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Europe Guide

Corporate/M&A — Austria

Overview

AUSTRIA: An Introduction to Corporate/M&A Contributed by bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH

Austria is a stable and modern market economy with a GDP per capita that is among the highest in the world according to the OECD. Austria has improved its ranking in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. The improved ranking is driven by the availability and use of the latest technologies, Austria’s efficient labour market and strength in innovation. Other key advantages of Austria as a business hub are its infrastructure, its highly skilled labour force, its high social security and the quality of its education system.

The Austrian Federal Government adopts a relaxed attitude of non-interference towards foreign investment, creating and maintaining favourable conditions for both Austrian and foreign investors. In principle, there are no restrictions on foreigners doing business in Austria or investing in businesses in Austria. Exceptions are the Real Estate Transfer Acts (“Grundverkehrsgesetze”) that restrict the acquisition of real estate by persons living abroad. Further, under the Federal Act on Foreign Trade (“Außenwirtschaftsgesetz 2011”) investors from third countries require an approval for acquisitions of companies operating in areas of internal and external security (defence equipment industry, security services) or general public services, including social security (particularly hospitals, rescue services, fire brigades, energy or water supply, telecommunication services, traffic or education). There is no general rule that permissions are required for doing business in Austria. However, many sectors are regulated and subject to the Trade Regulation Act (“Gewerbeordnung”). The financial services sector (e.g. banks, insurers, etc) is subject to the standard EU regulations.

Austria has a transparent, effective and reliable legal system. There have been and there are political efforts to resolve obstacles to starting and running a business in Austria (e.g. simplifying the foundation of limited liability companies). At the end of 2017 the new Austrian government published its government programme, comprising various proposals to enhance Austria’s competitiveness as a business location (e.g. modernising the stock corporation law to increase legal certainty).

The strength of the Austrian economy lies mainly in its international outreach and its strong collaboration with the economies of other countries. Furthermore, Austria has been adapting its legal system to international standards, in line with the standards of the EU, in order to further enhance its international competitiveness. Moreover, Austria has a rapidly growing technical start-up scene that attracts a qualified labour force and foreign investments.

Austria’s new government is currently planning a comprehensive tax reform in order to reduce the tax and duty rate. The proposal addresses an overall tax structure reform, tax relief for companies and the simplification and modernisation of the system (e.g. adopting a general Reverse-Charge System).

M&A activity in 2017 saw only a slight decrease in terms of the number of transactions, but an increase in transaction value (data according to EY M&A-Index Austria 2017, published in January 2018). A total of 345 deals with a value over EUR14 billion took place in Austria in 2017, compared to 354 deals with a total volume of EUR10.7 billion in 2016. Almost half of the transaction value comes from three big transactions (UPC, BUWOG and OJSC/Gazprom). With 86 transactions in 2017, the real estate sector was the most active, closely followed by the technology sector with 76 transactions. As in previous years, Germany remains the most important M&A market (inbound and outbound) for Austria.

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BINDER GRÖSSWANG Rechtsanwälte GmbH - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Widely praised for its strength in both domestic and cross-border M&A transactions. Also offers comprehensive pre- and post-transactional corporate support. Assists noteworthy Austrian and international clients with local and multi-jurisdictional restructurings, reorganisations and day-to-day corporate issues. Experienced in the heavy industry, financial services, energy, TMT and real estate sectors. Active in private equity-led deals. Notable cross-border work involving CEE countries.

Strengths Sources note the team's credible delivery of advice. A client remarks that "the speed was simply unbelievable," while another praises the team's ability "to get things done within pre-defined timeframes."

A commentator describes the group as "practical and solution-oriented team players."

Work highlights Advised Snam in a consortium with Allianz SE on the acquisition of a 49% stake in Gas Connect Austria from OMV for EUR601 million.

Assisted Bilfinger with its sale of Bilfinger MCE Group to Habau.

Notable practitioners

Michael Kutschera is a highly established figure in the Austrian market and is recognised as a senior M&A practitioner with solid experience in cross-border transactions. His extensive practical knowledge extends to such sectors as energy and consumer goods. "He is very reasonable, trying to find solutions," a source says, also praising his hands-on approach. Kutschera is also a widely respected arbitrator.

Thomas Schirmer is a well-recognised M&A lawyer experienced in advising on cross-border transactions, such as his recent assistance to Greenbriar Equity Group with its acquisition of Frauscher Sensortechnik. He often handles transactions in such industries as financial services, life sciences and IT. A peer describes him as somebody who is "good to work with."

Florian Khol focuses on public M&A transactions, with experience extending across a broad selection of industry sectors. He recently advised Insight Venture Partners on acquiring a stake in Tricentis. Sources note his pragmatic approach.

About the Team (content provided by BINDER GRÖSSWANG Rechtsanwälte GmbH)

FOCUS M&A

Private mergers, disposals and acquisitions of companies, businesses and assets, auction processes (both on the buy and sell side), public takeover offers, private equity/venture capital, leveraged buy-outs and management buy-outs, corporate finance, privatisations, distressed M&A and reorganisations, strategic alliances and joint venture agreements, syndication, shareholders and voting agreements                                                                                                                                       

FOCUS CORPORATE

National and cross-border reorganisations such as mergers, reconstructions, spin-offs, divestitures, tax-driven reorganisations, corporate housekeeping, proxy contests, compliance, corporate governance, preparation of and representation in shareholders' meetings, advising of executive bodies (Managing Board, Supervisory Board), private trusts

FOCUS COMMERCIAL

Commercial contracts with a focus on cross-border projects, distribution contracts, outsourcing projects, bidding agreements in international invitations to tender, long-term service and supply contracts

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CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Highly respected team with a proven track record in acting for both buyers and sellers on public and private M&A. Offers notable expertise in takeovers involving listed companies. Well known for large-scale mergers and reorganisations, including cross-border matters. Also a popular choice for private equity mandates. Particularly experienced in advising financial services, energy, real estate, and TMT companies. Often acts on cross-border deals involving several jurisdictions, including advising on European corporate structure.

Strengths Sources praise the team's commercial approach, with an interviewee saying that the lawyers are "able to appropriately balance between the risks and opportunities of each and every aspect of M&A transactions," and adding that the team offers "24/7 availability."

Work highlights Advised OMV and OMV Gas & Power on the EUR601 million sale of a 49% stake in Gas Connect Austria to a consortium of Allianz SE and Snam.

Acted for Teufelberger on the acquisition of Redaelli Tecna.

Notable practitioners

Albert Birkner is a top-tier, highly established transactional lawyer with extensive practical knowledge of large cross-border mergers, joint ventures and corporate restructuring mandates. A source says he is "very good technically and equally reasonable, focusing on important elements of transactions," adding that he is "practical and easy to work with." He recently advised RHI on the proposed cross-border merger with Magnesita Refratários that will establish RHI Magnesita. He has particular expertise in the CEE region.

Clemens Hasenauer is one of Austria's leading M&A lawyers, with broad practical experience in handling public and private transactions as well as cross-border joint ventures. "Clemens is a great negotiator. I was very happy with him. He did a very good job in negotiating good compromises," a client says, adding: "He just made it work." He recently advised SABMiller on its planned disposal of several brands in Austria and a number of CEE countries to comply with EU competition requirements. He is triple-qualified in Austria, the US and UK.

Thomas Trettnak is a corporate lawyer advising on transactions and corporate reorganisations, with particular experience in matters involving venture capital and private equity. He recently acted for LifeNet Health on its acquisition of AlloTiss. He is qualified in Austria and the US.

