Paul de Vries

Paul de Vries

Kandidaat-notaris | Partner

Contact

+31 20 605 61 87
+31 6 4155 7508

Sectors

Languages

Dutch
English
German

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Paul specialises in public and private M&A and other strategic corporate transactions. He has extensive experience in advising on cross-border restructurings and corporate governance matters, and creating joint ventures and complex corporate structures. He has a global practice, primarily representing large companies, private equity houses, public and financial institutions. He practised in the firm’s New York office in 2015.

Paul is a frequent speaker and author on topics of company law and corporate governance. He lectures at various institutions, including at the University of Groningen and the Professional Training Course for Civil-law Notaries. He is member of the editorial board of Sdu Comments on Company Law.

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 GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, on the joint venture agreement with Equinix for more than USD 1 billion to develop and operate hyperscale data centres in Europe. The joint venture will acquire two operational data centres in London and Paris and plans to futher develop data centres in Amsterdam, Frankfurt (two sites) and London. Houthoff was co-counsel to Kirkland & Ellis on this transaction.
  • Houthoff advised, together with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Tele2 AB in connection with the exit from its joint venture with Kazakhtelecom. The net proceeds to Tele2, after deducting the existing earn-out liability, will be USD 169 million.

  • Houthoff advised Hearst with the purchase of The History Channel Iberia from its A+E Networks joint-venture partner Disney. The History Channel Iberia operates Historia, Blaze and Crimen+Investigación, which are distributed in Spain, Portugal, Angola and Mozambique.

  • Houthoff acted as Dutch counsel in connection with the preparation and implementation of the settlement plan relating to the  Agrokor group. Agrokor entered into an insolvency process in 2017 under  'Lex Agrokor', a law passed in Croatia aimed at the restructuring of Agrokor in view of its systemic importance for the Croatian economy. The business has been transferred to the Fortenova Group. 
  • Houthoff advised Latour Capital and Bpifrance (Banque publique d’investissement), together with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, in connection with their consortium acquisition of Plastic Omnium Environment BV, the environment division of Plastic Omnium. The purchase price amounts to €220 million.

  • Houthoff advised Telia Company, together with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, in connection with the divestment of its holding in Kcell and the dissolution of its Fintur partnership with Turkcell. Telia Company and Fintur Holdings B.V., which is jointly owned by Telia Company and Turkcell, have agreed to sell their 75% stake in the leading Kazakhstani telecommunications operator Kcell JSC to the telecom operator Kazakhtelecom JSC for USD 446 million. Telia Company has also signed an agreement to acquire Turkcell's 41.45% stake in Fintur, which will make it Fintur's sole shareholder.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Both operating entities will be owned via a joint venture holding company incorporated in the Netherlands.
  • 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 primarily consisted of four joint venture operating companies and two in Japan. Goodyear agreed to initially pay $271 million to Sumitomo and $55 million for the existing debt in three years’ time.
  • 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 advised, together with Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, TeliaSonera in connection with the divestment of its interest in the Nepalese operator Ncell to Axiata 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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.