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Shearman and Goodwin Procter crunch into £300m Tyrrells deal

Shearman & Sterling and Goodwin Procter have taken the lead instruction on the sale of upmarket crisp and popcorn business, Tyrrells, to US snacks firm Amplify Snack Brands in a £300m deal.

Amplify will pay Tyrrells’ current owner, Bahrain-based Investcorp, about £278m in cash with the remainder in Amplify shares.

Investcorp and Tyrrells were advised by the US firm’s London office, with a team led by Shearman & Sterling corporate partner Mark Soundy.

Shearman has been a longtime adviser to Investcorp, acting in 2013 for the private equity firm on the financing of its acquisition of the Hydrasun Group from Equistone Partners Europe. The US firm also acted on financing for Investcorp’s purchase of GL Education Group from private equity and debt capital firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson back in 2012.

Goodwin Procter acted as legal counsel to Amplify, which is part owned by Boston based private equity shop TA Associates. Goodwin has a long history of acting for TA Associates, for the firm in 2015 when it acquired Russell Investments, an asset management company, from the London Stock Exchange Group. The US firm also acted for TA Associates when it acquired a majority investment in NorthStar Financial Services Group in February 2015.

Founded at Tyrrells Court Farm in Herefordshire in 2002, the company was taken over by Investcorp in August 2013 for £100m, following which an extensive overhaul of the company was carried out where sales doubled and employee numbers grew by over 70% globally.

Amplify, the US owner of SkinnyPop popcorn, plans to increase US sales of Tyrrells products, which include parsnip crisps and sour cream flavoured tortillas with poppy seeds. Tyrrells’ chief executive David Milner will stay on as international president at Amplify, which specialises in healthier snacks.