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Morgan Lewis and A&L Goodbody act as Fyffes ripe for Japanese takeover

Advisory roles in Sumitomo Corporation’s €751m takeover of Irish banana firm Fyffes have been split between a raft of US and Irish firms including Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, A&L Goodbody and Arthur Cox.

Headquartered in Dublin and with operations in Europe, the US, Canada, Central and South America and Asia, Fyffes’ banana business generates about €1.2bn in revenues each year. Japanese giant Sumitomo has been active in the banana industry since the 1960s and is the market leader in Asia, importing approximately 30% of the bananas into the Japanese market.

Morgan Lewis advised Sumitomo with a team led by London banking and finance partner Bruce Johnston, M&A New York partners Bradley Edmister, Harry Robins and Alan Neuwirth and Texas partner Humberto Gonzalez. A&L Goodbody also advised the Japanese firm with a team led by David Widger.

Fyffes was represented by Arthur Cox with a team led by Stephen Hegarty with corporate partners Ciaran Bolger and Geoff Moore. Cian Beecher advised on employment aspects while tax partner Ailish Finnerty also worked on the deal.

Baker & McKenzie acted for the lenders Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. While, William Fry and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom acted for JP Morgan as the financial adviser.

Skadden’s team was led by London office head Mark Darley while William Fry’s team was led by corporate partner Mark Talbot.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of Q4 2016.

Back in 2014 when Fyffes attempted to merge with Chiquita to create the world’s biggest banana brand, Chiquita was represented by Skadden.

Morgan Lewis has also advised Sumitomo in the past, most notably when it acted for subsidiary TBC Corporation for its $310m acquisition of NYSE-listed tyre company Midas.