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Belgium

Our team of nearly 100 lawyers in our Brussels and Antwerp offices provides a full legal service to leading local and international corporations, financial institutions and public entities.

Belgian Law Firm of the Year (Chambers Europe award 2020)

Having been in the market for more than 30 years, our Belgian clients appreciate our natural understanding of their industry and background. International clients come to us for our knowledge of the 'ins and outs' of doing business in Belgium.

The majority of our work is complex, large scale, urgent and international in nature. Unlike the majority of law firms in Belgium we provide clients with a full service covering: corporate, M&A, finance, litigation, commercial contracts, employment and benefits, intellectual property, IT, outsourcing, real estate, tax, environment, EU and competition and public law, and are consistently ranked first tier across most of these areas. This means our clients receive relevant, commercial advice with all perspectives integrated, without the need to piece together a jigsaw puzzle of input from different law firms.

Clients benefit from our seamless integration across legal practice areas and into Allen & Overy's international network, ensuring the sharing of knowledge, information, technology systems, processes and skills.

Our experience

Experience highlights

Experience highlights

Studio 100 and its existing shareholders (Gert Verhulst, Hans Bourlon and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity), on the sale of approximately 25% of Studio 100’s share capital with the Swerts family ('Soudal') and 3d Investors. Studio 100 is a Belgian entertainment company. The company produces television programs, music, films and has a number of theme parks in Belgium and beyond.

The deal was run as a private placement auction process, and attracted extensive press coverage.  Due to the diverse nature of the interested bidders combined with the fact that we represented 3 different existing shareholders with each their own interests and sensitivities, the drafting and negotiation of transaction documents was more complex than in an average M&A deal. In addition, the deal was also complex due to the complex nature of the target business, active in various juridictions. 

SeaMade wind farm

Otary and SeaMade in respect of the development of two new offshore wind farms off the Belgian coast – the single largest wind farm ever financed and built in Belgium

The Mermaid and Seastar offshore wind farms (together, merged into “SeaMade”) consist of 58 wind turbines 38-50km off Zeebrugge, which are expected to deliver renewable energy for 485,000 households. Intended to bring about a reduction of 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, the project is crucial to help Belgium reach its renewable energy objectives. Allen & Overy took the lead role on the financing of the project, the negotiations of all major project agreements, regulatory questions, state aid aspects, as well as the merger of the two corporate special purpose vehicles, Mermaid and Seastar.

The private shareholders of the SPV, on the refinancing of the Brabo I tramway DBFM project in Antwerp. This light rail PPP project aims to improve public transport and mobility in and around Antwerp, mainly through the construction of several tramline extensions. The refinancing of this project was complex as it also involved the restructuring of existing hedging arrangements and the participation of a fixed rate lender.

Domo, a Belgian chemical company, on aspects of a complex €1.6 billion deal that saw BASF, Solvay, and Domo Chemicals agree to acquire Solvay’s polyamide business.

BASF agreed with advanced materials and specialty chemicals company Solvay to acquire its integrated polyamide business in 2017, but the deal was only cleared by the European Commission in 2019, and as a condition, Solvay had to dispose of its European polyamide business (known as “PA6.6”) to a third party.

Domo’s acquisitions include engineering plastics operations in France and Poland, high performance fibres in France, polymer operations in France, Spain, and Poland, and commercial businesses in Germany and Italy. The acquisition strengthened Domo’s nylon-based engineering plastics and created a European leader with scale, entering the market with a top position in PA6/6.

Develop

Develop

Athora Holding Ltd. (together with its subsidiaries) on the €540 million acquisition of Generali Belgium S.A., the Belgium-based subsidiary of international insurance group Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. The buyer in this case was a different type of investor than those we usually see on FIG deals. Many of the usual investors on FIG deals are themselves established financial institutions, but Athora is an insurance-focused investment fund (backed by US PE fund Apollo).

Allfin on its merger with Immobel, the listed Belgium-based real estate developer. This transaction creates the largest listed real-estate development group in Belgium.

Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP ) on EU Treaty and public procurement matters in relation to the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which will transport Caspian natural gas to Europe.

A sustainable oil producer on the restructuring of its Belgium-based operations. The restructuring required sophisticated advice during the information and consultation phase as well as during the negotiations with trade unions, and for the establishment of termination packages.

Novartis Novartis on its first ever ‘telehealth’ project relating to the development of a new internet-enabled device for the treatment of patients.

Patrizia Immobilien on the acquisition of the Astro Tower from Santander.

Fund

Fund

BNP Paribas Fortis on the financing of the public takeover bid by TVH Group of the UK listed Lavendon Group, which is one of the largest public take-over bids launched by a Belgian family-owned business.

Waterland on the financing by ING Belgium NV, Belfius NV and KBC Bank NV, as lead arrangers, of its investment in United Petfood Producers, a manufacturer of dry pet food with activities in Belgium, France and Poland.

