Skadden assists Weil with Lion’s Russian juice deal

Clifford Chance, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Weil Gotshal & Manges have played key roles in Lion Capital’s leveraged acquisition of Russian juice producer Nidan Soki.

UK private equity house Lion Capital turned to regular adviser Weil Gotshal with relationship partner Mike Francies leading the team. He was backed up by corporate partner Ken Schiff, tax partner Sarah Priestley and finance partners Richard Ginsburg and Michael Nicklin.

As Weil Gotshal has no presence in Russia, Lion Capital turned to Skadden for advice on the Russian aspects of the deal. Corporate partner Allan Murray-Jones led for Skadden with assistance from counsel Julie Bradshaw.

On the opposite side of the table, Clifford Chance’s Moscow office represented Nidan, led by partner Andrei Dontsov. Associates Sergei Zakharov, Cameron Hosie and Yana Arutyunova also acted.

Under the terms of the deal Lion Capital is acquiring Nidan for an undisclosed sum with the latter understood to be retaining a stake in the business.

According to Weil Gotshal’s Schiff the deal should close in around a month’s time, once it has received regulatory approval from the Russian anti-monopoly office.

“Because the target exceeds a certain turnover it has to get anti-monopoly approval, though this is more or less a formality,” said Schiff.

“We faced the normal complexities involved in doing a transaction in that part of the world with other complexities added by the general difficulties seen in the current credit markets,” he added.

Nidan is the third largest juice producer in Russia and the market leader in Siberia. The most high profile of its brands in the region is Moya Semya. The company is headquartered in Moscow and employs around 2,500 staff.