Under the lead of Patricia Backhausen and Christoph Brogyányi, DORDA advises global tech-group PDFTron on the acquisition of Austrian tech start-up eversign GmbH, a provider of digital signature solutions. This transaction is yet another example where DORDA's Digital Industries Group demonstrated its expertise and leading role in technology-related transactions involving innovation-driven markets.
The acquisition is not only of a strategic importance for PDFTron but was also challenging from a legal perspective because the digital signature business was spun-off from another group entity during the transaction. DORDA acted as lead counsel with the cooperation of US law firm Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP and UK law firm Armstrong Teasdale LLP. The transaction was signed in September 2022 and closed mid-November, after successfully obtaining FDI approval.
eversign GmbH, founded by Paul and Julian Zehetmayr, provides a service which offers digital signatures for documents (in particular, contracts) via the eversign platform. Attracting many clients worldwide, e.g., from Canada, the US, and the UK, eversign increased its customer base substantially in the brief period since its 2017 inception to over half a million users today.
PDFTron is the world's leading provider of document processing technology for developers and enterprises. The company's market-leading SDK drives digital transformation and powers next generation software applications with dynamic document viewing, annotation, processing, and conversion capabilities, as well as advanced features such as document understanding, data extraction, and redaction. With the acquisition of all shares in eversign, PDFTron envisages to further extend its technology platform in the end-user and no-code markets.
Patricia Backhausen (Attorney at Law, M&A, and Co-head of DORDA's Digital Industries Group): "Once again, the interdisciplinary nature of our Digital Industries Group has proven to be a vital asset for technology focussed deals. This transaction also signifies the increasing importance of Austrian tech start-ups that sometimes prove to be hidden champions even on a global basis. It was a true pleasure to have worked with PDFTron on this transaction!"
Christoph Brogyányi (Partner, Corporate): "We are very proud to have brought this cross-border acquisition to a successful closing in light of the rather tight timeline for the preceding carve-out. We sincerely congratulate PDFTron for closing this strategic deal."
Patricia Backhausen and Christoph Brogyányi were the lead lawyers of this transaction, supported by Angelika Holzer (Associate, Corporate). The FDI workstream was headed by partner Heinrich Kühnert (Competition/Antitrust), assisted by his associate Mirko Marjanovic. Partners Martin Brodey (M&A), Christian Ritschka (M&A), Nino Tlapak (IT/IP, Data Protection) and Bernhard Müller (Public Law), Counsel Andreas Seling (IT/IP), Attorneys-at-Law Manuel Mayr (Employment), Florina Thenmayer (Employment), Stanislav Nekrasov (Tax), Julia Haumer-Mörzinger (Real Estate), Julia Haunold (Corporate) and Magdalena Nitsche (Insurance) as well as Associates Corina Kruesz (IP/IT/Data Protection), Valentina Possegger (Employment), Emina Dedic (M&A), Anna Martseva (Insurance), Benjamin Kraudinger (IP/IT) further advised in this deal.
The successful advice was made possible not least by the interdisciplinary set-up of DORDA's Digital Industries Group, a few members of which were advising in this deal. DORDA's Digital Industries Group is an interdisciplinary team of experienced, technology-savvy lawyers in the digital and technology sector and thus the answer to complex, innovation-driven markets and companies for which a deep industry understanding of their strategic partner is vital. DORDA's Digital Industries Group sees itself as an innovation partner and masters digital complexity while considering all relevant areas of law.