About the Team (content provided by CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati)

Department profile not yet provided by CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati. Please see their firm profile.

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DORDA - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Strong corporate team recognised for handling complex, high-value, cross-border public and private transactions. Assists with significant corporate restructurings, international joint venture projects and demerger proceedings. Represents blue-chip clients including global corporations, investment banks and private equity players. Acted for a number of private equity funds of late on various deals as well as acting on high-value transactions in the fields of life sciences, real estate, financial services, gambling and industrial construction products.

Strengths Clients are particularly impressed with the team's adaptability: "It is impressive how Dorda can react to short-term structural changes within the framework of a transaction and provide targeted solutions," one client notes.

Other sources highlight the team's working style, with one interviewee praising its "very fast and efficient processing and short response time," while another commentator mentions its "very practical approach."

Work highlights Advised SAZKA Group on its strategic investment into the Austrian gambling market, which included increasing its indirect stake in Casinos Austria to 34% by an acquisition of shares owned by UNIQA and Leipnik-Lundenburger.

Acted as local counsel to Allergan on the high-value cross-border sale of its generics business to Teva Pharmaceutical.

Notable practitioners

Christian Dorda is a highly revered senior partner who commands great respect among market sources. In addition to his strategic advice on complex M&A transactions, he is also a highly regarded arbitrator.

Martin Brodey is a highly esteemed M&A practitioner, offering his extensive practical expertise on high-complexity domestic as well as cross-border transactions, especially in the CEE region. He is described as "particularly committed and very creative when problems are to be overcome." He recently advised ORPEA on its high-profile acquisition of Dr. Wagner Group.

Andreas Mayr is a well-known figure in the Austrian corporate and M&A scene and has a particular focus on public M&A. He recently advised Petrus Advisers on the sale of its stake in Conwert Immobilien Invest for EUR70 million.

Jürgen Kittel is a visible transactional lawyer who led the team on a range of key deals, advising SAZKA Group on a number of strategic investments in the Austrian gaming sector. A client praises his hands-on and strategic approach: "He is really thinking two steps ahead, thinking along with the client," adding: "The transaction was really tough so he was spending day and night with us."

About the Team (content provided by DORDA)

Corporate law and M&A is central to DORDA's activities. Our experts advise and assist domestic and international enterprises in all matters – from choosing the form of business organisation and its establishment, to complex national and international transactions. We assist strategic and financial investors in all aspects of private and public corporate acquisitions.

Our services include:

  • Transaction advice and implementation of corporate acquisitions
  • Strategic lead counsel for acquisitions outside Austria (e.g. Eastern Europe)
  • Corporate and tax law issues
  • Joint venture agreements
  • Takeover law
  • Advising board members and directors, as well as assessing matters of executive liability
  • Advice on shareholders' disputes
  • Designing and executing corporate restructurings (mergers, spin-offs, transformations, contributions)
  • Private equity and venture capital transactions
  • Management buy-out and leveraged buy-out transactions
  • Stock option plans


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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Outstanding transactional firm with a broad M&A and corporate offering. Provides market-leading seller and buyer-side representation and supports prominent corporations in large-scale takeovers. Advises on disposals, joint ventures and restructurings. Extremely active on cross-border matters and very visible in high-volume real estate transactions. Provides in-depth experience across a variety of sectors including financial services, life sciences, aviation and the automotive industry.

Strengths In addition to technical expertise, clients appreciate that the lawyers are "responsive and always interested in the matter and topics." Another client highlights the lawyers for their "profound technical knowledge and their proactive and service-oriented way of working."

Commentators further note the team's ability to provide "creative solutions."

Work highlights Advised UniCredit on a EUR6 billion transaction involving the transfer of UniCredit Bank Austria's CEE business into a new Austrian company and the latter's ensuing merger into UniCredit SpA.

Notable practitioners

Stellar lawyer Willibald Plesser is a renowned practitioner advising on complex cross-border transactions. He is described as a "top negotiator" who is "amongst the most influential professionals" in the Austrian legal market. He also regularly works on deals relating to the CEE region. He recently advised EVN on the sale of a water treatment plant in Russia to Mosvodokanal for EUR250 million.

Konrad Gröller is a well-established and widely respected M&A practitioner, who often assists with transactions involving private equity clients as well as working on significant joint venture projects. He recently advised CA Technologies on its high-value acquisition of Automic Group.

Thomas Zottl is a highly regarded M&A lawyer with extensive experience in high-value cross-border transactions. His particular areas of activity include financial services, energy and real estate matters. He recently advised Vonovia on its EUR2.9 billion acquisition of conwert Immobilien Invest SE. He is valued for his co-operative negotiation style, as a client reports: "His great talent is that he always creates trust in a relationship."

About the Team (content provided by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP)

Please visit the Freshfields website for more details about our work in this category: http://www.freshfields.com/en-gb/what-we-do/services/corporate-and-ma/

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Schoenherr - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Exceptional team instructed on high-stakes international and domestic deals and restructurings. Substantial bench with scope to support clients in large-scale corporate transactions. Widely recognised for its activity in cross-border matters involving CEE and SEE countries. Financial services, energy and manufacturing are the sectors in which the team is particularly strong. Advises private equity funds and blue-chip corporate clients.

Strengths Commentators highlight the team's business-friendly approach, with a client stating: "What stands out is that on top of the legal expertise, the lawyers at Schoenherr bring the commercial understanding to the table, which makes a deal run more smoothly."

Another client enthuses: "Schoenherr delivers quickly and on point," adding that a further strength is is "fast, unlimited availability and the team's negotiation skills."

Work highlights Advised Kansai Paint on the acquisition of Helios Group in a EUR572 million transaction that included more than 13 jurisdictions.

Assisted Groupe SEB with the Austrian and Czech aspects of its EUR1.7 billion acquisition of WMF Group.

Notable practitioners

Stellar practitioner Christian Herbst is one of the best M&A names in Austria, with a solid track record in complex international high-value transactions. Sources note his diplomatic and objective approach to hostile situations and his ability to remain robust while also facilitating negotiations and closing deals. He recently led the team advising EQT VI on the high-value sale of Automic Software to CA Technologies.

Sascha Hödl is a top-tier lawyer who is especially active in financial services-related M&A transactions among other sectors. He recently represented Adler Real Estate in the sale of its share in conwert Immobilien Invest to Vonovia for EUR743 million. Clients particularly praise his commitment and proactive approach.

Alexander Popp is active on large-scale international transactions, often involving clients from the insurance and manufacturing sectors. He recently co-led the team advising Ball Corporation in a cross-border sale of its Enzensfeld manufacturing plant to Ardagh Group. He is particularly active in transactions involving the CEE region.

Florian Kusznier is a corporate M&A lawyer valued by interviewees for his practical advice and focus on the key issues. He recently advised Haniel regarding a joint venture with Rentokil Initial in several CEE countries.

Thomas Kulnigg enters the rankings on the back of positive market feedback. He is particularly active in deals relating to the financial services sector. He recently led the team advising HETA on the sale of its Italian unit, HARIT. Clients appreciate his commercial perspective and add that he contributes innovative solutions to improve the client's position.

About the Team (content provided by Schoenherr)

Our core practice is advising and representing clients on transactions and complex corporate and commercial matters. Over the years, the practice group has built an outstanding record on headline and key transactions in Austria and throughout CEE/SEE.

