LawFuel.com – UK Legal News
International law firm Eversheds has acted on behalf of Dairy Crest Group plc during the sale of its 49% joint venture stake in Yoplait Dairy Crest Limited (YDC) to Yoplait S.A.S for £63.5m. The sale completed yesterday.
The joint venture agreement with the Yoplait group contained provisions for termination in February 2012. Dairy Crest’s decision to sell its stake in YDC before that date is consistent with the Group’s strategy to focus on and invest in core brands that it owns outright. The cash proceeds will reduce Group debt and increase headroom against banking covenants.
Under the terms of the sale agreement, Dairy Crest will continue physically to distribute Yoplait products in Great Britain until March 2010. These products include Petits Filous, Frubes, Yop and Wildlife yoghurts. In addition, Dairy Crest will take on the Yoplait group’s share of YDC’s defined benefit pension scheme liability, estimated at £1.5 million.
Leading the Eversheds team, Corporate partner Aleen Gulvanessian commented:
“Whilst the market is going through turbulent times, Dairy Crest’s sale of its stake in YDC to Yoplait aptly demonstrates that strategic deals of this kind can still be done. We have a strong relationship with Dairy Crest so are delighted to be able to assist the company to achieve its strategic focus and goals.”
The Eversheds team also included Pensions associate, Hugh Gittins, Real Estate associate Dave Newstone and Corporate solicitor Jayne Fleming.
YDC was established in 1991 when Dairy Crest formed a joint venture with Yoplait S.A.S., the owner of the international Yoplait brand, and acts as the distributor for fresh dairy products supplied by Yoplait S.A.S. from its factories in France.