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Linklaters, Bakers and Mills & Reeve all get a taste on $1.76bn Weetabix deal

St Louis-based consumer goods group Post Holdings is set to take on UK brand Weetabix Food Company for $1.76bn after five years of Chinese ownership, with Baker McKenzie, Linklaters and Mills & Reeve all winning mandates on the deal.

Bakers acted for Post Holdings with a team led by London corporate partner Charles Whitefoord along with Bill Batchelor in Brussels and Regine Corrado in Chicago.

In the US, Post turned to its mainstay adviser Lewis Rice, with partners Tom Zook and Alfred Ludwig working on the deal alongside Bakers.

Linklaters and Ropes & Gray acted for Weetabix owners Bright Foods and Baring Private Equity Asia. The mandate is a repeat deal for Linklaters, which advised the Chinese food group when it took a 60% take in the cereal group in 2012. Shanghai based senior consultant Richard Gu and London corporate partner Carlton Evans lead on the deal for the firm.

Ropes & Gray’s team included London private equity partner Will Rosen and Peng Yu, with support from anti-trust partner Ruchit Patel.

UK national firm Mills & Reeve also picked up a role on the deal, acting for Northamptonshire-based Weetabix’s management team. Mills & Reeve has been a longstanding adviser to Weetabix, also picking up a role acting for the cereal company on its acquisition by Bright Group in 2012, with corporate partner Anthony McGurk advising on both deals.

Post’s management said it aimed to secure £20m in cost synergies from the deal as it takes on the Weetabix brand as well as cereal bar brand Alpen and Weetos. The firm also holds assets in North America and has aimed to expand its international presence into China.