International leading law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised SoftBank Robotics Group Corp. (SBRG) on the conclusion of an agreement for the sale of its French subsidiary SoftBank Robotics Europe (SBRE), a leader in humanoid robotics, , to United Robotics Group (URG), a subsidiary of the RAG-Stiftung, and a key player in the robotics maintenance and service industry in Germany.
SBRG will acquire a minority stake in URG and the two companies will continue to cooperate in the global marketing of various robots. Following this acquisition, URG will become one of the leading service robotics companies in Europe.
Headquartered in Paris, SBRE is also the developer and manufacturer of the world-renowned Pepper and NAO robots. URG has been the master distributor in the European market since October 2021, responsible for sales, service and maintenance of Pepper and NAO.
URG, SBRG and SBRE will hold a strong partnership to develop and distribute various robots including Pepper and will continue to provide services together to customers around the world.
The transaction is subject to merger control clearance and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.
Herbert Smith Freehills advised SBRG with a team led in Düsseldorf by Dr Soenke Becker, partner, Dr Christian Johnen, and Lena von Richthofen, Counsel, Marjel Dema, senior associate, Dr Nikolaus Moench and Stefanie Strahl, associates, on corporate aspects, Dr Marcel Nuys, partner, Dr Florian Huerkamp, counsel and Mirko Gleitsmann, associate on competition aspects; in Frankfurt by Dr Steffen Hoerner, partner and Tatiana Guenster, senior associate, on tax matters, Moritz Kunz, partner and Dr Anja Lingscheid, counsel, on employment law aspects, Dr Sven Wortberg, partner and Ja Yeon Youm, associate, on real estate matters, as well as Kai Liebrich, partner and Sophia Peter, associate, on financing aspects; and in Paris by Frédéric Bouvet, partner, Camille Lartigue, senior associate, and Thaïs Recanati, associate, on corporate aspects, supported by Sophie Brezin, partner, on employment law aspects and Bruno Knadjian, partner and Margaux Constantes, associate, on tax matters.
CMS advised URG on French and German laws.