Schoenherr’s m&a teams advise on national and cross-border transactions, including private m&a, public tender offers, transactions for listed companies, private equity and venture capital transactions, auction sales, privatisations, strategic alliances and joint ventures.

Dedicated teams within the practice group focus on restructuring and insolvency, working together with the firm’s insolvency specialists to advise on distressed companies m&a. Together with the firm’s regulatory specialists, the corporate/m&a group has developed industry-specific expertise covering inter alia the following sectors: energy, financial institutions, telecoms, automotive, media and pharmaceuticals. 



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Wolf Theiss - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Widely respected high-capacity team offering full-service transactional advice on large domestic and international deals. Particularly strong in CEE and SEE countries, benefiting from its network of local offices and the cross-border experience of the Austrian team. Assists with prominent corporate restructuring issues, with notable knowledge of the financial services, energy and technology sectors. Regularly instructed as local counsel by international firms on cross-border acquisitions and disposals.

Strengths Commentators value the team's experience of handling cross-border transactions, especially in the CEE region. A client reports that the group is "able to advise sophisticated clients on cross-border situations while also understanding local specifics and being able to manage less experienced clients as well," adding that the team can "guide clients as to what is really important."

One source notes the team's skill at managing large, intricate matters, being "able to handle the very complex and challenging transaction process."

Work highlights Represented Tricentis and its founding partners in the sale of a 70% stake to Insight Venture Partners.

Advised Heptagon Advanced Micro Optics on the sale of majority stake in Heptagon to ams.

Notable practitioners

Horst Ebhardt is a highly regarded corporate lawyer with a solid track record of cross-border transactions, particularly in relation to the CEE region. He recently co-led the team advising Allianz Capital Partners on the acquisition of OMV's 49% stake in Gas Connect Austria. He is described by a market observer as "very precise and thorough as well as completely reliable."

Dieter Spranz has solid experience of assisting with significant local and cross-border M&A transactions and also acts on significant domestic instructions. Most recently, he advised Austrian Federal Railways, ÖBB, on establishing a joint venture between its subsidiary European Contract Logistics-Austria and Quehenberger.

Christian Mikosch is recognised as an experienced M&A lawyer with a focus on large transactions involving the CEE region. He also heads the team's Kosovo and China desks. A source describes him as "very pragmatic."

About the Team (content provided by Wolf Theiss)

Wolf Theiss has a Tier 1 ranked corporate and M&A team in Austria which is also the largest corporate team in the country. We were recently Highly Commended by the Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Award following our advice on a complex distressed M&A transaction that required a range of first-to-market legal solutions.

We regularly advise on the most complex transactions in Austria and are ideally positioned to do so by working closely with our other market-leading practices at Wolf Theiss, including regulatory, competition, employment, procurement, litigation. IP/IT, dispute resolution, financing, capital markets, tax and real estate.

As Austria's largest and most specialized law firm we can offer unparalleled sector coverage in Austria and across the markets that make up Central and Southeastern Europe, by assembling inter-disciplinary teams that ideally match our clients' requirements.

We regularly advise the global as well as the Austrian elite of investment banks, private equity, corporates and financial institutions on public and private M&A, corporate restructurings, corporate disputes and corporate governance matters. In addition, Wolf Theiss can provide fully integrated corporate and transactional support across 13 offices in Central and Southeastern Europe, a capability that has just earned us the "Chambers CEE Law Firm of the Year Award 2017".

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bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Widely recognised as an experienced adviser on complex corporate issues and company reorganisations. Also active on buy- and sell-side M&A deals and well known for providing corporate and transactional tax support. Client base includes companies in the real estate, transportation, energy and financial services industries. Assists with complex, cross-border matters, working in co-operation with the bpv LEGAL network.

Strengths Clients frequently praise the firm's quick response times, highlighting the "short reaction times and full commitment to keep to defined deadlines." Another client appreciates the firm's "quick responses," adding that "you receive answers immediately."

The team's negotiation style is particularly emphasised and one client notes its "realistic assessment of what is feasible and where problems can arise."

Work highlights Advised Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich on its restructuring merger with Raiffeisen Bank International.

Acted for BAWAG P.S.K. on the acquisition of start:bausparkasse and IMMO-BANK.

Notable practitioners

Florian Gibitz is a well-recognised practitioner in the M&A field, advising clients on significant deals in a wide spectrum of industries. "In addition to the calm, deliberate approach, we have always been advised comprehensively and in a forward-looking way," a client says.

Thomas Lettau is active in local as well as cross-border M&A deals and also assists with other corporate matters. He recently advised AGRANA on the acquisition of a majority share in sugar producer Sunoko. "He made sure the client understood the issues at hand," a source says.

Elke Napokoj is involved in Austrian and cross-border M&A transactions in a broad selection of sectors. She recently co-led the team advising ELK Holding on a EUR70 million sale of its ELK Fertighaus to Gampen Fertighaus.

About the Team (content provided by bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH)

Department profile not yet provided by bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH. Please see their firm profile.

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CMS - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Regional powerhouse offering assisting with strategic corporate reorganisations and complex transactions, particularly acting on acquisitions. Advises an impressive roster of clients including financial institutions and multinational corporations, many of them active in CEE and SEE. Clients hail from a range of sectors including pharmaceutical, food and drink, manufacturing, energy and real estate.

Strengths Clients appreciate that the team has "good knowledge of the Austrian market, the market participants and the supervisory authority ."

Work highlights Assisted Andlinger with the acquisition of a majority interest in Slovenian Eti Elektroelement, valued at EUR27.5 million.

Advised MANE on its cross-border acquisition and integration of Norbert Schaller and the latter's Russian, Ukrainian, and Kazakh subsidiaries.

Notable practitioners

Peter Huber is an outstanding corporate and M&A lawyer, active on significant local and cross-border deals, including those in relation to listed companies. A client states that he is "very experienced," and also highlights his "commercial understanding."

Johannes Reich-Rohrwig is an active practitioner in corporate restructurings and M&A transactions, representing clients from various sectors including banking, insurance and energy. He recently advised Niederösterreichische Versicherung on the divestiture of its shareholder structure by minority shareholders. He is also a well-regarded disputes lawyer and is particularly active in shareholder disputes.

Johannes Trenkwalder is an M&A practitioner well known for his cross-border work, particularly in the CEE region. He recently advised Kiefel on its acquisition of Mould & Matic. One client notes his co-operative working style, saying that he has "high acceptance with our own managing directors as well as with the other side." He is also managing the firm's Kyiv office.

Alexander Rakosi is active in domestic and cross-border M&A transactions. One client describes him as "commercial and easy to work with." His latest work includes advising HETA Asset Resolution on its sale of the Holiday Inn Sarajevo.

About the Team (content provided by CMS)

Our Corporate/M&A team consists of dedicated lawyers who provide legal advice to clients in all areas related to corporate transactions and the whole spectrum of corporate law. Stock corporations and limited liability companies as well as partnerships number among our clients. Our outstanding experience and in-depth knowledge of a wide range of different sectors make us the ideal partner for both national and international transactions.

We offer advice on a variety of issues including:

  • Company founding
  • Syndication and shareholder agreements
  • Private M&A transactions
  • Corporate restructuring and reorganisation
  • Public takeovers
  • Joint ventures
  • Capital maintenance
  • Corporate finance and bonds
  • Asset and share deals
  • Corporate litigation and arbitration
  • Privatisations
  • Venture capital transactions
  • Buy-outs
  • Insolvency

Mergers & Acquisitions

Providing legal advice to our Austrian and international clients on corporate transactions is one of the core competences of CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz. Our experienced M&A team combines expert knowledge about the latest developments in the drafting of contracts and the structuring of transactions and it closely cooperates with national and international investment banks as well as other advisers on transactions.

