Top firm acts on $300m sale of Burra Foods to Chinese buyers

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MinterEllison acted for vendors of Burra Foods which has been bought by a consortium of Chinese buyers for more than $300 million.
 
The top firm’s team acted for the Crothers Brothers, and the vendors generally, in the transaction which faced some serious challenges.
 
The MinterEllison team was led by partner Tim Watkin, special counsel Sudharshan Senathirajah, senior associates David Chin and Indra Soysa and associate Nadine Hawa.
 
One of the challenges experienced during the deal was a 4-month delay from getting Financial Investment Review Board approval because of the Federal election and the caretaker convention.
 
During the wait, domestic and international dairy prices plummeted and competitor Murray Goulbourn significantly downgraded its financial performance for the 2016 fiscal year, which impacted the Australian dairy industry.
 
MinterEllison also had to safeguard the significant minority vendors’ interests in the purchaser.
 
The vendors of Burra Foods, a South Gippsland-based dairy ingredients processor and exporter, were the Crothers Brothers, Itochu Australia and Itochu Corporation of Japan.
 
The consortium of Chinese buyers were led by Inner Mongolia Fuyuan Farming Co Ltd and includes CIC Investment Fund and COFCO.
 
The Crothers Brothers, Itochu Australia and Itochu Corporation of Japan subsequently reinvested into the purchaser for an aggregate holding of approximately 20%.
 
Itochu Australia and Itochu Corporation of Japan also received separate counsel from Ashurst while the acquiring consortium was advised by King & Wood Mallesons.

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