Mills & Reeve advises on £1.4bn acquisition of Weetabix

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We have advised the management team of Weetabix on its sale to US firm Post Holdings for £1.4 billion.

The sale follows on from the £1.2 billion deal in 2012 which saw Chinese company Bright Food acquire a 60 per cent stake in the iconic breakfast brand. In 2015 the Hong Kong based investment firm Baring Private Equity House invested in the company. Mills & Reeve advised the Weetabix management team on both deals. 

Sales of Weetabix in China doubled in 2016 and it is the largest producer of breakfast cereal in the UK. Post Holdings is the third-largest cereal firm in the US and owns brands including Golden Crisp, Cocoa Pebbles and Great Grains. 

Mills & Reeve once again advised the Weetabix management team on the sale, working with other advisers (in the UK, US, China and Hong Kong) to enable the deal to be announced in the early hours of Tuesday 18 April. 

Current chief executive at Weetabix, Giles Turrell, will become chairman of Weetabix on completion of the deal. He said: “This is a fantastic deal for all stakeholders, and especially the long-term future success of the company. Without question the advice, counsel and support of Anthony and his team was critical throughout the process. A complex deal with multiple parties, time zones, and languages, it was the professionalism and knowledge of Anthony and his team that ensured we got across the line”. 

The Mills & Reeve team was led by partner Anthony McGurk and included principal associates Vanessa Walton and Ryan Hawley, associate Emily Walker and trainee Elle Outram. They were also supported by consultant Brian Marshall and partner Chris Townsend. 

Anthony said: “This deal is great news for the Weetabix brand and will hopefully see them continue to increase their market share internationally. We are delighted to have been able to further support the Weetabix management team in this deal, having acted for them in 2012 and 2015.” 

Baker McKenzie acted for Post Holdings alongside Lewis Rice, while Ropes & Gray and Linklaters acted for Baring Private Equity Asia and Bright Foods. 

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