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Eisenberger & Herzog - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Thriving corporate practice with in-depth expertise in the financial services, infrastructure, real estate, technology and media sectors. Increasingly visible on significant transactions, including both public and private M&A deals as well as major corporate restructurings and voluntary takeovers. Also assists with day-to-day corporate issues.

Strengths Clients note the team's commitment, with one satisfied client noting that "they delivered even more than what had been agreed on."

Work highlights Assisted Megatech with the acquisition of Toyota Boshoku's interior parts operations in Germany, Poland and Czech Republic.

Advised QuadraCir Beteiligungs on the disposal of part of the group through an auction.

Notable practitioners

Peter Winkler is a reputable figure in Austrian corporate and M&A circles. He is particularly experienced in handling high-value matters involving financial services and real estate clients. He recently acted for conwert Immobilien Invest on its voluntary public takeover by Vonovia, valued at EUR2.9 billion.

Alric Ofenheimer advised ProSiebenSat.1 Media on its acquisition of ATV. He is also well-known for his activity in real estate transactions. One client praises his stamina in negotiations, saying: "He's an extremely strong negotiator. When I was beginning to get tired, he was only just getting started."

Up-and-coming Marco Steiner is visible on the firm's key deals. He recently led the team advising Macquarie Group on its bid for the acquisition of a 49% share in Gas Connect Austria.

About the Team (content provided by Eisenberger & Herzog)

Corporate/M&A

Our practice group has a strong track record advising on all aspects in relation to corporate law and M&A and is widely recognized for high-profile transactions entrusted to our firm. Apart from private and public mergers and acquisitions, our firm handles strategic partnerships, joint ventures, auction sales and takeovers of listed companies. Our fields of expertise include: private M&A, public M&A, transactions and finance structures, private equity and venture capital, strategic alliances / mergers and joint ventures, privatizations, Public Private Partnerships (PPP), distressed M&A, restructuring, corporate reorganization, post-M&A litigation, post-M&A integration.












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Baker McKenzie - Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Long-established team offering transactional, corporate and restructuring advice. Particularly active on cross-border instructions for European and global clients, benefiting from the firm's large international network. Also assists with capital increase projects and contentious issues arising from distressed restructuring matters. Experienced across a variety of sectors including pharmaceutical, energy, automotive, construction and technology.

Strengths The team is reputed for its service, with one source describing the team as "fast and pragmatic," as well as "flexible and dynamic."

Clients value the team's high availability, with one saying that the lawyers were contactable "at any time, night or day."

Work highlights Assisted Knowles with the sale of part of its business to Sound Solutions.

Acted for ECO Business-Immobilien on a squeeze-out and de-listing.

Notable practitioners

Gerhard Hermann is a well-established practitioner with a wealth of experience in corporate and M&A matters. He is well versed in distressed assets transactions. He led the team advising Ennoconn on its acquisition of a 27.8% share in S&T for EUR145.2 million. A client says that he "has a very good business understanding," adding that he's able to "convince the opposing side."

Up-and-coming Wendelin Ettmayer assists clients with significant deals and recently led the team advising Franklin Templeton on the sale of Helios Coatings to Kansai Paint. Sources highlight his commitment and knowledge of market practice.

About the Team (content provided by Baker McKenzie - Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG)

Department profile not yet provided by Baker McKenzie - Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG. Please see their firm profile.

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Barnert Egermann Illigasch - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Notable corporate team particularly active on private equity and energy M&A. Also visible in a wide range of other sectors, including the media and transportation industries. Known for work on significant joint venture projects. Advises clients on the sale of shares, as well as day-to-day corporate issues and compliance mandates.

Work highlights Advised Austrian gas and electricity suppliers EVN, Wien Energie and Energie Burgenland on selling their shares in EconGas to OMV.

Assisted Uber with all corporate and regulatory issues the group faces in Austria.

Notable practitioners

Michael Barnert is a well-known corporate and M&A lawyer, advising on public and private acquisitions as well as joint ventures. He is particularly active in media and telecommunications as well as the energy sector. "He is very communicative in general, it makes it easy to run transactions," says a source.

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Brandl & Talos Rechtsanwälte GmbH - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well-regarded team advising on mid-level transactions in Austria and on cross-border matters. Particularly known for its expertise in the gaming sector and assisting technology and financial services sector clients as well as coating and stationery companies. Also active assisting start-ups.

Strengths Sources praise the team's approach, noting that it "offered a very good team set-up, delivering quality products and very good turnaround time."

Work highlights Advised the shareholders of the Sportsman Media Group on the sale of 100% of the group shares to Sportradar.

Acted as transaction counsel for Ring International Holding on the EUR572 million sale of its coating business to Kansai Paint.

Notable practitioners

Thomas Talos is active in corporate and M&A transactions and is particularly recognised for his experience in advising sports and gaming industry clients. He recently advised Centerbridge Partners as part of a consortium on its attempted acquisition of Tipico. "He never loses a commercial focus," a source says.

Up-and-coming Roman Rericha is highly active in the start-up scene, where he advises technology and financial services clients on matters of corporate structuring and venture capital transactions. One client reports he provided "constructive, alternative" solutions.

About the Team (content provided by Brandl & Talos Rechtsanwälte GmbH)

Brandl & Talos is known for its unparalleled expertise in the entertainment and leisure sector. This is no idle claim. Our experience with large-scale, complex transactions in the gaming sector is truly unique in Austria and quite remarkable in Europe. The firm's partner, Thomas Talos, is a recognized specialist whose experience affords him a keen insight into the gaming sector. This is proven through the long-standing mandates of bwin.party and now also GVC Holdings, Century Casinos, Sportradar AG and, recently, by a mandate regarding the proposed acquisition of one of Germany's leading retail and online sports betting operators.

Furthermore, we have a strong focus in the industry of coatings and stationery products. As long-standing legal counsel of "Ring" International Holding, we have advised on almost all of their major transactions. Partner Roman Rericha coordinated and managed the acquisition of the Slovenian based Helios Domžale, the subsequent equity investment of two top-class international private equity firms, and the reorganisation of the group. Roman also regularly advises "Ring" International Holding on a number of corporate issues. Brandl & Talos therefore has an unequalled understanding of the industry.

We are also becoming increasingly involved in transactions in the biotechnology, real estate and financial services sectors.

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Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Robust team experienced renowned for its restructuring expertise. Also acts on distressed M&A deals and joint venture projects. Particularly active representing clients from the banking, real estate, retail and energy sectors. Active in cross-border transactions involving CEE countries.

Strengths Sources value the hands-on senior staff attention, with a client reporting that "partners immerse themselves completely."

Work highlights Assisted Immobilien Holding with its sale of BAI Bauträger Austria Immobilien to a joint venture between SIGNA and an investment group.

Acted for HANNOVER Finanz on the sale of IS Inkasso Service group to GFKL Lowell.

Notable practitioners

Markus Fellner is particularly known for his experience in restructuring, including distressed M&A transactions. He often advises banks on M&A as well as a wider scope of transactions including distressed assets. Clients value his strong negotiation style, with one source describing him as "a man of concise words: he gets to the point and represents our position clearly."

