Airbus Helicopters’ Acquisition of ZF Luftfahrttechnik GmbH

Glade Michel Wirtz, held jaguttis Rechtsanwälte and Covington & Burling advised ZF Friedrichshafen AG on the deal. Clifford Chance advised Airbus Helicopters SAS and Helicopters Deutschland GmbH.

ZF Friedrichshafen AG announced the sale of ZF Luftfahrttechnik GmbH to Airbus Helicopters.

The transaction aims to strengthen its maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) capabilities. This step is also a contribution to improving and maintaining the fleet availability of the programs covered by the ZF Luftfahrttechnik product portfolio.

ZF Luftfahrttechnik is currently an MRO service partner for the majority of the German Bundeswehr helicopter fleet. It has also delivered more than 10,000 gearboxes all over the world. It is a supplier of the H135 main gearbox, the tail gearbox of the Tiger helicopter, and has a share in the H145 programme. In 2020, the company achieved revenues of EUR 85.3 million and employed 370 people. ZF Luftfahrttechnik is located in Kassel-Calden.

With over 100 years of experience in the aviation industry, ZF Luftfahrttechnik is a world-leading manufacturer of dynamic components for light and medium helicopters including related services with a global customer base. A subsidiary of the ZF Group, the company is also a leader with regards to the MRO for dynamic components of helicopters. Airbus has a long history of successful partnership with ZF Luftfahrttechnik going back many years to the initial collaboration on the Alouette II and BO105. Today, Airbus intends to build on these strong foundations, continuing to invest in and grow ZF Luftfahrttechnik as part of Airbus.

Airbus strives to provide the most efficient helicopter solutions to its customers who serve, protect, save lives and safely carry passengers in demanding environments. Its helicopters are in service across more than 150 countries worldwide, performing nearly every type of vertical flight task imaginable. The company’s product line offers the full spectrum of rotary-wing aircraft solutions for civil, government, military, law enforcement and parapublic uses.

The Glade Michel Wirtz team included Dr Achim Glade (Picture – Partner), Dr Jan Hermes (Salary Partner), Bettina Kampshoff (Associate) – all Corporate; Dr Christian Karbaum (Partner), Maximilian Schoone (Associate) – both Competition.

The held jaguttis Rechtsanwälte team was led by Dr Malte Jaguttis (Partner).

The Covington & Burling LLP team was led by Dr Moritz Hüsch (Partner).

The Clifford Chance team advising Airbus on the acquisition comprised partner Thomas Krecek with counsel Moritz Petersen and associates Natalie Hemberger and Lara Stelmach (all Corporate/M&A, Frankfurt), partner Moritz Keller (Litigation, Frankfurt), partner Christian Keilich and Senior Associate Amrei Fuder as well as counsel Steffen Amelung and associate Timo Heppner (all Real Estate/Procurement, Frankfurt), partner Stefan Simon (Frankfurt) with senior associate Mario Maier (Munich, both Employment), partner Dominik Engl (Tax, Frankfurt) as well as partners Dimitri Slobodenjuk and Marc Besen with senior associates Anne Filzmoser and Caroline Scholke (all Competition, Düsseldorf).

Inhouse at Airbus, Élise Riaux and Alexandre Moutin advised on legal matters of the transaction and Laura Bellvert on Competition Law.

Involved fees earner: Steffen Amelung – Clifford Chance; Marc Besen – Clifford Chance; Dominik Engl – Clifford Chance; Anne Filzmoser – Clifford Chance; Amrei Fuder – Clifford Chance; Natalie Hemberger – Clifford Chance; Timo Heppner – Clifford Chance; Christian Keilich – Clifford Chance; Moritz Keller – Clifford Chance; Thomas Krecek – Clifford Chance; Mario Maier – Clifford Chance; Moritz Petersen – Clifford Chance; Caroline Scholke – Clifford Chance; Dimitri Slobodenjuk – Clifford Chance; Lara Stelmach – Clifford Chance; Moritz Hüsch – Covington & Burling LLP; Achim Glade – Glade Michel Wirtz; Jan Hermes – Glade Michel Wirtz; Bettina Kampshoff – Glade Michel Wirtz; Christian Karbaum – Glade Michel Wirtz; Maximilian Schoone – Glade Michel Wirtz; Malte Jaguttis – Held Jaguttis;

Law Firms: Clifford Chance; Covington & Burling LLP; Glade Michel Wirtz; Held Jaguttis;

Clients: Airbus Helicopters; Helicopters Deutschland GmbH; ZF Friedrichshafen AG;

Author: Federica Tiefenthaler