Skadden and Sullivan advise on Samsung's $350m Germany tech purchase

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Sullivan & Cromwell have advised on Samsung’s $350m (£225m) acquisition of German technology company Novaled.

Samsung Electronics and Cheil Industries have agreed to acquire a 90% stake in the Dresden-headquartered business, as a means to break into the organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) technology market.

Novaled, which has offices in Germany, Seoul and Tokyo, specialises in improving the performance of OLEDs, which are used in smartphones and increasingly more in televisions due to being lighter and thinner than liquid crystal materials.

Samsung Electronics and Cheil, both of which are subsidiaries of Korea’s Samsung Group, said they will buy a 40% stake and a 50% stake respectively, as the companies look to enhance their position in the electronics market.

Skadden acted for Samsung and Cheil with a team led by Frankfurt M&A partner Matthias Horbach and New York corporate partner Young Shin. The team was supported by antitrust and employment counsel in Europe, while Citi provided financial advice.

Novaled’s selling shareholders included a group of financial investors and individuals, including eCAPITAL entrepreneurial Partners and TechFund Europe Management, among others.

US rival Sullivan & Cromwell acted for the sellers, with a group of lawyers led by Germany M&A partner York Schnorbus. Fox Corporate Finance acted as advisers to Novaled and its shareholders.

Novaled was founded in 2001 through a spin-off of the Dresden University of Technology and the Fraunhofer Institute of Dresden. It is well known in the OLED industry, and in 2012 generated revenues of €26m (£22.4m).

The remaining 10% share in Novaled is currently held by Samsung Venture Investment, which will maintain its current shareholding after the deal goes through.

The transaction, which is still subject to approval, values Novaled at a total enterprise value of €260m (£224m) including a €30m (£25.8m) contingent payment, which is conditional to reaching certain milestones.