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A Sweet Result For The South Island Office With Sara Lee Purchase

Chapman Tripp is pleased to have assisted New Zealand based investment group the South Island Office (through its investment entities) on all aspects of the AU$95m purchase of consumer favourite Sara Lee from McCain Foods.

The acquisition includes the sales rights for the brand in New Zealand, Australia and most of the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Sara Lee holds approximately 53 per cent of the frozen dessert market across Australia and New Zealand.

The Chapman Tripp team comprised partner Fiona Bennett, senior solicitors Sam Steven and Ryan Bridgman and solicitor Stephanie Knowler for the corporate and commercial aspects, together with partner Gerard Souness, special counsel Joshua Jones and solicitor Matt Grenfell from finance.

“This was a complex transaction which included an asset carve out from McCain’s existing operations and ongoing transitional arrangements, an internal group restructuring on the buy-side and a leveraged finance model which included a third party purchase and lease back of the underlying Sara Lee property in Australia,” Fiona Bennett said.

“It was particularly satisfying to have the South Island Office again seek Chapman Tripp’s advice on this transaction as we also advised them on their purchase last year of Original Foods N.Z. Limited.”

Gadens assisted on the Australian law aspects of the transaction, with their team comprising of corporate partner Jeremy Smith, special counsel Winnie Sinn, senior associate Lauren Guercio and lawyer Chris Borghesi. They were supported by partners Sean Huggins and Andrea Towson (real estate and construction), Brett Feltham (employment) and Elliot Raleigh (banking and finance).

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