Hogan Lovells, Linklaters and Slaughters on the menu for Premier Foods’ Japanese tie-up

Slaughter and May has acted for longstanding client Premier Foods, as it rejected a takeover offer by US company McCormick & Company, in favour of a deal with Japan’s Nissin.

Partners Michael Corbett and Robert Byk led the Slaughters team advising UK-listed Premier Foods, which was first approached by US rival McCormick & Company back in February.

McCormick, which is understood to have offered $700m for the company, meanwhile turned to Hogan Lovells London partner Tom Brassington, who also advised the US company on its revised bid for Premier announced just this month.

Having rejected both bids, Premier Foods has instead announced a new partnership with Japanese food maker Nissin.

Nissin sought legal representation from Linklaters partner David Holdsworth, who recently spent time in the firm’s Tokyo office.

Premier Foods, which owns brands such as Mr Kipling, OXO and Bisto, said it rejected both offers from McCormick as it “significantly undervalued the company and its prospects”.

Background to the deal 

Slaughter and May acted for Premier Foods in its £1.1bn capital refinancing plan in 2014. The company had used legacy Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co on commercial matters, with general counsel Andrew McDonald saying the firm had missed out due to the size and complexity of the deal.

The firm also advised Premier Foods on the sale of its sweet spreads and jellies business to US buyer Hain Celestial, but missed out on the sale of its Branston Pickle brand in 2012.