Dechert, Simpson Seal $1.65 Billion Food Packaging Deal

, The Am Law Daily

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tin cans miviva

CORRECTION, 11/1/13, 11:25 a.m. EDT: This article originally misspelled the name of Dechert associate Milad Sedeh. We regret the error.

Food packaging company Crown Holdings said Thursday that it has agreed to pay $1.65 billion in cash to acquire Mivisa Envases, a Spanish manufacturer of food cans, from investment funds managed by affiliates of The Blackstone Group, Spanish private equity firm N+1 Mercapital and the company's management.

Founded in Baltimore in 1892 by William Painter—the inventor of the crown cap used on glass bottles—Crown, now based in Philadelphia, is one of the world's top suppliers of metal packaging used for food, beverage and household products. The company, which employs a total of 21,900 people in 41 countries, had revenue of $8.5 billion in 2012.

In Mivisa, Crown is acquiring a company that has $754 million in sales during the fiscal year that ended June 30. The Murcia, Spain–based manufacturer makes two- and three-piece food cans and ends that it sells to clients in the fish, fruit, meat and vegetable industries. Crown expects the acquisition to help it expand its presence in the European food can market.

The deal is expected to close at some point in 2014, pending the approval of the European Commission and other regulatory bodies.

Funds affiliated with Blackstone and N+1 acquired Mivisa in 2011 after fending off a number of rival bidders, including Crown. That transaction had an enterprise value of at least $1.2 billion, according to N+1, which said earlier this year that it had already recouped most of its original investment in Mivisa in roughly two years since the original transaction.

Dechert is advising Crown on Thursday's acquisition with a team led by Philadelphia-based corporate partner William Lawlor. Corporate partner Ian Hartman and private equity partner Gary Green are also working on the deal, along with Dechert associates Alecia Chen, James Cosgrove, Cody Cowper and Milad Sedeh. William Gallagher is Crown's general counsel.

Dechert has advised Crown on a number of past matters, including several debt restructurings and the company's 1995 purchase of packaging company CarnaudMetalbox for $5.6 billion.

Attorneys at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, meanwhile, are advising Mivisa's sellers on the transaction. The firm previously served as outside counsel to Blackstone and N+1 on their 2011 purchase of Mivisa. As The Am Law Daily has reported in the past, Blackstone's chief legal officer, John G. Finley, was formerly Simpson Thacher's global M&A head, and the firm has advised Blackstone on numerous past deals. In April, for instance, the firm represented Blackstone in connection with the purchase of Credit Suisse's secondary private equity unit, Strategic Partners, for an undisclosed amount.

Simpson Thacher's team on the deal with Crown includes London-based M&A partner Michael Wolfson, antitrust partner David Vann and tax partner Gary Mandel, as well as financing partners Euan Gorrie and Antti Pesonen. The Simpson Thacher associates working on the matter are Sean Fitzgerald, Etienne Renaudeau and Sinjini Saha.
 

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