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Shearman Advising Swiss Chocolate Maker on $950 Million Singapore Acquisition
The Asian Lawyer
Shearman & Sterling is advising Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut AG on its $950 million purchase of the cocoa ingredients division of Singapores Petra Foods Inc.
The all-cash deal, which will make Barry Callebaut the worlds largest cocoa processor, includes Petras cocoa processing facilities in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, and France. In addition to its ingredients division, Petra, which reported $1.3 billion in revenue in 2011, produces branded chocolate bars and candies for the Southeast Asian market.
In a statement, Barry Callebaut said the deal will expand its cocoa sourcing beyond its current West African base to Asia and Latin America. The company also says its expects the acquisition will also help it increase access to consumers in those markets.
The acquisition will be funded through a bridge loan from banks, which Barry Callebaut did not name in its statement. The loan will be replaced within 12 months by company-issued equity and debt.
The deal requires the approval of regulators and Petra shareholders, but is expected to close next summer.
Shearman London partner Jeremy Kutner is serving as lead adviser to Barry Callebaut, with Singapores WongPartnership acting as local counsel. Stamford Law Corp. partner Wai Ming Yap is acting for Petra Foods.