Saturday, March 25, 2023

B&B advises Free2move on Share Now acquisition from BMW, Mercedes

A Bird & Bird cross-border multidisciplinary team has advised Free2move (Stellantis Group) on its acquisition of Share Now, a car-sharing platform from BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG


Free2move (Stellantis Group) has signed an agreement to the acquire Share Now, a car-sharing platform to be established in 2019 between BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG as a joint venture.

The three companies have signed an agreement but agreed to leave the deal’s details undisclosed. The transaction is still subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.

BMW and Mercedes behold that the sale comes at a time of growth and is a move to consolidate. With the sale of Share Now to Stellantis, they intend to focus on digital multimodality (Free Now app) and digital services related to EV charging (Charge Now). They see more significant growth potential in these two areas than capital-intensive car sharing.

Gero Götzenberger, Director of Strategy and Investments at Mercedes-Benz Mobility, said, “With Free Now and Charge Now, we are focusing on two growth segments that will continue to offer our customers the entire range of mobility services in the future and support the expansion of electric mobility.”

“The new orientation enables us to scale our activities faster and thus to achieve further profitable growth in the shortest possible time,” adds Rainer Feurer, Head of Corporate Investments at the BMW Group.

Free Now claims to offer access to almost 180,000 vehicles in over 150 cities, from e-scooters to e-bikes, e-mopeds and car-sharing to taxis and chauffeured vehicles. This year, the company will integrate vehicles from Sixt share, Miles, and Share Now into the app’s booking system.

Bird & Bird advised Free2move with a team led in Paris by partner Carole Bodin, along with associates Sofia El Biyed and Céline Sol, who coordinated the project and advised on the Corporate/M&A aspects. The firm also provided advice in IP, Data Protection, Regulatory, Commercial Contracts and IT matters.

In Germany, Bird & Bird’s Corporate/M&A team in Frankfurt, with Kai Kerger (partner), Johanna Schindler and Tamara Böhmert (associates) advised Free2move in this transaction. The Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf, and Hamburg offices were also involved.

Teams from Madrid, Milan and The Hague coordinated the audits in SPain, Italy and the Netherlands. Advice on this matters was provided in Spain with partner Lourdes Ayala.

PwC Paris advised Free2Move on the Tax aspects of the transaction, while Hogan Lovells Hogan Lovells Munich advised BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG.

Racine acted as counsel to Stellantis (Free2move) on merger control aspects with Bastien Thomas (partner), François Aubin and Cécilia Pataut (associates).

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