About the Team (content provided by Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners)

Developing optimal solutions in the corporate area requires extensive knowledge and vast experience in many different legal areas, including corporate law, tax law, capital market and takeover law, labour as well as tenancy law. We handle private and public transactions and advise national and international companies on a vast array of corporate law issues. In the corporate law area, accompanying clients on the sale and acquisition of companies is one of the core skills of fwp. Our work in this regard covers all aspects necessary for the successful conclusion of a transaction, beginning with the undertaking of legal due diligence up through negotiation of the SPA and resolution of anti-trust issues. In particular our broad experience in the private and public sectors, especially relating to cross-border transactions, takeover bids, private equity and venture capital, ensures the highest degree of efficiency and deal stability.

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DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Represents notable Austrian and international clients, including investment and other financial services firms, pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies. Also active in general corporate and commercial work, as well as offering regulatory advice. Noted for its strong global network and cross-border capabilities.

Strengths Clients value the team for its "high level of commitment and good working network."

Sources laud the lawyers' reliability and availability, underlining their "high availability" and adding that "you receive quick feedback."

Work highlights Assisted UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions with the EUR500 million sale of its eMoney Processing business to SIA Group.

Acted for Playtech on the acquisition of a 90% stake in Best Gaming Technology.

Notable practitioners

Maria Doralt is an active figure in the corporate and M&A market, handling local and cross-border matters for clients from a diverse range of sectors. She recently advised Wipro on the acquisition of cellent valued at EUR73.5 million. Commentators especially note her negotiation skills, with one source noting that "she anticipated future topics," while another praises here focus on realistic win-win solutions.

Christoph Mager is particularly active in cross-border deals representing financial services, real estate and technology companies. He acted for Adler Real Estate on its sale of EUR460 million worth of shares in conwert Immobilien Invest to Vonovia.

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Doralt Seist & Csoklich - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Notable team active on general corporate and restructuring issues as well as large and mid-market deals. Acts for both buyers and sellers. Offers particular expertise in the real estate sector. Also experienced in the banking, media and transport sectors.

Strengths One client asserts that the team's "essential strength is certainly the focus on legally watertight advice," adding that "at DSC you get clear answers you can rely on."

Notable practitioners

Christoph Diregger is a well-regarded corporate lawyer valued for his experience in high-stakes transactions, including takeover situations. According to clients, "he is able to think outside the box while never losing sight of the goal."

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Graf Patsch Taucher Rechtsanwälte - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Active in a number of large cross-border transactions involving the CEE region and Germany. Experienced in financial services, real estate and TMT sector deals, particularly in relation to private equity and venture capital investments.

Strengths Clients are especially happy with the attention they receive from the partners, with a client saying that they received "a very high service level and a very client-oriented service."

Work highlights Advised RENAFAN on its acquisition of an Austrian company active in the healthcare and elderly care sector and also assisted with the restructuring of its Austrian business.

Notable practitioners

Wolfgang Graf is a respected transactional lawyer, assisting clients from a variety of industries. "He led negotiations smoothly, but held the line. To me he predicted the other side's move with impressive certainty so that we could prepare ourselves way ahead," a client says, while another client adds: "He does not beat around the bush." He recently led the team advising Global TCAD Solutions and its Austrian shareholders on the sale of shares to Silvaco.

Bernd Taucher is active in high-value cross-border corporate matters and M&A transactions. A market source describes him as "very pragmatic and responsive." He recently advised AGCO on the Austrian aspects of its acquisition of Cimbria.

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Graf & Pitkowitz Rechtsanwälte GmbH - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Respected team offering general corporate as well as restructuring advice. Well known for its activity in relation to distressed companies. Also assists with local and cross-border transactions for both private and publicly listed companies. Advises significant finance and pharmaceutical clients, as the well as those from the oil and gas and media fields.

Strengths Sources value the firm's personal approach, saying that "interactions are more personal and the department overall has given a very agile and flexible impression."

One source explains that "one advantage is the fact that the lawyers not only practise in corporate law, but also represent clients in court and therefore have a much better understanding of what is involved in disputes cases or in official licensing procedures and will already incorporate these aspects in advance."

Work highlights Advised VGN's CEO Horst Pirker on the acquisition of a 56% share in VGN via MBO.

Notable practitioners

Ferdinand Graf is active advising clients from a range of sectors in cross-border M&A transactions and corporate restructurings. He recently advised Marchfelder Bank on its spin-off from Austrian Volksbanken group of banks.

About the Team (content provided by Graf & Pitkowitz Rechtsanwälte GmbH)

Graf & Pitkowitz was founded in 1994 and is one of the leading independent Austrian commercial law firms with offices in Vienna and Graz. The full service firm advises in all fields of Austrian and European business law. with a client base from all sectors of industry – both domestic and foreign – and public authorities. Graf & Pitkowitz has 40 qualified lawyers including 7 partners – most are recognized experts in their field and have years of international experience. The firm is internationally known for its hard work approach and efficient and creative way of handling complex cases in a solution-oriented manner. 

From the very beginning corporate law and mergers & acquisitions have been a core competence of Graf & Pitkowitz. The firm’s specialists advise on all matters of corporate law – often on complex corporate transactions such as restructurings, spin-offs, mergers and transformations – both in Austria and cross-border. Recent work highlights include advising a prominent Russian conglomerate on cross border restructurings and capital measures and advising one of the largest Austrian publicly listed corporations on the spin-off and subsequent merger of subsidiaries.

The firm has gained a strong practice in corporate litigation supporting clients in corporate disputes and representing in corporate litigation - both in judicial and arbitration proceedings.




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PHH Prochaska Havranek Rechtsanwälte - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Advises on domestic and international M&A and is often seen acting on behalf of international investment and private equity funds. Offers full-service pre- and post-merger support, including on restructuring. Clients include financial services, renewable energy, technology and pharmaceutical businesses.

Strengths The team receives praise for its availability and reliability, as well as its ability to adapt to diverse individual client needs. Clients describe the team as "very customer friendly," and highlight that the lawyers are "commercial, fast and available."

Work highlights Assisted the shareholders of Kraftwerk Ingenieurbüro with the company restructuring and sale of all shares to PV Kraftwerk.

Notable practitioners

Rainer Kaspar is active in corporate restructuring-related as well as regular M&A transactions in Austria and beyond. "He helped me very much in better understanding the legal part and he was always available," a client reports. He recently acted for Baitone on the sale of a 90% share in Best Gaming Technology to Playtech.

About the Team (content provided by PHH Prochaska Havranek Rechtsanwälte)

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Fiebinger Polak & Partner Rechtsanwälte GmbH - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 5

第五等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Experienced team acting on a range of transactional matters including takeovers, mergers, divestments and demergers, and also covering cross-border deals. Advises both sell- and buy-side clients including shareholders. Also handles corporate restruction and active in the distribution, manufacturing and life sciences industries. Assists throughout the life cycle of start-up companies, from initial founding to a public offering.

Notable practitioners

Peter Polak is a well-known figure in the Austrian M&A market. His clients also benefit from his litigation skills.

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Herbst Kinsky Rechtsanwälte GmbH - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 5

第五等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Active on mid-range as well as sizeable transactions and offers support in corporate restructuring. Noted for its work with start-ups as well as private equity funds and venture capital providers. Also particularly active for biotechnology clients.

