Stephenson Harwood has advised frozen food manufacturer Findus Group on the acquisition of the retail business of Lutosa, a Belgian frozen potato brand. Findus acquired Lutosa from McCain and the deal was completed on 28 February 2014.
Among the specialities produced by Lutosa are potato wedges, croquettes and rösti as well as French fries. The acquisition will enable Findus to significantly increase its presence in Belgium — a market renowned for the quality of its potatoes and frites.
Lutosa’s retail business in the European Economic Area was a business McCain was required to divest pursuant to an undertaking given to the European Commission when it acquired Lutosa in May 2013, a business with an enterprise value of €225m (£188m). This transaction also required the approval of the European Commission.
Stephenson Harwood acted as sole legal adviser to Findus on all aspects of the acquisition, including the initial preparatory work, antitrust advice, the business transfer agreement and a complex set of intellectual property transfer and licensing agreements.
Corporate partner Andrew McLean led the Stephenson Harwood team and was assisted by intellectual property partner Alexandra Pygall and commercial associate Simon Bollans.
McCain and Lutosa were advised by De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, and Atlas Advisors provided financial advice.