Niels Baeten’s practice covers all aspects of EU, Belgian and international competition law, including merger control, state aid, abuse of dominance, cartels and antitrust compliance issues.
Mr. Baeten has nearly 10 years of experience helping global corporations navigate complex multijurisdictional merger control matters, including complex remedy structures. His practice covers a wide range of industries, including aerospace, technology, media and telecommunications, financial services, pharmaceuticals, energy, e-commerce and manufacturing.
His most recent experience includes advising:
- Red Hat, Inc. in its acquisition by IBM in an all-cash transaction valued at US$34 billion;
- Rockwell Collins, Inc. in its US$30 billion acquisition by United Technologies; and
- Air Canada in its CAD$720 million acquisition of Transat A.T. Inc.
Mr. Baeten also has developed particular experience in EU state aid matters, specifically in the financial and energy sectors. His recent state aid experience includes:
- representing Kingfisher Plc in its appeal against the European Commission’s (EC) decision regarding the Group Financing Exemption in the U.K.’s Controlled Foreign Company rules;
- acting for a global pharmaceutical company in the context of a preliminary EC state aid investigation and potential proceedings before the EU courts in relation to the company’s transfer pricing and tax arrangements; and
- advising a global energy supplier in a EC state aid investigation into the company’s contractual arrangements with an EU member state.
Mr. Baeten also regularly acts for clients in antitrust investigations before the EC and the Belgian Competition Authority, as well as on appeals before the EU courts.
Prior to joining Skadden, Mr. Baeten worked in the Brussels and Paris offices of another leading international law firm. His prior experience includes representing:
- Johnson & Johnson in one of the EC’s reverse payment investigations;
- The Sherwin-Williams Company in its US$11.3 billion acquisition of Valspar Corporation;
- Mohawk Industries in a number of acquisitions, including International Flooring Systems (US$2.6 billion) and Spano Invest (US$168 million);
- a Japanese automotive parts company as an immunity applicant in a number of investigations by the EC;
- Groupe Lesaffre in a large variety of antitrust and merger control matters around the world;
- KBC, a Belgian financial institution, in the negotiation and execution of its state aid restructuring plan approved by the EC in the context of the financial crisis; and
- various beneficiaries in their appeals against the EC’s negative state aid decision in connection with the Belgian “excess profit” ruling corporate tax regime.