"Marco Wilhelm is very competent in his field. He understands commercial matters and the concerns of his clients. The input of the practice makes transactions valuable." (client)Legal 500 Germany 2020
Marco Wilhelm is a partner in the Frankfurt office of Mayer Brown and head of the German Restructuring practice. He is a highly experienced and respected transactional and restructuring lawyer. He regular acts for international, domestic, and family-owned companies, financial institutions, and funds, as well as for advisory and accounting firms.
Core areas of Marco's transaction practice are domestic and international M&A, joint ventures, and corporate and commercial matters. He advises on restructuring and insolvency matters for financing (including refinancing), corporate and operational restructurings and transactions, as well as on distressed litigation matters.
Marco is standing legal counsel and trusted adviser to several US- and Germany-based manufacturing companies in the automotive, chemical, wood, food and paper industries, for which he advises on all corporate, commercial and transactional issues.
Marco is the author of several articles and essays on subjects relating to corporate, commercial, insolvency and restructuring law and is a regular speaker on these matters.
Before joining Mayer Brown and subsequent to obtaining his degree in business administration, Marco worked for several years for the utility company STEAG in Essen, holding various business management responsibilities.
Marco Wilhelm distinguishes himself by his "outstanding expertise and his quick and precise analysis" (Legal 500 Germany 2020) and by being "precise and friendly in his communication, very professional and prudent even in complicated situations" (Legal 500 Germany 2019). Marco Wilhelm “demonstrates good legal understanding, possesses good contacts and is always committed" (IFLR 1000 2018). Marco Wilhelm is described as "prudent and constructive as creditor representative" ((competitor) - JUVE Handbook 2016/2017) and is characterized by his "tactically intelligent negotiating skills" (Legal 500 Germany 2017).
Restructuring, Refinancing, Bankruptcy & Insolvency (selection)
- Advised on Genting Hong Kong’s highly-complex US$3.5 billion restructuring.
- Advised a US group entity in the insolvency proceeding of its parent entity of a global engineering and plant manufacturer including M&A process.
- Advised a bank on the financing of a tourism group with, among others, KfW programmes of the COVID-19 pandemie.
- Advised several companies on the financing with KfW programmes of the COVID-19 pandemie.
- Advised ground-handling company with respect to the protective shield proceeding of Condor Flugdienst GmbH as well as with regard to the insolvency proceedings of Germania Flugdienst GmbH.
- Advised international US based investment bank in connection with the restructuring and bridge financing of a fashion company.
- Advised a financial investor as secured lender in the context of the insolvency of an automotive group, in particular on avoidance issues
- Advised an Asian sourcing, logistic, distribution and retailing group in the insolvency proceeding concerning the assets of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof.
- Advised tire manufacturer in the insolvency of the Fyntire group.
- Advised Big Four accounting firm as security trustee in the insolvency proceedings of a real estate investor (German Stock Corporation) and several of its issuers of notes including filing of claims, enforcement of security, rights and obligations of a trustee and avoiding self-administration.
- Advised international US based investment bank as creditor and as member of the creditors’ committee of insolvent IVG Immobilien AG in self-administration proceedings, including filing of claims, preparation and content of insolvency plan, insider trading and defense against challenge claims.
- Advised KPMG as liquidators of certain Lehman Brothers companies in Asia (Lehman Brothers Asia Holdings Ltd., Lehman Brothers Asia Ltd., Lehman Brothers Futures Asia Ltd., Lehman Brothers Securities Asia Ltd.) in connection with the insolvency of Lehman Brothers Bankhaus AG in Germany as well as advising on possible claims for compensation against the Deposit Protection Fund of the Association of German Banks.
- Advised financial institution on insolvency law and restructuring in the financial crisis and the insolvency of its debtor, a company in the metal-working industry, including standstill and waiver agreement with debtor warrant, subordination, debt equity swap, management buy-out and liquidation of collateral in an insolvency proceeding as well as defense against challenge claims.
- Advised sourcing, logistic, distribution and retailing Asia based Li & Fung group and suppliers procured by Li & Fung in the insolvency proceedings of the Arcandor group (Karstadt, Quelle), DWW Woolworth Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG and Neckermann including defense against challenge claims and acted as administrator of a supplier pool as well as trustee.
- Member of the creditors' committee for Arcandor AG and Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH in one of Germany's biggest insolvency proceeding in history.
- Advised leading family-owned German company in the wood industry with numerous financers regarding the refinancing and restructuring of the group including mezzanine structures.
