Herbert Smith advises Kruidvat on selloff of Superdrug

Herbert Smith is acting for Dutch retail giant Kruidvat on the £800m sale of its retail and beauty business, including the 700-store Superdrug business, to Hutchison Whampoa. The deal has yet to complete.
As part of its rollout, Hutchison, which is launching a 3G mobile phone service in October, is expected to distribute the new phones through the newly-acquired Superdrug stores. This is the second time Superdrug has changed hands in over a year. Last July, Kruidvat, again advised by Herbert Smith, bought Superdrug from Kingfisher for £280m.
Herbert Smith acted for Kruidvat alongside its German best friend Gleiss Lutz and Dutch best friend and longstanding adviser Stibbe.
“This was an English-style agreement done under Dutch law. We did the drafting at Herbert Smith,” explained lead partner Philip Talboys.
The deal was announced on 23 August and hit the headlines internationally. Talboys said it was rare to work on an M&A deal of this size in August, when most of the City is asleep. “This was a straight sale. There was no equity funding and no banks involved, so it wasn't reliant on the markets,” he explained.
Hutchison is being advised by Linklaters and its former alliance member De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. The Dutch firm broke off merger plans with Linklaters in the spring because the bulk of its partners did not want to restructure on the basis outlined by the magic circle firm. Despite this, the two firms have continued to work together.