What is an asset deal?

What advan­ta­ges and dis­ad­van­ta­ges does an asset deal have?

The asset deal means the trans­fer of cer­tain assets, lia­bi­li­ties and legal rela­ti­ons of a socie­ty or a socie­ty to a buy­er. Imple­men­ted accord­ing to § 433 BGB, the REM trans­fer accord­ing to §§ 929ff, 873, 413 in con­junc­tion with § 398 BGB.


  • The buy­er and the sel­ler know exact­ly  what he buys or sells
  • Indi­vi­du­al assets and/or legal rela­ti­ons­hips can remain in the issuing com­pa­ny (cher­ry picking)
    Lia­bi­li­ty in accordance with § 434 BGB (defect)
  • Unwan­ted risks, z.Bsp. fis­cal natu­re remain in the jacket if the seller
  • Depre­cia­ti­on of the purcha­se pri­ce over dis­tri­bu­ti­on to the indi­vi­du­al assets in the amount of the respec­ti­ve par­ti­al values, see § 7 ITA
  • Amor­tiz­a­ti­on of acqui­si­ti­on-rela­ted cos­ts on the indi­vi­du­al assets
  • The gain goes to the com­pa­ny and may be off­set against exis­ting loss car­ry-for­wards and other tax pos­si­bi­li­ties. For dis­tri­bu­ti­on of the pro­fit to cor­po­ra­ti­ons: Tax bur­den, s.h. share deal, for dis­tri­bu­ti­on to indi­vi­du­als attack the flat tax on (to be by the com­pa­ny) in the amount of cur­r­ent­ly 25% plus soli­da­ri­ty surch­ar­ge. Thus, the tax for natu­ral per­son is com­pen­sa­ted. The taxes of the com­pa­ny (GewSt, KSt.) are unaffected
  • No sales tax. as far as arti­cle 1 para 1A UStG is respected


  • Cer­tain­ty princip­le, that is, par­ti­al more ela­bo­ra­te defi­ni­ti­on of the assets to be sold / legal relationships
  • Con­sent requi­re­ment for the trans­mis­si­on of legal rela­ti­ons­hips (cus­to­mers, sup­pliers, employees), ana­log § 415 BGB
    A com­ple­te or even vast purcha­se of assets can i.S. Anti­trust law trig­ger an acqui­si­ti­on of con­trol, so that is may be Genehmigungspflich
  • For­mal requirements: 
    • Land purcha­se con­tract gem. § 311 para. 1 BGB nota­riz­a­ti­on of the ent­i­re con­tract, thus also infor­mal agree­ments gem would be null and void. Sec­tions 125, 139 BGB, which in turn can be cured through the land registry.
    • Trans­fer of all assets wit­hin the mea­ning § 311b para 3 requi­res nota­riz­a­ti­on. Due to judgment OLG Hamm is taken after obser­va­ti­on of the aut­hor to record almost all asset deals
    • Mova­ble pro­per­ty, assets and intel­lec­tu­al pro­per­ty gene­ral­ly Form free – s.h. But judgment OLG Hamm, as well as on pro­per­ty rights assign­ment affi­da­vit, z.Bsp. § 27 ABS. 3 and § 28 brands
  • Workers: App­li­ca­ti­on of § 613a BGB, in part of an under­ta­king – Cid­font-nung of the workers. In exis­ting collec­ti­ve agree­ments they go 613a para 1 sen­tence 2 to the buy­er on, as far as this doesn’t has in the event of the employee through their own collec­ti­ve bar­gai­ning agree­ments to trans­fer the Ter­mi­na ment this with the assignor
  • Works Coun­cil if pre­sent: par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on is 111 BetrVG, but a chan­ge of the holder’s no ope­ra­tio­nal chan­ges to sec­tion 106, sec­tion, here § 613a for the pro­tec­tion of workers. Chan­ge in par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on sta­tus can
  • Coat remains with the sel­ler, pos­si­b­ly with all that exis­ting risks and is to conduct

Due dili­gence is con­fi­ned to the acqui­red assets, lia­bi­li­ties and legal rela­ti­ons. This is che­a­per than a share deal. The issue of con­sent requi­re­ments of sup­pliers, cus­to­mers and employees can be sol­ved through appro­pria­te clau­ses in the con­tract so that the asso­cia­ted risks in fact eco­no­mi­c­al­ly are trans­fer­red to the buyer.

Con­ten­tious issu­es, with signi­fi­cant­ly dif­fe­rent risk assess­ments and / or Auf­fas solu­ti­ons of the par­ties, which pro­ve a deal brea­ker, can the mant­le left in are. The lia­bi­li­ty and war­ran­ty risk is can be clear­ly definab­le, resul­ting in redu­ced the lia­bi­li­ty and war­ran­ty claims and limi­ta­ti­on peri­ods shor­ten­ed. Depen­ding on the par­ti­cu­lar case, the tax bur­den of the sel­ler is lower than the share deal.

Is a gene­ral state­ment which tran­sac­tion form – share or asset deal – from buy­ers or sel­lers point of view is bet­ter, my opi­ni­on not pos­si­ble. This is deter­mi­ned by the para­me­ters of the indi­vi­du­al case.

Smal­ler SME and par­ti­cu­lar­ly cri­sis domi­na­ted socie­ties without com­plex struc­tures of sub­si­dia­ries can opti­mi­ze an asset deal under cer­tain cir­cum­s­tan­ces that incre­a­se the likeli­hood of the sale and the purcha­se price.