- Advised trustee regarding master documents for contractual trust arrangements (CTA) in various structures, including insolvency remote certificate and insolvency law equivalency certificate.
- Advised leading family owned European tissue producer on its inaugural EUR 275 million offering of senior secured (high yield) notes pursuant to Regulation S and Rule 144A and on the listing of the notes on the Euro MTF market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange in the course of the financial restructuring. Furthermore, advised on all following subsequent refinancing transactions by way of offering senior secured (high yield) notes.
- Advised international Australian based investment bank on the acquisition of distressed debt, restructuring and enforcement road toll infrastructure company.
- Advised mail order fashion company based in Bavaria on its restructuring and refinancing.
- Advised Wilmington Trust (London) Limited as security agent in relation to the acquisition of the Ideal Standard group, a multinational bathroom furniture and accessories manufacturer, by funds Anchorage and CVC.
- Advised US Bank Trustees Limited as security trustee in respect of the sale of the German tire retail and fast-fit chain Auto-Teile-Unger (ATU) group to Mobivia Groupe. The sale was preceded by a restructuring of ATU group’s US$300 million plus debt, with security granted across nine jurisdictions, and involved the appointment of partners at FTI Consulting as provisional liquidators on the Cayman Islands.
M&A Distressed, M&A and Joint Ventures (selection)
- Advised tourism group on the potential acquisition of certain assets of the insolvent Thomas Cook group.
- Advised Hauck & Aufhäuser on the acquisition of Bankhaus Lampe.
- Advised German based private bank on a joint venture regarding asset management.
- Advised listed international chemicals company on the sale of its German and Austrian subsidiaries.
- Advised Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) on the acquisition of a majority of shares in Fraport Cargo Services (FCS) from Fraport, including Joint Venture structure.
- Advised MacLean-Fogg Company on the sale of Presswerk Krefeld to HANNOVER Finanz as new equity investor and majority shareholder as part of a management buy-out.
- Advised listed international Fortune 500 first-tier automotive supplier on several M&A projects.
- Advised a listed international Fortune 500 first-tier automotive supplier in the contribution of its automotive interior business to a joint venture company.
- Advised on the sale of a minority participation in a paper manufacturer by capital increase and the buy-back of this participation.
- Advised PE-Investor on the acquisition of Sequa Automotive Group (involved countries: Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Tunesia, USA).
- Advised French based medical diagnostic company in a distressed M&A transaction that involved the purchase of Profos AG's assets out of insolvency. Legal advice included formation and implementation of joint venture structure with other investors, followed by several acquisitions of the shares of the other investors.
- Advised leading European tissue paper manufacturer WEPA group on the purchase of its competitor Kartogroup. This cross-border distressed M&A transaction involved the acquisition of Kartogroup group companies in Germany, France and Italy out of a special Italian insolvency proceeding (Concordato Preventivo (CP)). It was for the first time ever that CP proceedings were used in a transaction with cross-border context.
- Advised Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group on the acquisition of a minority interest in miacom Diagnostics GmbH, Düsseldorf, as well as on the conclusion of a cooperation agreement.
- Advised German subsidiary of the automotive supplier Lear Corporation, USA, on the acquisition of GHW Grote & Hartmann GmbH & Co. KG including subsidiaries, a leading European manufacturer of electrical wiring and components for motor vehicles.
- Advised Beijing Automotive (BAIC) on the bidding process for the acquisition of Opel from General Motors.
- Advised medium-sized enterprise active in the paper industry in respect of various M&A transactions.
- Advised Lear Corporation on acquisition of Kongsberg Automotive’s Interior Comfort Systems Business Unit.
Corporate and Commercial (selection)
- Advised PE owned automotive supplier on the corporate restructuring of its German group including closure of production sites of the German subsidiaries.
- Advised US based listed international chemicals company in connection with several international corporate restructuring projects including several capital increases in kind.
- Advised leading family owned European tissue paper manufacturer on implementation of a SE holding structure, accretions, restructuring measures pursuant to the German Transformation Act as well as on implementation of a succession model for the next generation.
- Advised German bank on the liquidation of an investment subsidiary.
- Ongoing corporate and commercial law advice to an international glass manufacturer, including warranty and product liability issues as well as supply, consignment stock, toll manufacturing and other types of agreements.
- Ongoing corporate and commercial law advice to the German affiliates of a listed US automotive supplier, including advice on warranty and product liability issues, recalls as well as supply, warranty, development, consignment stock, license, service, logistics, joint venture and other types of agreements.
- Ongoing commercial law advice to a leading tire manufacturer including warranty and product liability issues, recalls as well as supply, warranty, license, service, worldwide logistics and other agreements.
