Food

Willkie has extensive experience in the food industry. We represent general and specialty manufacturers, supermarkets and  restaurants, as well as investment banks, hedge funds and other investors in the areas of M&A, capital markets, finance, litigation, and business reorganization and restructuring.  Our clients include ARAMARK, Monsanto, Winn-Dixie, Yoplait and Landry’s.

Willkie has extensive experience in the food industry. We represent general and specialty manufacturers, supermarkets and  restaurants, as well as investment banks, hedge funds and other investors in the areas of M&A, capital markets, finance, litigation, and business reorganization and restructuring.  Our clients include ARAMARK, Monsanto, Winn-Dixie, Yoplait and Landry’s.

Business Reorganization and Restructuring

  • Burger King Corporation: Represented the corporation in the chapter 11 cases of certain of its franchises.

    Planet Hollywood: Counseled unofficial committees or groups of bondholders or other creditors in the chapter 11 case of theme restaurant Planet Hollywood.

    Shoney's, Inc.: Advised on the restructuring and workout financing involving Shoney's, a casual dining "comfort food" restaurant chain with hundreds of locations in 18 states.

    U.S. Supermarkets/Nutritional Sourcing Company: Represented Wilmington Trust Co. as indenture trustee for senior secured bondholders and a creditors committee member in the chapter 11 cases of supermarket chain Nutritional Sourcing Corporation.

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Capital Markets

  • Delivery Hero: Represented Insight Venture Partners in connection with Delivery Hero AG’s $1.1 billion IPO.

    New York Restaurant Corporation: Represented Deutsche Bank in the private placement of $21 million of New York Restaurant Corp. convertible preferred stock.

    Roquette: Representing Roquette in a private placement of unsecured senior notes in the United States with an aggregate deal value of $175 million.  
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Corporate Matters

  • Ardian/Solina/Astorg: Represented Ardian on the sale of Solina, the leading European manufacturer of ingredient and seasoning blends for the food industry, to Astorg.

    Bass plc: Provided corporate representation on executive compensation and employee benefits-related issues for Bass, an international group operating in four main areas: hotels and resorts; pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues; brewing; and soft drinks.

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Finance

  • Bonduelle: Represented Bonduelle in its private placements of €150 million and $50 million of senior notes in connection with its acquisition of Ready Pac Foods.

    Eurazeo: Advised Eurazeo, a leading European investment company, in the acquisition finance aspects of its €405 million acquisition of Iberchem, a global producer of fragrances and flavors.

    Logan’s Roadhouse: Advised on senior/mezzanine financing for the acquisition of Nashville, Tennessee-headquartered Logan’s Roadhouse, a chain of restaurants founded in 1991 offering BBQ and American fare.

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Litigation and Investigation

  • Bank of Nova Scotia v. Safeway: Advised on the arbitration in Denver before the AAA on a contract dispute over alleged breach of a beef supply agreement.

    Lancer Corporation: Participated in an investigation into potential accounting issues involving Lancer, the leading manufacturer and marketer of beverage dispensing systems.

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Mergers & Acquisitions, PE & VC Investments, Joint Ventures and Other Business Combinations

  • Allied Beverage Group/Breakthru Beverage Group New Jersey: Represented Allied Beverage Group in its merger with Breakthru Beverage Group New Jersey, creating an integrated company under the Allied Beverage Group name that will continue to be New Jersey’s leading wholesale liquor distributor.

    Atlas Holdings/TreeHouse Foods: Represented Atlas Holdings in its acquisition of the Snacks Division of TreeHouse Foods.

    Bain Capital Credit/GAIL’s Bakery: Represented Bain Capital Credit in its acquisition of GAIL’s Bakery, a fast growing and critically acclaimed retail bakery and cafe.

    Bold Rock/Artisanal Brewing: Represented Bold Rock Partners LP, the #2 cider brand in the U.S., in its agreement to be acquired by Craft Revolution, LLC d/b/a Artisanal Brewing Ventures LLC.

    Bonduelle/Ready Pac Foods: Represented Bonduelle in its agreement to acquire Ready Pac Foods.

    CapVest Partners/Eight Fifty Food Group/Sofina Food: Represented CapVest Partners on its agreement to sell portfolio company Eight Fifty Food Group to Sofina Food Inc.

