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 and included Corporate associate James Harvey; and Corporate counsel Helen Jiang.