car lock business
The Clifford Chance Prague Corporate team has advised ASSA ABLOY, the international market leader in door opening solutions operating in more than 70 countries, on the successful conclusion of an agreement for the sale of their global car lock business to ALPHA Corporation, a Japanese manufacturer of lock and key products for the automobile, housing and industrial sectors.
The Group's car lock business, headquartered in the Czech Republic, employs over 450 people and in 2015 had an annual turnover in excess of €60 million. In addition to its presence in the Czech Republic, the operations of the car lock business extend to territories that include China, Mexico, Germany and Switzerland.
The sale by ASSA ABLOY, which is subject to regulatory approval and which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016, complements ALPHA Corporation's activities through its Automobile Parts Division in the design, development and manufacture of key sets and door handles required by every automobile.
The Clifford Chance team that advised on the divestment was led by senior associate Michal Jašek supported by the Prague office's managing partner Alex Cook and further assisted by associates Aneta Sosnovcová, Stanislav Holec and Jakub Veselý. On the signing of the transaction Michal commented: ''It was an exciting opportunity for our team to be involved in such a wide-ranging and extensive transaction. The benefits to both businesses are manifest and we look forward to the closing later in the year." The Prague based-team coordinated the assistance of Clifford Chance offices in Frankfurt, Shanghai and Tokyo and external legal advisors in the remaining jurisdictions.
Clifford Chance's Corporate team in Prague has extensive experience of coordinating transactions through CEE, managing the regional elements of global deals and involvement in significant acquisitions and disposals in other emerging markets. Further noteworthy recent transactions include advising Automotive Industries S.à.r.l. on the sale of a majority stake in AAA Auto Group N.V., the largest used car dealer in Central and Eastern Europe and operator of 34 branches of used car dealerships in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia and Hungary, to Abris Capital Partners, and advising Telefónica on the sale of its Czech and Slovakian operations to PPF Group, a Czech investment firm.