Cross-Border Squire Patton Boggs Team Advises Kongsberg Automotive On ICS Business Unit Sale

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Squire Patton Boggs has advised Kongsberg Automotive ASA (KA), one of Europe's leading automotive manufacturers, on the future sale of almost all of its Interior Comfort Systems (ICS) business unit to Lear Corporation. The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and adjustments, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

The multi-jurisdictional Squire Patton Boggs team that advised KA was led by partner and EMEA Chair of the Global Corporate Practice, Tony Reed, in Paris, supported by associate Dan Hassett, and comprised some 40 lawyers from offices in London, Leeds, Shanghai, Warsaw, Prague, Berlin, Cleveland, and Miami and around the firm’s global network.

The sale of the ICS business unit is part of KA’s ‘Shift Gear’ transformation program, aimed at fully focusing its resources on the activities in which the company is a market leader. The proceeds of the sale, in addition to further strengthening the balance sheet, provide more flexibility for the company to focus on profitable growth with a strong focus on products and attractive innovations.

Lear Corporation, a respected leader in the automotive industry, has been a highly valued business partner of Kongsberg Automotive for many years. The two companies entered into a framework sales agreement on October 28, 2021. With this transaction, approximately 3,800 Kongsberg Automotive employees from Asia, Europe and North America will join the Lear Group.

Under the terms of the transaction, Lear will acquire Kongsberg Automotive's ICS business unit for €175 million. The production centres are located in Poland, China and Mexico and the commercial, R&D and technical activities are located in the US, Sweden, France, UK, Germany, Hungary and India.

“We are very pleased to have supported KA on this transaction,” commented Tony Reed. “This was a complex, international sale of strategic importance to our client and alongside our Global Corporate Practice we were able to bring to bear tax, competition-antitrust, real estate, intellectual property and employment expertise in multiple jurisdictions to see the transaction through.”

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