Macfarlanes ties up Richmond deal in first mandate for Oaktree

Macfarlanes has completed its first deal for Oaktree Capital Management, advising the US private equity fund on its £182.2m acquisition of Nestlé and Treats ice-cream maker Richmond Foods.

It is understood that Macfarlanes secured the mandate for the deal, Oaktree’s first public-to-private transaction in the UK, off the back of its longstanding relationship with Oaktree’s senior counsel Justin Bickle.

Bickle acted alongside Macfarlanes on the 2004 debt restructuring of hotel group Queens Moat Houses while still at US firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft. He left the firm’s London office to join Oaktree last September.

Oaktree made its takeover attempt through Ruby Acquisitions, a special purpose vehicle set up by the investment group in order to pursue the deal. It plans to combine Richmond with the Italy-based Roncadin ice-cream group, which is already owned and controlled by some of its funds.

The Richmond deal will be funded from a combination of new equity and debt funding, including €325m (£222.9m) worth of debt facilities underwritten by Deutsche Bank
Charles Martin, head of Macfarlanes’ international practice group, led the team advising Oaktree.

Eversheds partner Robin Johnson led the team advising Richmond Foods while Hammonds, led by corporate partner David Armitage, acted for the company’s management team.

Deutsche Bank was advised by White & Case finance partner Michael Goetz.