Bird & Bird advises PSA Group 0n the creation of Automotive Cells Company


International law firm Bird & Bird has assisted PSA Group /Opel on an agreement with Total/Saft for the creation of Automotive Cells Company (ACC), a joint venture dedicated to the manufacture of batteries in Europe.

With this partnership, the parties are setting up a world-class player in the development and manufacturing of high-performance batteries for the automotive industry from 2023.

This project aims to:

  • Respond to the challenges of the energy transition by reducing the environmental footprint of vehicles throughout the value chain in a desire to offer clean and affordable mobility.
  • Produce batteries for electric vehicles that will be at the highest technological level in terms of energy performance, autonomy, recharging time and carbon footprint.
  • Develop production capacity essential to accompany the growth demand for electric vehicles in a European market, which is estimated at 400 GWh by 2030 - 15 times the current market.
  • Ensure industrial independence in Europe for the conception and manufacture of batteries, with an initial capacity of eight GWh, reaching a cumulative capacity of 48 GWh on both sites by 2030. It will represent one million electric vehicles produced per year, which is more than 10% of the European market.
  • Position ACC as a major competitor in supplying electric vehicle manufacturers.

This project benefits from financial support, worth €1.3 billion, from the French and German public authorities, by being named as an 'Important Projects of Common European Interest' (IPCEI) project that testifies to the strategic importance of mobility for the energy transition. The whole project will represent an investment of more than €5 billion.

PSA Group was advised by Bird & Bird across five different teams in Germany and France. The project was led by Gildas Louvel (partner), Carole Bodin (counsel) and Sofia El Biyed (associate) who worked on the corporate/ M&A aspects. They were joined in France by Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan (partner) and Enora Baron (associate), who worked on intellectual property matters; Benjamine Fiedler (partner) and Chris Ivey (counsel) on employment; Jessica Derocque (counsel) and Camille Louis-Joseph (associate) on financing matters; and Raphaël Weiss (associate), who advised on public law matters. In Germany, Kai Kerger (partner), Johanna Schindler and Tamara Böhmert (associates) acted on corporate/M&A matters and Barbara Geck (partner) and Franziska Fiedler (associate) on labour law.