Magic Circle firm Freshfields is advising Sysco, the largest food distributor in the US, on a $3.1bn deal to buy the European food distributor and expand its presence to the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Sweden, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Freshfields’ cross-border mergers and acquisitions specialist Piers Prichard Jones advised Sysco Corp from London, with assistance from Freshfields’ US head of corporate Matthew Herman.
Brakes Group and Bain Capital has engaged Baker & McKenzie to act on the deal. The firm’s head of private equity David Allen is leading a team on the transaction.
Baker & McKenzie has previously advised Bain Capital and Brakes Group on a number of transactions, including the merger of Fresh Direct with the M&J Seafood, Pauleys and Wild Harvest divisions of Brakes. The firm also advised Bain Capital and Brakes Group’s acquisition of Davigel from Nestlé.
The deal, subject to regulatory review by European Union competition authorities, is expected to be completed before the end of Sysco’s fiscal year in July 2016.
The combined companies are expected to generate annualised sales of approximately $55bn, with Sysco agreeing to take on the repayment of approximately $2.3bn of Brakes Group’s financial debt.
Freshfields had a bumper year in M&A last year, with Dealogic’s 2015 league tables recording the firm secured 190 deals worth $587.6bn. Freshfields also retained its title as top firm in the European attorney rankings, advising on $418.4bn worth of deals.