One of the firms also recently advised on the largest private equity deal of 2016
A quartet of top law firms advised on the sale of Allied Mills, Australia's largest flour supplier, to Pacific Equity Partners (PEP).
Allens advised Pacific Equity Partners while Clifford Chance advised Allied Mills. Gilbert + Tobin and Herbert Smith Freehills advised GrainCorp and Cargill respectively, which jointly owned the flour, bakery premixes and speciality frozen par-baked bread products manufacturer.
According to The Australian Financial Review, GrainCorp pockets $190 million from its 60% stake in Allied Mills. PEP has also acquired the 40% stake of Cargill, but no financial details have been shared on that side of the buyout. Allied Mills is said to buy and process 800,000 tonnes of grains every year.
PEP will integrate Allied Mills with its Pinnacle business, which manufactures and markets sweet finished and unbaked bakery products and ingredients. PEP, Australasia’s largest private equity firm, has more than $2 billion equity funds under management under its PEP Fund V.
The sale, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close within two to three months, said Allens lead partner Tom Story. Story was assisted by partners Vijay Cugati and Jacqui Downes, senior associate Apoorva Suryaprakash, and associates Alistair Stolz and Sophie Matthiesson.
The Clifford Chance team that advised Allied Mills included partners Dave Poddar and Lance Sacks, and counsel Amelia Horvath.
"This transaction builds on the firm's momentum of M&A work in the retail and consumer goods industry. We are observing continued activity in this space as clients seek to realise value and diversify their investments," Poddar said.
PEP also acquired Patties Foods in September. Allens advised PEP while MinterEllison advised Patties Foods in the transaction.
PEP also completed the largest private equity deal in Australia last year, buying and delisting SAI Global in a transaction that implied a total enterprise value of $1.24 billion. MinterEllison and Gilbert + Tobin advised on the deal.