Reed Smith Richards Butler’s longstanding relationship with UK client Tate & Lyle has gifted the firm’s Chicago office a role on a £46m divestment for the company in Mexico.

Tate & Lyle Mexico has sold a 49 per cent stake in Group Industrial Azucarero de Occidente (Occidente) to commodity management service provider ED&F Man Holdings.

A team of six lawyers worked on the transaction with Reed Smith’s Chicago-based partners Stewart Dolin, Matthew Peterson and Michelle Moore working alongside Tate & Lyle’s Illinois-based in-house lawyers Pat Mohan and Craig Donaldson.

Reed Smith London relationship partner Edward Miller said Reed Smith’s continuing geographical expansion had positioned the firm in an optimal place to support the needs of Tate & Lyle.

ED&F Man turned to Mexico City firm Ritch Mueller with partner James Rich Grande-Ampudia leading the team. For local advice Reed Smith used partner Juan Carlos Serra of Mexican firm Basham Ringe y Correa.

The sale remains subject to Occidente’s majority shareholders’ option to purchase 1 per cent of interest. If Occidente’s shareholders exercise this option, ED&F Man would acquire a 48 per cent stake in Occidente instead.

It is also subject to clearance under Mexican Federal Economic Competition Law, but is expected to be completed next month.