Merel Zwankhuizen

Kandidaat-notaris | Counsel


+31 20 605 65 66
+31 6 1015 3522




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Merel specialises in corporate law. She advises on areas such as mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, restructurings, joint ventures and management and employee participation. Merel also has experience with equity capital markets and advises listed and unlisted clients on corporate governance. She advises a range of international and national clients, in different sectors and has extensive experience with cross-border transactions.

Before joining Houthoff in 2015, Merel worked for the Amsterdam office of Allen & Overy LLP for eight years. She regularly teaches in on an array of company law subjects, including on the Professional Training Course for Civil-law Notaries. Merel is a member of the Royal Dutch Association of Civil-law Notaries.

Qualifications & Experience

  • Grotius Academy specialisation course on Company Law and Business Law (cum laude)
  • LL.M. Notarial Law (Leiden University)
  • Houthoff advised Strik Bedrijven Beheer B.V. on the sale of 75% of the shares in Innovative Taste B.V. to Barentz International B.V.

  • Houthoff assisted Exact Group B.V. with the acquisition of the construction software company Bouw7 B.V.

  • Houthoff assisted Heimstaden AB with the indirect acquisition and financing of 9,544 residential units in the Netherlands at a purchase price of EUR 1.4 billion. Through this acquisition, Heimstaden has become the third largest private residential property owner in the Netherlands. This is the largest real estate transaction ever in the Netherlands in terms of the number of housing units.

  • Houthoff advised the sellers on the sale of Mendix to Siemens. Mendix was founded in Rotterdam (2005) by, amongst others, Derek Roos and Derckjan Kruit and offers a low-code software platform for the development and implementation of applications. 
  • Houthoff has advised Smart Holding B.V. in a transaction whereby Smart Holding agreed on the acquisition of all outstanding shares in the capital of Mascot Europe B.V. from its shareholder MagVat Holdings B.V. Both Smart Holding, via its subsidiary Nedac Sorbo B.V., and Mascot Europe are, together with its respective affiliates, active as wholesalers in consumer goods.
  • Houthoff represented Söderberg & Partners in the acquisition of a stake in Floreijn Groep B.V., a Dutch financial service provider. The acquisition marks Söderberg & Partners’ first expansion outside the Nordic region. Söderberg & Partners is a leading independent advisor and provider of insurance and financial products, with one of the largest independent insurance analysis departments in Scandinavia.
  • Houthoff advised H2 Equity Partners on its investment in TB&C Investments B.V. and TB&C Holding GmbH (TB&C). TB&C is a global supplier of hybrid components for automotive sunroofs.
  • Houthoff advised Hitachi Capital Corporation on the acquisition of all the shares in the capital of Noordlease Holding B.V., a Groningen-based company that provides high quality auto lease solutions for both private and business clients. The total fleet of Noordlease consists of more than 10,000 cars. The transaction is part of Hitachi's strategy to expand its vehicle solution business in continental Europe.
  • Houthoff as local counsel, jointly with Morrison Foerster, advised H2 Equity Partners on the sale of Halex Holding GmbH and its subsidiaries to Bencis Capital Partners.

    Houthoff's team was led by Bram Caudri and included among others Daphne van Boxtel, Merel Zwankhuizen, Sjoerd van der Meer.

  • Paul, Weiss together with Houthoff advised Apollo Global Investment in the 80.1% interest in Lumileds, a leading supplier of LED components and automotive lighting. Philips will retain the remaining 19.9% interest in Lumileds.
  • Houthoff advised European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) with the exit of Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) and the acquisition of a majority stake in EPA by Spanish international news agency Agencia EFE, S.A.