Strengths The team is praised for its pleasant, "very unpretentious" style, including its ability to communicate well with clients and peers. Clients highlight the firm's "very relaxed exchange with other firms" and add that the "co-ordination functions well."

Work highlights Advised ams on a high-value acquisition of Heptagon Advanced Micro Optics.

Notable practitioners

In addition to his M&A expertise, Philipp Kinsky is also known for his involvement in capital markets and private equity venture capital deals. He advised TourRadar on its Series A financing round with a number of investors.

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Saxinger, Chalupsky & Partners (SCWP Schindhelm) - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 5

第五等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Enters the rankings following impressive feedback and a growing portfolio of notable transactions. Assists with restructuring, sales, acquisitions and joint venture establishments, often involving regional companies, Austrian SMEs and significant international clients. Active in a range of sectors, including food and real estate.

Strengths Commentators note the team's high level of availability, with one client explaining: "They had the whole team on it, with steady responses and feedback also during out of office hours."

Another source emphasises the team's "good prioritisation of tasks, due to a very good understanding of the business model of the matter."

Work highlights Advised WM Holding on the acquisition of BUT in a cross-border transaction involving several European jurisdictions.

Acted for Carl Steiner Handwerks- und Industriebedarf on the sale of its roof trading business to Dawa Handels.

Notable practitioners

Immanuel Gerstner is acknowledged for his leading role in the firm's corporate and M&A practice. "We were made aware of potential dangers and risks," a client says, adding that the advice helped in the negotiation process. He recently advised Baumit Beteiligungen on its EUR120 million acquisition of w&p Baustoffe from Wietersdorfer.

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Schindler Attorneys - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 5

第五等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Corporate team advising on joint ventures, restructurings and cross-border mergers. Active on capital increase and venture capital mandates and frequently represents private equity funds. Assists international clients as well as local companies from a number of sectors, including financial services, technology, and communications.

Strengths The team is recommended for its "can-do approach" and the "very accessible" partners.

Work highlights Assisted Kennet Partners with selling its share in Tricentis to Insight Venture Partners.

Notable practitioners

Clemens Philipp Schindler is a well-known corporate and transactional lawyer, liked by clients for his high level of availability. Recently, he advised Alba Communications on its acquisition of PR International - Hirnigel. He is also active on transactions connected to the Brazilian market.

Florian Cvak is active in advising Austrian and international companies on M&A deals, including in relation to distressed assets. He is also recognised for his experience in relation to Poland. "He cares about the entire project and not just his work stream," a source says, adding that he "thinks ahead and identifies relevant issues early on."

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Taylor Wessing - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 5

第五等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Experienced adviser to private equity funds and international companies on M&A and corporate matters. Assists clients with entering the Austrian market, divestments and joint ventures. Benefits from the firm's global network of offices, and is frequently active on cross-border transactions. Representing clients from the real estate, venture capital, food and drink and media sectors.

Work highlights Represented Walstead Group in its cross-border acquisition of LEYKAM Let's Print Holding, including the latter's printing sites in Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

Advised Warimpex on selling parts of its hotel portfolio to U City, in a transaction that involved multiple jurisdictions in the CEE region.

Notable practitioners

Raimund Cancola is a key contact for clients.

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Overview

AUSTRIA: An Introduction to Corporate/M&A Contributed by bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH

Austria is a stable and modern market economy with a GDP per capita that is among the highest in the world according to the OECD. Austria has improved its ranking in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. The improved ranking is driven by the availability and use of the latest technologies, Austria’s efficient labour market and strength in innovation. Other key advantages of Austria as a business hub are its infrastructure, its highly skilled labour force, its high social security and the quality of its education system.

The Austrian Federal Government adopts a relaxed attitude of non-interference towards foreign investment, creating and maintaining favourable conditions for both Austrian and foreign investors. In principle, there are no restrictions on foreigners doing business in Austria or investing in businesses in Austria. Exceptions are the Real Estate Transfer Acts (“Grundverkehrsgesetze”) that restrict the acquisition of real estate by persons living abroad. Further, under the Federal Act on Foreign Trade (“Außenwirtschaftsgesetz 2011”) investors from third countries require an approval for acquisitions of companies operating in areas of internal and external security (defence equipment industry, security services) or general public services, including social security (particularly hospitals, rescue services, fire brigades, energy or water supply, telecommunication services, traffic or education). There is no general rule that permissions are required for doing business in Austria. However, many sectors are regulated and subject to the Trade Regulation Act (“Gewerbeordnung”). The financial services sector (e.g. banks, insurers, etc) is subject to the standard EU regulations.

Austria has a transparent, effective and reliable legal system. There have been and there are political efforts to resolve obstacles to starting and running a business in Austria (e.g. simplifying the foundation of limited liability companies). At the end of 2017 the new Austrian government published its government programme, comprising various proposals to enhance Austria’s competitiveness as a business location (e.g. modernising the stock corporation law to increase legal certainty).

The strength of the Austrian economy lies mainly in its international outreach and its strong collaboration with the economies of other countries. Furthermore, Austria has been adapting its legal system to international standards, in line with the standards of the EU, in order to further enhance its international competitiveness. Moreover, Austria has a rapidly growing technical start-up scene that attracts a qualified labour force and foreign investments.

Austria’s new government is currently planning a comprehensive tax reform in order to reduce the tax and duty rate. The proposal addresses an overall tax structure reform, tax relief for companies and the simplification and modernisation of the system (e.g. adopting a general Reverse-Charge System).

M&A activity in 2017 saw only a slight decrease in terms of the number of transactions, but an increase in transaction value (data according to EY M&A-Index Austria 2017, published in January 2018). A total of 345 deals with a value over EUR14 billion took place in Austria in 2017, compared to 354 deals with a total volume of EUR10.7 billion in 2016. Almost half of the transaction value comes from three big transactions (UPC, BUWOG and OJSC/Gazprom). With 86 transactions in 2017, the real estate sector was the most active, closely followed by the technology sector with 76 transactions. As in previous years, Germany remains the most important M&A market (inbound and outbound) for Austria.

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Senior Statesperson

DORDA

From the Chambers Europe guide

Christian Dorda is a highly revered senior partner who commands great respect among market sources. In addition to his strategic advice on complex M&A transactions, he is also a highly regarded arbitrator.

^ See whole ranking table

Star Individuals

Schoenherr

From the Chambers Europe guide

Stellar practitioner Christian Herbst is one of the best M&A names in Austria, with a solid track record in complex international high-value transactions. Sources note his diplomatic and objective approach to hostile situations and his ability to remain robust while also facilitating negotiations and closing deals. He recently led the team advising EQT VI on the high-value sale of Automic Software to CA Technologies.

