Private Equity Acquisition
Food & Beverage
Spayne Lindsay & Co. LLP advises Permira on the acquisition of Birds Eye/ Iglo from Unilever.
Permira Funds (“Permira”) has acquired the majority of the European Frozen Foods businesses of Unilever plc (the “Business”) for €1.725bn on a debt-free, cash-free basis.
The sale includes the Unilever frozen food operations in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom, and comprises the iconic and market leading British and European brands of Birds Eye and Iglo. In 2005, the Business had annual sales of €1.2bn.
The transaction is subject only to regulatory approval and a consultative process with the relevant employee works councils.
Spayne Lindsay jointly advised Permira with Lehman Brothers throughout negotiations. Spayne Lindsay was particularly involved in advising Permira on tactics in this unusually complicated and competitive auction, and provided specialist input to assist Permira evaluate the sector and the opportunity.
The signing of this significant consumer sector deal builds on other recent successes for Spayne Lindsay including the £460m acquisition of Campbell’s UK by Premier Foods, the €425m acquisition of John West by Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking and the €850m buyout of CSM Confectionery by CVC.