Dirk Besse

Dirk Besse


Jean Moulin University Lyon (D.E.U.F., 1993)
Technical University Dresden (Dr. jur., 2000)

Bar Admissions


Deutsche Version

Dirk Besse is co-managing partner at Morrison & Foerster's German office in Berlin and heads the European Corporate and M&A Department. He is a leading expert on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, German stock corporation and capital markets law. His practice has a particular emphasis on internet, media, finance, telecommunications and other tech-heavy industries.

Mr. Besse represents clients in relation to major cross-border M&A transactions in Germany and advises on German foreign investment rules. He handled prominent public take-over battles, such as the take-over of Schmolz + Bickenbach AG by Renova or cross-border share-for-share deals such as the combination of WildBunch and Senator Entertainment. Mr. Besse regularly advises German publicly listed companies on capital markets law and compliance requirements. He is also experienced in advising on the setup and structuring of international joint ventures and the counseling of boards and directors on governance and compliance issues.

JUVE Handbook 2013, 2016 and 2017 recommended Mr. Besse as an M&A as well as a Corporate lawyer and in 2018 as an M&A lawyer. He is also recommended in Berlin in the Corporate Law, M&A Law, Private Equity Law and Venture Capital Law categories by Best Lawyers Germany since 2013. In addition, he was named Lawyer of the Year Berlin for Private Equity by Best Lawyers Germany 2014 - 2015.

Mr. Besse publishes articles in the fields of corporate law, capital markets law and on M&A-related topics. He was lecturer in the "Excellence for Supervisory Boards" program established by the DAI and the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. He chairs on the supervisory boards of two German stock corporations.

Representative Matters

  • Fujitsu Semiconductor on the spin-off of its European semiconductor business unit (SoC) and the set-up of their joint venture with Panasonic (Socionext).
  • Ally Bridge Group, the Hong Kong-based international investment platform, on its investment in the German biotech company Pieris AG, its reverse merger, private placement and IPO in the United States.
  • Planet Labs on the acquisition of the German satellite system RapidEye, owned by Blackbridge Group.
  • Yahoo! on the acquisition of a German media tech company – the client’s first tech acquisition in Germany.
  • DEAG Deutsche Entertainment on the set-up and structuring of the new ticketing platform MyTicket.de and their media-for-equity deal with German media partners Axel Springer and ProSiebenSat.1 Media.
  • Deutsche Börse AG on several international M&A projects, e.g., on the acquisition of the consumer stock exchange tradegate AG, as well as on corporate issues.
  • Schmolz + Bickenbach AG on the take-over battle involving the restructuring of the company, including a subsequent €435 million capital increase and an offer to repurchase bonds.
  • Senator Entertainment AG on its restructuring (recapitalization, debt-equity swap) and on the combination with Wild Bunch S.A. (Paris) by way of a stock-for-stock acquisition.
  • Major international investment fund on the investment in a German social gaming company.
  • Major European aerospace and defense group in the sale of a communications division to a Canadian industrial company.
  • Regular advice to a DAX company and a MDAX company on corporate compliance and board remuneration issues.
  • EQS Group AG on the first ever German "online" shareholders meeting, allowing shareholders to participate in the meeting online, including online questioning and voting.
  • Graphit Kropfmühl AG and Burgbad AG on the squeeze-outs of their minority shareholders.
  • Dresdner Factoring AG and First Sensor AG in public take-over proceedings.

Best Lawyers since 2013 - Recommended for Corporate, M&A, Private Equity and Venture Capital.

Juve Handbuch 2018 – Recommended for M&A

Legal 500 Deutschland 2017 – Recommended for M&A

Juve Handbuch 2017 – Recommended for M&A and Corporate

Best Lawyers Germany 2016 – Recommended for Corporate, M&A, Private Equity and Venture Capital.

Chambers Europe 2016 – Recognized practitioner in the field of Corporate and M&A.

Chambers Global 2016 – Recognized practitioner in the field of Corporate and M&A.

Juve Handbuch 2016 – Recommended for M&A and Corporate.

Best Lawyers Germany 2015 – recommended for Corporate, M&A, Private Equity and Venture Capital.

Best Lawyers Germany 2014 – Lawyer of the Year Berlin for Private Equity.

Best Lawyers Germany 2014 – recommended for Corporate, M&A, Private Equity and Venture Capital.

JUVE Handbook 2013 – recommended Lawyer for M&A and Corporate.

Best Lawyers Germany 2013 – recommended for Corporate, M&A, Private Equity and Venture Capital.

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