^ See whole ranking table

Star Individuals

Willibald Plesser

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Stellar lawyer Willibald Plesser is a renowned practitioner advising on complex cross-border transactions. He is described as a "top negotiator" who is "amongst the most influential professionals" in the Austrian legal market. He also regularly works on deals relating to the CEE region. He recently advised EVN on the sale of a water treatment plant in Russia to Mosvodokanal for EUR250 million.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati

From the Chambers Europe guide

Albert Birkner is a top-tier, highly established transactional lawyer with extensive practical knowledge of large cross-border mergers, joint ventures and corporate restructuring mandates. A source says he is "very good technically and equally reasonable, focusing on important elements of transactions," adding that he is "practical and easy to work with." He recently advised RHI on the proposed cross-border merger with Magnesita Refratários that will establish RHI Magnesita. He has particular expertise in the CEE region.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

DORDA

From the Chambers Europe guide

Martin Brodey is a highly esteemed M&A practitioner, offering his extensive practical expertise on high-complexity domestic as well as cross-border transactions, especially in the CEE region. He is described as "particularly committed and very creative when problems are to be overcome." He recently advised ORPEA on its high-profile acquisition of Dr. Wagner Group.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Clemens Hasenauer

CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati

From the Chambers Europe guide

Clemens Hasenauer is one of Austria's leading M&A lawyers, with broad practical experience in handling public and private transactions as well as cross-border joint ventures. "Clemens is a great negotiator. I was very happy with him. He did a very good job in negotiating good compromises," a client says, adding: "He just made it work." He recently advised SABMiller on its planned disposal of several brands in Austria and a number of CEE countries to comply with EU competition requirements. He is triple-qualified in Austria, the US and UK.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Schoenherr

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sascha Hödl is a top-tier lawyer who is especially active in financial services-related M&A transactions among other sectors. He recently represented Adler Real Estate in the sale of its share in conwert Immobilien Invest to Vonovia for EUR743 million. Clients particularly praise his commitment and proactive approach.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

CMS

From the Chambers Europe guide

Peter Huber is an outstanding corporate and M&A lawyer, active on significant local and cross-border deals, including those in relation to listed companies. A client states that he is "very experienced," and also highlights his "commercial understanding."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Eisenberger & Herzog

From the Chambers Europe guide

Peter Winkler is a reputable figure in Austrian corporate and M&A circles. He is particularly experienced in handling high-value matters involving financial services and real estate clients. He recently acted for conwert Immobilien Invest on its voluntary public takeover by Vonovia, valued at EUR2.9 billion.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Barnert Egermann Illigasch

From the Chambers Europe guide

Michael Barnert is a well-known corporate and M&A lawyer, advising on public and private acquisitions as well as joint ventures. He is particularly active in media and telecommunications as well as the energy sector. "He is very communicative in general, it makes it easy to run transactions," says a source.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Wolf Theiss

From the Chambers Europe guide

Horst Ebhardt is a highly regarded corporate lawyer with a solid track record of cross-border transactions, particularly in relation to the CEE region. He recently co-led the team advising Allianz Capital Partners on the acquisition of OMV's 49% stake in Gas Connect Austria. He is described by a market observer as "very precise and thorough as well as completely reliable."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Markus Fellner is particularly known for his experience in restructuring, including distressed M&A transactions. He often advises banks on M&A as well as a wider scope of transactions including distressed assets. Clients value his strong negotiation style, with one source describing him as "a man of concise words: he gets to the point and represents our position clearly."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Konrad Gröller is a well-established and widely respected M&A practitioner, who often assists with transactions involving private equity clients as well as working on significant joint venture projects. He recently advised CA Technologies on its high-value acquisition of Automic Group.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Baker McKenzie - Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG

From the Chambers Europe guide

Gerhard Hermann is a well-established practitioner with a wealth of experience in corporate and M&A matters. He is well versed in distressed assets transactions. He led the team advising Ennoconn on its acquisition of a 27.8% share in S&T for EUR145.2 million. A client says that he "has a very good business understanding," adding that he's able to "convince the opposing side."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Michael Kutschera

BINDER GRÖSSWANG Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Michael Kutschera is a highly established figure in the Austrian market and is recognised as a senior M&A practitioner with solid experience in cross-border transactions. His extensive practical knowledge extends to such sectors as energy and consumer goods. "He is very reasonable, trying to find solutions," a source says, also praising his hands-on approach. Kutschera is also a widely respected arbitrator.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

DORDA

From the Chambers Europe guide

Andreas Mayr is a well-known figure in the Austrian corporate and M&A scene and has a particular focus on public M&A. He recently advised Petrus Advisers on the sale of its stake in Conwert Immobilien Invest for EUR70 million.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

BINDER GRÖSSWANG Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Thomas Schirmer is a well-recognised M&A lawyer experienced in advising on cross-border transactions, such as his recent assistance to Greenbriar Equity Group with its acquisition of Frauscher Sensortechnik. He often handles transactions in such industries as financial services, life sciences and IT. A peer describes him as somebody who is "good to work with."

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Band 2

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Thomas Zottl is a highly regarded M&A lawyer with extensive experience in high-value cross-border transactions. His particular areas of activity include financial services, energy and real estate matters. He recently advised Vonovia on its EUR2.9 billion acquisition of conwert Immobilien Invest SE. He is valued for his co-operative negotiation style, as a client reports: "His great talent is that he always creates trust in a relationship."

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Band 3

Christoph Diregger

Doralt Seist & Csoklich

From the Chambers Europe guide

Christoph Diregger is a well-regarded corporate lawyer valued for his experience in high-stakes transactions, including takeover situations. According to clients, "he is able to think outside the box while never losing sight of the goal."

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Band 3

Frotz Riedl Rechtsanwälte

From the Chambers Europe guide

Stephan Frotz of Frotz Riedl Rechtsanwälte is a well-respected corporate lawyer, highly regarded by peers.

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Band 3

bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Florian Gibitz is a well-recognised practitioner in the M&A field, advising clients on significant deals in a wide spectrum of industries. "In addition to the calm, deliberate approach, we have always been advised comprehensively and in a forward-looking way," a client says.

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Band 3

Graf Patsch Taucher Rechtsanwälte

From the Chambers Europe guide

Wolfgang Graf is a respected transactional lawyer, assisting clients from a variety of industries. "He led negotiations smoothly, but held the line. To me he predicted the other side's move with impressive certainty so that we could prepare ourselves way ahead," a client says, while another client adds: "He does not beat around the bush." He recently led the team advising Global TCAD Solutions and its Austrian shareholders on the sale of shares to Silvaco.

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Band 3

Wulf Gordian Hauser

Hauser Partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Wulf Gordian Hauser of Hauser Partners Rechtsanwälte is an established figure in both M&A as well as international arbitration. He recently advised Mondi on a EUR4.7 million acquisition of Uralplastic from Rusnano and a private investor. "It's very easy to work with him: his documents and conclusions are very thorough, he tailors his advice to us," a client says.

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Band 3

BINDER GRÖSSWANG Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Florian Khol focuses on public M&A transactions, with experience extending across a broad selection of industry sectors. He recently advised Insight Venture Partners on acquiring a stake in Tricentis. Sources note his pragmatic approach.

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Band 3

Fiebinger Polak & Partner Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Peter Polak is a well-known figure in the Austrian M&A market. His clients also benefit from his litigation skills.

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Band 3

Schoenherr

From the Chambers Europe guide

Alexander Popp is active on large-scale international transactions, often involving clients from the insurance and manufacturing sectors. He recently co-led the team advising Ball Corporation in a cross-border sale of its Enzensfeld manufacturing plant to Ardagh Group. He is particularly active in transactions involving the CEE region.

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Band 3

Johannes Reich-Rohrwig

CMS

From the Chambers Europe guide

Johannes Reich-Rohrwig is an active practitioner in corporate restructurings and M&A transactions, representing clients from various sectors including banking, insurance and energy. He recently advised Niederösterreichische Versicherung on the divestiture of its shareholder structure by minority shareholders. He is also a well-regarded disputes lawyer and is particularly active in shareholder disputes.

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Band 3

Clemens Philipp Schindler

Schindler Attorneys

From the Chambers Europe guide

Clemens Philipp Schindler is a well-known corporate and transactional lawyer, liked by clients for his high level of availability. Recently, he advised Alba Communications on its acquisition of PR International - Hirnigel. He is also active on transactions connected to the Brazilian market.

