Johnson Controls' Joint Venture Named a Deal of the Year by China Business Law Journal

Shanghai – January 26, 2015 – Johnson Controls' $7.5 billion joint venture with Yanfeng Automotive Systems Co., Ltd. was recognized by China Business Law Journal as a 2014 "Deal of the Year."

Cooley advised Johnson Controls on the transaction. Corporate partner Christina Zhang in the Shanghai office and M&A partner Kevin Mills in the DC office led the transaction with critical support from members of Cooley's antitrust team partner Howard Morse and associate Tanisha James, its CFIUS team  partner Kevin King and associate Christopher Kimball and the firm's tax department partner Aaron Pomeroy.

The joint venture will form the largest automotive interiors company in the world with revenues reaching approximately $7.5 billion. Yanfeng will hold a 70 percent share in the joint venture and Johnson Controls will hold a 30 percent share. The joint venture will be headquartered in Shanghai with global engineering, development and customer centers in the United States, Europe, China, Japan and India. It will have more than 90 plants located across China, Europe and North America.

This transaction represents a new mode of overseas acquisitions by State-owned enterprises. Unlike the common modes of offshore mergers and acquisitions previously adopted under the "go global" strategy, this transaction explores a new route whereby a joint venture controlled by the Chinese Party is established in China by means of equity contribution to integrate global resources.

"It is a great honor to be recognized by such a well-respected legal publication for our work on one of our largest deals in China in 2014," said Zhang. "This commendation is not only reflective of our work on this unique transaction, but is further validation of Cooley's continuing growth and capabilities in China."

View China Business Law Journal's full list of winners here.

Update: In July 2015, the joint venture Yanfeng Global Automotive Interior Systems Co., Ltd. announced its closing. It is the largest manufacturer of auto interior products in the world, with annual revenue of $8.5 billion.

About Cooley China

Cooley has been advising clients on China-related matters for the past 20 years, including counseling a large number of multinational corporations with regard to their entry into Chinese markets in a wide variety of sectors, advising on the formation of more than 50 Chinese venture capital and private equity funds for nearly 35 fund managers, advising various U.S. fund managers with respect to their investing activity in China.

In addition, the firm represents China-based companies in various securities and corporate matters, and has advised on dozens of litigation matters for Asia-based companies and individuals, spanning commercial contracts disputes, patent litigation, product liability class actions, antitrust matters, internal investigations, trademark and domain name disputes.

About Cooley LLP

Cooley's lawyers solve legal issues for entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions and established companies. Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters, and high-stakes litigation, often where innovation meets the law.

Cooley has 850 lawyers across 12 offices in the United States, China and Europe.

Related Contacts
Christopher Kimball Special Counsel, Washington, DC
Aaron Pomeroy Partner, Colorado
Howard Morse Partner, Washington, DC
Kevin King Partner, Washington, DC
Tanisha A. James Partner, New York
Christina Zhang Partner-in-Charge - Shanghai
Kevin Mills Partner, Washington, DC