London - Leading global law firm Mayer Brown advised Unilever Ventures (UV), the  European venture capital arm of Unilever, on the disposal of its stake in Rahu Catalytics Ltd to global chemicals and specialty materials providers OM Group, Inc.

Rahu Catalytics develops unique iron-ligand based chemistry for use in the rapidly growing environmentally friendly coatings, composites and inks markets.

UV invests in early stage technology driven consumer and B2B facing companies across Europe, seeking investments which could become strategically relevant to Unilever, benefit from access to Unilever's IP assets and capabilities, or provide high-value services to Unilever. UV has funds under management of  €120m and a current portfolio of 17 businesses, originating both externally and from within Unilever. Wholly-owned and funded by its parent, UV operates as an independent venture capital fund.

Mayer Brown advised on the transaction, including the associated Intellectual Property and Tax issues. The disposal builds on the relationship established with UV when that company invested in Rahu Catalytics in 2003, after spinning the technology out from the Unilever Vlaardingen R&D facility in the Netherlands.

The Mayer Brown team was led by London and Frankfurt based Corporate & Securities partner Mark Walker with London IP partner Sarah Byrt and Tax partner James Hill with assistance from London Corporate & Securities senior associates Connor Cahalane, Joanne Dunstan, associates Rosemary Hewitt and Jonathan Musker and Daniel Ng.

Mark Walker,  a partner in the Corporate & Securities group based in the Frankfurt and London offices, said: "
This deals marks a further successful stage in our longstanding relationship with UV. Harnessing our previous experience of the investment and our cross practice capability we were pleased to be able to close the deal on time against an aggressive timetable.”