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Band 3

Wolf Theiss

From the Chambers Europe guide

Dieter Spranz has solid experience of assisting with significant local and cross-border M&A transactions and also acts on significant domestic instructions. Most recently, he advised Austrian Federal Railways, ÖBB, on establishing a joint venture between its subsidiary European Contract Logistics-Austria and Quehenberger.

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Band 3

Brandl & Talos Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Thomas Talos is active in corporate and M&A transactions and is particularly recognised for his experience in advising sports and gaming industry clients. He recently advised Centerbridge Partners as part of a consortium on its attempted acquisition of Tipico. "He never loses a commercial focus," a source says.

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Band 3

Johannes Trenkwalder

CMS

From the Chambers Europe guide

Johannes Trenkwalder is an M&A practitioner well known for his cross-border work, particularly in the CEE region. He recently advised Kiefel on its acquisition of Mould & Matic. One client notes his co-operative working style, saying that he has "high acceptance with our own managing directors as well as with the other side." He is also managing the firm's Kyiv office.

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Band 4

Schindler Attorneys

From the Chambers Europe guide

Florian Cvak is active in advising Austrian and international companies on M&A deals, including in relation to distressed assets. He is also recognised for his experience in relation to Poland. "He cares about the entire project and not just his work stream," a source says, adding that he "thinks ahead and identifies relevant issues early on."

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Band 4

DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach

From the Chambers Europe guide

Maria Doralt is an active figure in the corporate and M&A market, handling local and cross-border matters for clients from a diverse range of sectors. She recently advised Wipro on the acquisition of cellent valued at EUR73.5 million. Commentators especially note her negotiation skills, with one source noting that "she anticipated future topics," while another praises here focus on realistic win-win solutions.

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Band 4

Pelzmann Gall Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Mario Gall of Pelzmann Gall Rechtsanwälte is a transactional lawyer representing clients from a variety of sectors, including financial services as well as manufacturing and technology. He recently advised Ventana Holding on its public takeover bid to shareholders of Frauenthal.

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Band 4

Immanuel Gerstner

Saxinger, Chalupsky & Partners (SCWP Schindhelm)

From the Chambers Europe guide

Immanuel Gerstner is acknowledged for his leading role in the firm's corporate and M&A practice. "We were made aware of potential dangers and risks," a client says, adding that the advice helped in the negotiation process. He recently advised Baumit Beteiligungen on its EUR120 million acquisition of w&p Baustoffe from Wietersdorfer.

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Band 4

Graf & Pitkowitz Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Ferdinand Graf is active advising clients from a range of sectors in cross-border M&A transactions and corporate restructurings. He recently advised Marchfelder Bank on its spin-off from Austrian Volksbanken group of banks.

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Band 4

PHH Prochaska Havranek Rechtsanwälte

From the Chambers Europe guide

Rainer Kaspar is active in corporate restructuring-related as well as regular M&A transactions in Austria and beyond. "He helped me very much in better understanding the legal part and he was always available," a client reports. He recently acted for Baitone on the sale of a 90% share in Best Gaming Technology to Playtech.

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Band 4

Herbst Kinsky Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

In addition to his M&A expertise, Philipp Kinsky is also known for his involvement in capital markets and private equity venture capital deals. He advised TourRadar on its Series A financing round with a number of investors.

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Band 4

DORDA

From the Chambers Europe guide

Jürgen Kittel is a visible transactional lawyer who led the team on a range of key deals, advising SAZKA Group on a number of strategic investments in the Austrian gaming sector. A client praises his hands-on and strategic approach: "He is really thinking two steps ahead, thinking along with the client," adding: "The transaction was really tough so he was spending day and night with us."

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Band 4

Schoenherr

From the Chambers Europe guide

Florian Kusznier is a corporate M&A lawyer valued by interviewees for his practical advice and focus on the key issues. He recently advised Haniel regarding a joint venture with Rentokil Initial in several CEE countries.

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Band 4

bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Thomas Lettau is active in local as well as cross-border M&A deals and also assists with other corporate matters. He recently advised AGRANA on the acquisition of a majority share in sugar producer Sunoko. "He made sure the client understood the issues at hand," a source says.

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Band 4

DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach

From the Chambers Europe guide

Christoph Mager is particularly active in cross-border deals representing financial services, real estate and technology companies. He acted for Adler Real Estate on its sale of EUR460 million worth of shares in conwert Immobilien Invest to Vonovia.

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Band 4

Christian Mikosch

Wolf Theiss

From the Chambers Europe guide

Christian Mikosch is recognised as an experienced M&A lawyer with a focus on large transactions involving the CEE region. He also heads the team's Kosovo and China desks. A source describes him as "very pragmatic."

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Band 4

bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Elke Napokoj is involved in Austrian and cross-border M&A transactions in a broad selection of sectors. She recently co-led the team advising ELK Holding on a EUR70 million sale of its ELK Fertighaus to Gampen Fertighaus.

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Band 4

Eisenberger & Herzog

From the Chambers Europe guide

Alric Ofenheimer advised ProSiebenSat.1 Media on its acquisition of ATV. He is also well-known for his activity in real estate transactions. One client praises his stamina in negotiations, saying: "He's an extremely strong negotiator. When I was beginning to get tired, he was only just getting started."

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Band 4

CMS

From the Chambers Europe guide

Alexander Rakosi is active in domestic and cross-border M&A transactions. One client describes him as "commercial and easy to work with." His latest work includes advising HETA Asset Resolution on its sale of the Holiday Inn Sarajevo.

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Band 4

Graf Patsch Taucher Rechtsanwälte

From the Chambers Europe guide

Bernd Taucher is active in high-value cross-border corporate matters and M&A transactions. A market source describes him as "very pragmatic and responsive." He recently advised AGCO on the Austrian aspects of its acquisition of Cimbria.

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Band 4

CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati

From the Chambers Europe guide

Thomas Trettnak is a corporate lawyer advising on transactions and corporate reorganisations, with particular experience in matters involving venture capital and private equity. He recently acted for LifeNet Health on its acquisition of AlloTiss. He is qualified in Austria and the US.

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Up and Coming

Wendelin Ettmayer

Baker McKenzie - Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG

From the Chambers Europe guide

Up-and-coming Wendelin Ettmayer assists clients with significant deals and recently led the team advising Franklin Templeton on the sale of Helios Coatings to Kansai Paint. Sources highlight his commitment and knowledge of market practice.

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Up and Coming

Schoenherr

From the Chambers Europe guide

Thomas Kulnigg enters the rankings on the back of positive market feedback. He is particularly active in deals relating to the financial services sector. He recently led the team advising HETA on the sale of its Italian unit, HARIT. Clients appreciate his commercial perspective and add that he contributes innovative solutions to improve the client's position.

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Up and Coming

Brandl & Talos Rechtsanwälte GmbH

From the Chambers Europe guide

Up-and-coming Roman Rericha is highly active in the start-up scene, where he advises technology and financial services clients on matters of corporate structuring and venture capital transactions. One client reports he provided "constructive, alternative" solutions.

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Up and Coming

Eisenberger & Herzog

From the Chambers Europe guide

Up-and-coming Marco Steiner is visible on the firm's key deals. He recently led the team advising Macquarie Group on its bid for the acquisition of a 49% share in Gas Connect Austria.

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