Craig Hodgson

Position: Partner
Phone: +(44)(0)1603 693421
Mobile: +(44)(0)7740 918230
Fax: +(44)(0)1603 626370

What can I do for you?

I am a specialist in mergers and acquisitions and company law here at Mills & Reeve. My work includes advising clients - who range from large multinational, public companies and private equity houses to individual investors - buy, sell or invest in companies and businesses in the UK and overseas. As part of one of the UK’s largest corporate law teams comprising 100 lawyers, I have considerable experience in major cross-border transactions and have acted on many share issues on AIM and the official list and takeovers. 

I co-lead the firm's food and agribusiness sector group, which comprises a team of 60 lawyers and represents over 100 clients in the sector. I am also one of the firm's desk heads for the Americas, having recently travelled to Chicago, Washington DC and Sao Paolo.

Supporting my clients’ ambitions

I have worked closely with clients to implement their acquisition and investment strategies, including acting for private equity groups on investments and acquisitions. For example, I recently acted for a private equity house on the acquisition of a business in the health sector and helped a business in the energy sector secure a significant investment from a large US private equity house. In June 2014, I acted for management on the secondary buyout of EV Offshore to Dunedin in a £69 million transaction. In December 2014 I acted for all the Shareholders and management on the secondary buy out to Sovereign Capital.

I have particular experience of advising on cross-border transactions, including acting for:

  • Shareholders of Millnet on sale to private equity backed Advanced Discovery Inc in January 2016;
  • Shareholders of a technology company Foolproof Limited on a sale to an Indian multinational, Zensar Technologies in November 2016;
  • A subsidiary of Coca Cola Amatil on the sale of one of its subsidiaries to a global food company in May 2016;
  • Regal Beloit Inc on the purchase of an electric motor distributor company;
  • Beverage packaging company Saxon Packaging on its sale to Smurfit in October 2016;
  • Shareholders on the sale of Brandbank to a subsidiary of New York Stock Exchange listed Nielsen.
  • Shareholders on the sale of technology company ETP Card Processing Limited to Snap Group Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of DSC, PIC in April 2018.

In the food and agribusiness sector, I led a team that recently acted on the complex sale of a £100 million turnover food processing company to food industry giant Cranswick Plc, involving the sale of the company, a statutory demerger, pension regulator and Competition Commission consent, and the management buy out of a division. In April 2013, I acted on the sale of East Anglian Pigs Limited to Cranswick Country Foods Plc. In 2016 I acted for a private office on the acquisition of Cinnamon Restaurants, Giraffe Concepts Limited from Tesco Holdings and 33 Ed's Diner Restaurants from administrators of Ed's Easy Diner Group Limited. Additionally I led a team acting for a global food service company on its acquisitions of four food service companies in 2016 and 2017. 

I lead a team that acted for Refresco BV on the sale of its APET bottling facility to Sunmagic juice Limited in April 2018.

I have also advised a publicly owned brewery company to establish an anaerobic digester facility and on the acquisition of a hotel business. I represent numerous other clients in the food and beverage sector, including an international food services company for whom I and my team act on acquisitions. 

In the motor sector I have recently advised:

  • Shareholders on the sale of Robinsons Autostar Mercedes-Benz dealerships to Group 1 Automotive - February 2018.
  • Shareholders on the sale of Hughes of Beaconsfield Mercedes-Benz and other franchises to Vertu Motors Plc - June 2018.

On the technical side of company law, I have also recently advised a public company client on its constitution and strategy and have delivered seminars on numerous corporate law topics. I have chaired a food law conference in June 2013 and a food law seminar in September 2013, and provided regular articles on mergers and acquisitions in the food sector to national newspapers and the Grocer magazine. In June 2016 I gave a seminar in Dublin on the Grocery Code and in June 2018 hosted a conference in London for lawyers from 60 jurisdictions in advising food and agribusiness clients.

What do others say?

Legal 500 says: “'Head and shoulders above the rest’ of the competition, Mills & Reeve continues to occupy a near unassailable position in the local corporate marketplace. Given its depth of resources and extensive regional coverage, it is clearly the biggest fish in the East Anglian pond. Peers say that they would not hesitate to refer work to the practice, while clients acclaim the ‘advice that is perfectly tailored to our business aims’.”

I am also recognised as a leading individual in Chambers UK and Legal 500.

What else should you know?

I am a keen cyclist, hill walker and passionate Norwich City season ticket holder.