The Mandated Lead Arrangers in respect of USD700m borrowing base facilities for OW Bunker & Trading A/S following bankruptcy of the global OW Bunker Group. This was the largest bankruptcy in the shipping industry in recent years.

Goldman Sachs on the refinancing of Group Bernaerts holding office buildings and logistic facilities in Mechelen and Antwerp.

Bond issues for VGP, Allfin, Matexi and Ethias The issuers or arrangers on a large number of bond issues for VGP, Allfin, Matexi, Deceuninck, AB InBev, Penates Funding, Elia and Ethias.

IPOs of Asit Biotec, Bone Therapeutics and Celyad We have been instructed on most of the Belgian IPOs since 2008. We worked with Bone Therapeutics on its Euronext Brussels and Paris IPO. Additionally, having advised Celyad (at the time Cardio3 BioSciences) on its Euronext Brussels and Paris IPO, we consequently worked with its team on the EU aspects of its USD100.1m NASDAQ IPO and on its EUR32m pre-round private placement with investors in the U.S. and Europe.

Manage risks & reputation

Manage risks & reputation

A leading polymer producer in its collective bargaining negotiations with its social partners including negotiations on bi-annual wage rounds, pension plan regularisation, job security arrangements, blue- and white-collar harmonisation and end-of-career arrangements.

Toyota on the worldwide data protection aspects for the integration of telematics technology in its cars.

Intel, in litigation relating to its flagship INTEL and INTEL INSIDE trademarks. This has resulted in a number of third parties having to change their corporate names and trade names. We also assist Intel in customs actions against counterfeit goods.

A leading insurance company on a wide variety of compliance issues relating to MiFID, commission structures and market practices, including the impact of consumer protection rules.

A leading Belgian bank on a risk assessment in relation to the reorganisation of the self-insured medical plan (with an internal medical fund) to an insured medical plan following (i) changes in insurance regulations and (ii) important developments in case law in relation to occupational medical plans.

A listed Belgian-based fresh food group on several corporate governance issues on the set-up of professional relationships for its executive committee members and related compensation issues. This included a comprehensive legal analysis and assessment of existing compensation and professional structures, in the context of the international operations of the client, and advice on the viability, from a legal, tax and corporate governance perspective, of proposed structures and policies.

Defend

Defend

Tempo-team on a challenge launched by a competitor before the Belgian State Council, with regard to a four year framework agreement that was awarded to Tempo-Team by a government entity. We successfully intervened on behalf of our client as the Belgian State Council dismissed the claims and upheld the award decision.

Major industrial operators across Europe in a string of multi-jurisdictional litigation proceedings challenging the various national implementation measures to implement an EU Commission Decision limiting the number of effectively available free emission allowances, despite such allowances being eligible under the rules of the EU emissions trading scheme. The objective was to encourage the European Commission to re-calculate the allocations provided to the whole sector and our clients were keen to ensure that this was not perceived as a wholesale challenge of the ETS scheme.

A major financial service provider in relation to a number of cybersecurity incidents, including assisting in criminal and regulatory investigations, and advising on aspects of liability, insurance and loss recovery.

A NYSE Euronext listed company in litigation with market regulator FSMA following an investigation into alleged breaches of market abuse and transparency regulations.

A leading European manufacturer on successfully defending its interests in non-compete litigation by obtaining preliminary injunctions in first instance and appeal proceedings against a former senior executive in order to enforce compliance with contractual non-compete provisions.

 

 

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Brussels

News & insights

News: 03 JULY 2020

Addressing climate change with the Jane Goodall Institute

To mark the first part of London Climate Action Week, we look at the work being done by teams in Belgium, Hong Kong, London and Australia to support the Jane Goodall Institute – a global conservation…

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Publications: 29 APRIL 2020

Related Party Transactions: What's new?

On 9 April 2020, the draft Belgian legislative proposal implementing the Shareholders’ Rights Directive II (SRDII) was adopted in plenary session and should be published shortly.

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Publications: 22 APRIL 2020

Covid-19 coronavirus: Belgian bank debt relief measures

Final regimes are in force

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Publications: 14 APRIL 2020

Belgium: Royal Decree on general shareholders' meetings and board meetings in the context of Covid-19 coronavirus

In response to the issues faced by various companies in organising shareholders' meetings and board meetings in the context of Covid-19, the Belgian government has published a new Royal Decree on…

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Recognition

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We partner with our clients on a long-term basis. In today’s world, legal risk management is an integral part of running a business, going well beyond the strict confines of a particular transaction.

Press contact

Glenn Deduytsche
Glenn Deduytsche

BD Officer

Antwerp

Antwerp
  • Allen & Overy (Belgium) LLP

    Uitbreidingstraat nr 72/b3

    Antwerp

    B-2600

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