April 29, 2014
Weil advised global investment firm The Gores Group on a significant joint venture agreement with Premier Foods to grow their bread business, which includes longstanding U.K. household brands such as Hovis. This transformative agreement involved The Gores Group taking a 51% controlling stake in the joint venture, which will trade under the name of Hovis Limited. The new venture will facilitate a significant increase in investment in the bread business, boosting operational efficiencies and reinvigorating the well-known Hovis brand and heritage. The transaction closed on April 29, 2014.
The cross-practice team for this complex transaction was led by private equity partner Jonathan Wood, assisted by associate Sam Blake. Partner Barry Fishley and associate James Ralph provided advice on IP, separation and transitional services aspects. Tax, pensions, employment and real estate advice was led by Oliver Walker, Ivor Gwilliams and Rupert Jones respectively.
This transaction follows a busy start to 2014 for the London private equity team, having last week advised HgCapital on its acquisition of Zenith Vehicle Contracts Group, following their earlier acquisition in December 2013 of Leasedrive (a deal on which Weil also advised), as part of its buy and build strategy.