    CapVest Partners/Karro Food Group/Young’s Seafood: Represented CapVest Partners and its portfolio company Karro Food Group in the acquisition of Young’s Seafood.  

    CapVest Partners/Valeo Foods/Bain Capital: Represented CapVest Partners on the sale of its portfolio company, leading food manufacturer Valeo Foods, to Bain Capital.

    CapVest Partners/Valeo Foods/Campbell Soup Company: Represented CapVest Partners LLP and its portfolio company Valeo Foods in its acquisition of Campbell’s European Chips Business.

    CapVest Partners/Valeo Foods/Schluckwerder: Represented Valeo Foods, a CapVest Partners portfolio company, on its acquisition of German confectionery manufacturer Schluckwerder.

    Cérélia Group/English Bay Batter:  Represented Cérélia (backed by IK Investment Partners), leading French producer of rolled dough and pancakes in Europe, in its acquisition of North American cookie specialist English Bay Batter, and its related leveraged refinancing.

    Cérélia Group/US Waffle: Represented Cérélia on its acquisition of US Waffle, a privately-held frozen foods manufacturing company based in South Carolina.

    Constantia Flexibles/Multi-Color Corporation: Represented Constantia Flexibles in the sale of its Labels division to Multi-Color Corporation for an enterprise value of approximately $1.3 billion.

    FFL Partners/Church’s Chicken/High Bluff Capital Partners/FS Investments: Represented FFL Partners in its sale of Church’s Chicken®, one of the world’s largest quick service chicken restaurant chains, to High Bluff Capital Partners and investment funds managed by FS Investments.

    G.E.T. Enterprises/Olympus Partners: Represented the management team of G.E.T. Enterprises in connection with G.E.T.’s acquisition by Olympus Partners.

    HK Food GmbH/Nordsee Holding: Represented HK Food GmbH in its agreement to sell German seafood brand Nordsee Holding GmbH to Kharis Capital via KC North Sea, an investment vehicle managed by Kharis.

    HungerRush/OrdrAI: Represented HungerRush™, a CapStreet portfolio company, in its acquisition of OrdrAI™, a leading text and voice ordering provider for the restaurant industry.

    IK Investment Partners: Advised European private equity firm IK Investment on its acquisitions, investments or disposals in the following companies:

    • Cérélia Group: Advised IK in the acquisition of Cérélia Group, a leading European manufacturer of ready-to-bake chilled dough products. Also represented IK, through its IK VII Fund, in its agreement to sell Cérélia to Ardian.
    • Mademoiselle Desserts: Advised IK in the contemplated acquisition of Mademoiselle Desserts, a French leader in the frozen bakery industry.

    Keg Logistics/Keg Credit: Represented Keg Logistics LLC on its acquisition of Keg Credit, LLC, which combines two of the leading keg providers in the U.S. craft brewing industry.

    Lagardère Travel Retail/Paradies: Represented Lagardère Travel Retail in its $530 million agreement to acquire Paradies, a leading airport travel retailer in North America, from private equity firm Freeman Spogli & Co, the Paradies family and other shareholders.

    Mademoiselle Desserts/Les Délices des 7 Vallées/Sagard: Represented Mademoiselle Desserts (backed by IK Investment Partners) on the acquisition of Les Délices des 7 Vallées, a French-based producer of frozen industrial cakes and pastries, from Sagard.  

    Minor International/Corbin & King: Represented Minor International pcl, a global hotel and restaurant group based in Thailand, in its acquisition of the Corbin & King group of high-end London restaurants (including The Wolseley and The Delaunay) and The Beaumont Hotel.   

    PAI Partners/EEF: Represented PAI Partners on the acquisition of a majority stake in Euro Ethnic Foods (EEF), the company that owns and operates the grocery section of leading food retailer Grand Frais.

    PAI Partners/PepsiCo: Represented PAI Partners in its $3.3 billion pending acquisition of Tropicana, Naked and other select juice brands across North America from PepsiCo, Inc.

    PAI Partners/Refresco: Represented PAI Partners in its €1.6 billion investment (alongside British Columbia Investment Management Corp.) in Refresco, the Dutch-listed leading independent bottler of soft drinks and fruit juices.

    Seaport Capital/Keg Logistics: Represented Seaport Capital in its acquisition of Keg Logistics LLC, a leading outsourced keg and beverage container management provider. 

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Publications / News / Events