- Ongoing corporate and commercial law advice to a premium listed food company including drafting general terms and conditions, advice on warranty issues, supply and other agreements.
- Ongoing corporate and commercial law advice to a listed US based international chemical company.
- Ongoing corporate and commercial law advice to a family-owned sawmill group.
- Ongoing corporate advice to a German subsidiary of an Asian car manufacturer (OEM).
- Advised German affiliates of a listed US automotive supplier on several corporate restructuring projects of its German group.
Doctor's Degree (PhD in Law), University of Bochum
Second State Law Examination (bar exam), Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main
Legal Clerkship (Referendariat), Frankfurt am Main and London
First State Law Examination, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf
Law studies at the University of Bochum, 1994-1998
Academy of Business and Administration, Business studies, Bochum
Apprenticeship as industrial clerk, Steag AG, Essen
- INSOL International
- American Chamber of Commerce in Germany e.V. (AmCham)
- Gesellschaft für Restrukturierung TMA Deutschland e.V. (Association for Restructuring TMA Germany)
- Düsseldorfer Vereinigung für Insolvenz- und Sanierungsrecht e.V. (Düsseldorf Association for Insolvency Law and Restructuring)
- Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Insolvenzrecht und Sanierung im DAV (Working Group for Insolvency Law and Restructuring of the DAV)
- Verein zur Förderung der Rechtswissenschaften e.V. (Association of the Advancement of Legal Science)
- Deutscher Anwaltverein (DAV) e.V. (German Lawyers´ Association)
Advancement of Legal Science)
- "prepares the legal issue in a way that is understandable even for laypersons" (client) – JUVE Handbook 2021/2022
- "very well versed and prepares questions understandably" (client) – JUVE Handbook 2021/2022
- Often or frequently recommended lawyer for M&A – JUVE Handbook 2021/2022 continuously since 2015/2016, as well as 2011/2012 and 2010/2011
- Often or frequently recommended lawyer for corporate law – JUVE Handbook 2021/2022 continuously since 2015/2016
- "With his personal commitment, Marco Wilhelm is a great enrichment for us. The exchange of ideas and opinions with him is always a valuable experience. We really appreciate the personal contact with him!" (client) – Legal 500 EMEA Germany 2021
- "Marco Wilhelm stands out due to his competence. His forward-thinking approach is an asset to any issue and any internal team." (client) – Legal 500 EMEA Germany 2021
- Frequently recommended lawyer in the area of Restructuring – JUVE Handbook 2018/2019 continuously since 2011/2012
- "Recommended lawyer" in the area of Restructuring – Legal 500 Germany 2018 continuously since 2012
- "Highly regarded" in the area of Restructuring and Insolvency as well as for the sectors Energy, Technology and Telecommunications as well as Real Estate – IFLR 1000 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019
- "Highly regarded" in the area of Restructuring and Insolvency – IFLR 1000 2018 continuously since 2015
- Often recommended lawyer for M&A (especially for distressed M&A) – JUVE Handbook 2020/2021
- "Marco Wilhelm is very competent in his field. He understands commercial matters and the concerns of his clients. The input of the practice makes transactions valuable." (client) – Legal 500 Germany 2020
- "Marco Wilhelm is distinguished by his outstanding expertise and his quick and precise analysis." (client) – Legal 500 Germany 2020
- "Precise and friendly in his communication, very professional and level-headed even in complicated situations." – Legal 500 Germany 2019
- "Recommended lawyer" in the areas of Corporate and M&A – Legal 500 Germany 2018 since 2016
- "Marco Wilhelm demonstrates good legal understanding, possesses good contacts and is always committed." – IFLR 1000 2018
- "calm and constructive as creditor representative" (competitor) – JUVE Handbook 2016/2017
- Marco Wilhelm excels with his "tactically intelligent negotiating skills". – Legal 500 Germany 2017
- "tactically intelligent negotiation skills" – Legal 500 Germany 2016
- "outstanding professional knowledge" – Legal 500 Germany 2016
- "acts with empathy, has negotiating skills and professional competence" – Legal 500 Germany 2015
- "very client-focused" – Legal 500 Germany 2015
- "He is a role model for customer orientation, responsiveness and the willingness to approach every problem" – Legal 500 Germany 2014
- "Prudent strategist" (client) – JUVE Handbook 2012/2013
- "Knowledgeable and innovative" (competitor) – JUVE Handbook 2011/2012
- "very thorough" – EMEA Legal 500 Guide 2009