Paul de Vries

Paul de Vries

Toegevoegd Notaris | Associate Partner

Languages

Dutch
English
German

Sectors

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Paul specialises in mergers and acquisitions, and other strategic corporate transactions. He has extensive experience in advising on joint ventures and corporate structures, corporate governance and cross-border reorganisations. His expertise extends to shareholder agreements, shareholder disputes, and the exit of shareholders. He advises large, mainly international companies, private equity houses and financial institutions.

Paul regularly publishes and lectures on company law and corporate governance, including at the University of Groningen, the Grotius Academy and for the Professional Training Course for Civil-law Notaries. He is member of the editorial board of Sdu Comments on company law. Paul is a member of the Dutch Commercial Law Association, the Dutch Corporate Litigation Association, the International Bar Association and the Royal Dutch Association of Civil-law Notaries. Paul worked at Houthoff’s office in New York in 2015.

Qualifications & Experience

  • Ph.D. Company Law (University of Groningen)
  • LL.M. Notarial Law (University of Groningen)
  • LL.M. Dutch Law (University of Groningen)
  • English Legal Methods Summer School (University of Cambridge)
  • Houthoff advised Siemens to found a joint venture with Mitsui Rail Capital Europe (MRCE) for the servicing and maintenance of locomotives. The company will be headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and be named Locomotive Workshop Rotterdam (LWR). The location of the new workshop in the port of Rotterdam will enable rail operators to optimize their long-term planning of necessary service stops for locomotives on their routes. The port is an ideal location for servicing locomotives arriving from throughout Europe, and will eliminate long service transfer runs. As the biggest seaport in Europe, Rotterdam is a key logistics hub in the European rail network. Each week, there are more than 250 intermodal rail connections in the port. The workshop will handle inspections, preventive and corrective maintenance work, which also can include simple repairs and upgrades. Founding of the company, pending approval of antitrust authorities, is expected to be completed in the first half of calendar year 2018.

  • Houthoff advised together with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Telia Company in connection with the divestment of its holding in Azertel. Fintur Holdings B.V., jointly owned by Telia Company and Turkcell, has agreed to sell its 51.3% holding in Azertel, sole shareholder of the Azeri telecommunications operator Azercell, to Azintelecom, a company wholly owned by the Republic of Azerbaijan. The agreed price for Fintur’s 51.3 percent in Azertel is EUR 222 million. The transaction is not subject to any conditions, such as regulatory or competition approvals, and has been completed.

  • Houthoff advised together with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Telia Company in connection with the divestment of its holding in Geocell. Fintur Holdings B.V., jointly owned by Telia Company and Turkcell, has agreed to sell 100 percent of its holding in Geocell LLC, to the Georgian telecommunications company JSC Silknet, Georgia’s largest fixed network operator, for a transaction price of USD 153 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Houthoff is advising Intel Corporation on its tender offer to acquire Mobileye N.V., which has its headquarters and main operations in Israel. Mobileye N.V. is incorporated under Dutch law and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (MBLY.N). The tender offer was announced on 13 March 2017 and valued Mobileye at USD 15.3 billion.
  • Houthoff advised, together with Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in connection with the dissolution of its global alliance with Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd (Dunlop). Both companies belong to the world's largest tire producers and their alliance, which was formed in 1999, primarily consisted of four joint venture operating companies, one each in North America and Europe (Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe B.V.), and two in Japan. Goodyear agreed to initially pay $271 million to Sumitomo and $55 million for the existing debt in three years’ time.
  • Houthoff represented Hearst Corporation and its Dutch subsidiary Hearst Netherlands, publisher of among others, Quote, Esquire, Elle , Harper's Bazaar and Cosmopolitan, in the acquisition of the publisher of the Dutch editions of , among others, Vogue, Glamour, National Geographic, Quest and JAN.
  • Advising LetterOne, a group of Russian investors led by Mikhail Fridman, in its $5.81 billion acquisition of RWE AG's oil and gas unit Dea.
  • Houthoff is serving as local counsel to Tencent Holdings Ltd which, together with Navinfo and Rocco Ventures, plans to buy a 10% stake in Netherlands-based HERE International B.V. The target company offers the HERE Open Location Platform and is a leading provider of global online mapping and navigation services. Houthoff is working in tandem with Morrison Foerster on this case.
  • Houthoff advised Qingdao Port International (QPI) on the establishment of a joint venture with APM Terminals (part of the Maersk group). Through the joint venture QPI acquires indirectly 9.9% in both of a reefer terminal and a container terminal at the port of Vado Ligure in Italy. QPI is listed in Hong Kong. The joint venture marks QPI’s first step in its expansion into the overseas terminal business.
  • Houthoff advised Björn Borg on the acquisition of Benelux distributor Baseline. Baseline Group operates the Björn Borg business in Benelux, including wholesaling of mainly underwear and sports apparel as well as retail operations of twelve Björn Borg concept and outlet stores in the Netherlands and Belgium. The acquisition of the Benelux operations is an important step in accelerating the vertical integration of the Björn Borg operations and in line with the strategy to get closer to consumers and retailers. The Benelux region is the largest market for Björn Borg, ahead of Sweden, accounting for 26% of total brand sales in 2015. Björn Borg’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.
  • 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.
  • Houthoff advised, together with Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, Telia Company in connection with the divestment of its 60% interest in Tajik operator Tcell to Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED).
  • Houthoff advised, together with Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, TeliaSonera in connection with the divestment of its interest in the Nepalese operator Ncell to Axiata, one of Asia’s largest telecommunication groups, for USD 1,030 million on a cash and debt free basis. At the same time, TeliaSonera will dissolve its economic interests in the 20 percent local ownership and receives approximately USD 48 million. The transactions are conditional on each other and subject to regulatory approval. TeliaSonera, listed in Stockholm and Helsinki, is the dominant telephone company and mobile network operator in Sweden and Finland.
  • Houthoff advised one of the shareholders groups in Cygne BV on the sale of Nidera Capital NV to Cofco Corporation. Nidera is a major international agribusiness and trading company with annual turnover of USD 18.5 billion in 2015. Nidera has domestic and internal operations in 19 major export and import countries and distributes its products to more than 60 countries in the world.
  • Representing Tele2, together with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, on the creation of a joint venture with Kazakhtelecom that will combine Tele2 Kazakhstan with Altel, Kazakhtelecom’s mobile business and the operator of the country’s only 4G network. Tele2 Kazakhstan and Altel are, respectively, the third and the fourth largest mobile operators in Kazakhstan, and the combined business will have a market share of around 22%. Both operating entities will be owned via a joint venture holding company incorporated in the Netherlands. In the context of the transaction, Tele2 will also purchase Asianet’s existing 49% stake in Tele2 Kazakhstan for an upfront consideration and a future earn-out equivalent to an 18% economic interest in the joint venture. The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.
  • Advised Xiamen Airlines on the setting up of its Amsterdam office. It is an important milestone for its international development as the Xiamen - Amsterdam route is the first intercontinental route for Xiamen Airlines.