Dr. Ralph Wollburg
Global Chairman Corporate/Co-Head of M&A, Düsseldorf
Education and qualifications
Ralph is Co-Head of the Global M&A practice of Linklaters. He is advisor to a large number of major German DAX and comparable companies, such as Bayer, Beiersdorf, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Börse, E.ON, Fresenius, Fresenius Medical Care, Porsche Automobil Holding, Siemens, thyssenkrupp and Volkswagen, and advises on complex cross-border mergers and acquisitions, public takeovers and matters relating to the German stock corporation law. Furthermore, he advises on the defence against shareholder activism and managing and supervisory boards on strategic issues.
JUVE (German Directory) considers Ralph as one of the leading senior partners in corporate law and M&A transactions (JUVE 2022/2023) and the “DAX lawyer per se”. „[…] Wollburg‘s role is unparalleled in the market. Competitors are impressed by his omnipresence. Over the years, he has thus succeeded in anchoring the firm at the centre of some of the most significant industry developments“ (JUVE 2022/2023, Corporate). Additionally, he is rated as one of the two German “Star Individuals” for Corporate/M&A (Chambers Global, 2023).
- E.ON on the public offer to take over the shares of Innogy SE and the far-reaching exchange of assets and participations between E.ON and RWE
- E.ON on the establishment of its new corporate structure within two listed companies and the spin-off of Uniper
- thyssenkrupp on the split of the conglomerate in the two separate companies Thyssenkrupp Materials AG and Thyssenkrupp Industrials AG
- thyssenkrupp on the planned merger of the European steel business with Tata
- Volkswagen in relation to the IPO of the Truck & Bus business (Traton SE), the preceding carve-out as well as on the takeover offer of Traton SE to the minority shareholders of MAN subsequent to the termination of the domination agreement
- Bayer on fundamental corporate issues and shareholder activism
Some further work highlights include:
- E.ON on the disposal of its shares in Uniper and in relation to the public takeover offer of the Finnish energy utility Fortum to the Uniper shareholders
- thyssenkrupp on the sale of TK CSA in Brazil to Ternium
- thyssenkrupp on the sale of the U.S. steel plant of thyssenkrupp to ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal
- the management board of Volkswagen on fundamental issues as well as on the Diesel matter
- the management board of Porsche Automobil Holding on fundamental issues as well as on the Diesel matter
- Bayer on the carve-out of its subgroup Bayer MaterialScience and the subsequent IPO of Covestro AG
- Deutsche Börse on its proposed all-share merger of equals with London Stock Exchange Group and on the proposed business combination with NYSE Euronext
- the management and supervisory board of Deutsche Bank on various strategic matters
- the supervisory board of Deutsche Bank on the conclusion of a compromise agreement with former management board members
- Deutsche Bank on the negotiation of a potential merger with Commerzbank in summer 2016
- Fresenius SE on fundamental corporate issues
- Fresenius SE on its acquisition of the major assets of Rhön Klinikum
- Fresenius SE on its transformation into a SE & Co. KGaA
- Fresenius Medical Care on various cross-border M&A transactions
- Fresenius Medical Care on its transformation into an AG & Co. KGaA
- Siemens Healthineers on its IPO
Furthermore, Ralph has advised in nearly all of the major hostile public takeover attempts in Germany, such as Krupp/Thyssen, Mannesmann/Vodafone, Mittal/Arcelor/thyssenkrupp or Beiersdorf/Procter & Gamble.
JUVE (German Directory) considers Ralph as one of the leading senior partners in corporate law and M&A transactions (JUVE 2018/2019) and the “DAX lawyer per se”. „[...] Wollburg‘s almost unrivalled strong relations to boardrooms of German conglomerates represent [...] a large competitive advantage for Linklaters“ (JUVE 2018/2019, M&A). Additionally, he is rated as one of the two German “Star Individuals” for Corporate/M&A (Chambers Global, 2019).
In 1987 Ralph became partner at Bruckhaus Kreifels Winkhaus & Lieberknecht (until 1990), then was partner at Bruckhaus Westrick Stegemann (1991 to 1998), then was partner at Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber (1998 to 2000), then was partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (2001 to 2007), before joining Linklaters in Düsseldorf as a partner and Co-Head of Global M&A in 2007.
Education and qualifications
Ralph holds a Juris Doctor from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and studied law at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg.
He speaks German, English and French.