(May 3, 2012, Weil News)
Global law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges represented long-standing client Lion Capital LLP, the private equity firm, on the sale of a 60 percent interest in iconic breakfast cereal maker Weetabix Food Co. to China’s Bright Food (Group) Ltd. for £1.2B ($1.9B). The transaction, which represents the largest overseas acquisition by a Chinese company in the food and drinks sector, is expected to close in the second half of 2012, subject to regulatory approval.
Bright Food, based in Shanghai, is China’s second-largest food company, with interests in farming, food manufacture, and retail and distribution in China and Asia.
Lion Capital, which purchased Weetabix in 2004 – a transaction on which Weil also advised – will retain a 40 percent interest in the company. Weetabix’s products, including its namesake cereal as well as Alpen muesli and Ready Break, are sold in more than 80 countries.
Weil fielded a multi-jurisdictional team led by Corporate partner Michael Francies in London, assisted by Corporate associates James Harvey, Irini Kalamakis, Luwisha Neskovic, and Robert Maddox, with Pensions and Benefits partner Joanne Etherton and Tax partner Sarah Priestley also advising. Corporate partner Anthony Wang led the Shanghai team, assisted by Corporate counsel Helen Jiang and associate Haibin Liu.