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Allen & Overy advises NEOM on its USD175m investment in Volocopter

Allen & Overy has advised NEOM, the smart and sustainable regional development project in northwest Saudi Arabia, in connection with a USD 175 million Series E investment in Volocopter.

Volocopter, headquartered in Bruchsal, is a leader in the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) industry, with over ten years of development experience and over 1500 flight tests completed. As the first and still the only manufacturer of electrically powered vertical take-off aircraft (eVTOL) to be certified as a development and manufacturing organization (DOA, POA) by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Volocopter is planning to open the first commercial air taxi routes in the coming years in cities like Singapore, Rome, Paris, in the NEOM region and in China.

NEOM will take a significant equity stake in the company as part of its strategic engagement with the global eVTOL industry, positioning it as a leader in future mobility solutions.

NEOM is a smart and sustainable region in the northwest of Saudi Arabia. It offers the ideal environment for trialing cutting-edge electric mobility solutions on land, in the air and at sea. This investment will expand NEOM’s strategic partnership with Volocopter to progress an advanced air mobility industry in NEOM and Saudi Arabia. It builds on the NEOM-Volocopter joint venture launched in December 2021, which will operate electric air taxi services in NEOM to connect various regions including THE LINE, a linear, cognitive city that will redefine urban living; OXAGON, the home to advanced and clean industries at NEOM, built half on land, half on sea; and TROJENA, a year-round mountain destination, all three of which will run on 100% clean energy.

In close collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), NEOM and Volocopter are implementing a national test bed for Saudi Arabia to enable the integration of eVTOLs with zero-emission future urban mobility. Electric air taxis are a key component of NEOM’s mission to implement a truly sustainable and seamlessly connected multi-modal mobility system powered by 100% renewable energy.

The Allen & Overy team was led by partner Dr Alexander Veith (Corporate/M&A, Munich) and, from Germany, further comprised partner Dr Udo Olgemoeller (Public Law, Frankfurt) as well as senior associates Tobias Hugo (Corporate/M&A, Munich), Catharina Glugla (Data Protection), Anna Kraeling (IP, both Dusseldorf) and Dr Anna Jung (Public Law, Frankfurt) as well as associates Frank Weiss and Johannes Graßl (both Corporate/M&A, Munich) and Dr Stephan Buehner (Public Law, Frankfurt). The team had support from Transaction Support Lawyer Oliver Ahnseel (Hamburg). In addition, partner Tom Butcher from Allen & Overy’s office in Abu Dhabi advised on the transaction, as did partner Zeid Qursha and associate Ruqaiya Ali from the firm’s Dubai office (all Corporate/M&A).