DLA and Cravath advise as Starbucks develops taste for luxury tea

Cravath Swaine & Moore and DLA Piper have won lead roles as high-end tea company Teavana agrees to sell to coffee giant Starbucks for $620m (£390m) in cash.

The move comes as the worldwide chain looks to reinvent the $40bn (£25bn) tea market and expand on its existing core tea brand Tazo, which Starbucks acquired in 1999.

The coffee chain turned to Cravath’s New York office for legal advice on the deal, led by corporate partners Faiza Saeed and Eric Schiele. Partner Lauren Angelilli advised on tax aspects of the sale, while Eric Hilfers, head of the firm’s compensation and benefits department, led on executive compensation matters. Real estate partner Kevin Grehan and envrionmental partner Matthew Morreale also advised.

Teavana, which has a network of around 300 mall-based stores, turned to the US offices of DLA Piper for legal advice, led by global corporate co-chair Jay Smith, who is based in the firm’s Baltimore offices, and corporate and securities partner Brian Gordon, based in Atlanta.

Earlier this year Starbucks invested in baked goods with the acquisition of San Francisco-based Bay Bread for $100m.

Background to this deal:

Cravath has advised Starbucks on a number of transactions including its $25m investment in electronic payment service Square earlier this year, in which Saeed also advised. DLA Piper has also advised Teavana before, leading on the loose-tea company’s $140m IPO in 2011.