Norton Rose Fulbright acts for In2Food on its acquisition of two leading Australian food and produce businesses

Business January 17, 2018

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised South African based In2Food Group on its acquisition of Yarra Valley Farms and T&F All States.

The cross-practice team from Norton Rose Fulbright was led by partner Ben Smits, supported by members from the corporate, finance, employment and property teams, and advised on all legal aspects of the transaction, including negotiations, transaction documents, legal due diligence and financing.  

The deal was managed so that completion of both equity transactions and also the acquisition finance achieved closing in-sync.

In2Food supplies a broad range of produce and ready-to-eat/use food to high-end retailers globally, and is the largest food supplier to South African-based multinational retail company Woolworths Holdings.

The deal will allow In2Food to expand into the high-end produce market in Australia where it already has a solid foothold servicing David Jones.

Victorian based Yarra Valley Farms is Australian’s first independent national fruit and vegetable supplier and retailer, and currently supplies more than 400 commercial and hospitality clients, as well as some of Victoria’s leading restaurants.

T&F All States is a leading Australian produce supplier and retailer, delivering daily to hospitality and food service businesses in Canberra  and NSW regions including Sydney, Blue Mountains, Newcastle, Hunter Valley, South Coast.

Norton Rose Fulbright partner Ben Smits commented:

"These transactions will be game changers for the Australian food market. Presently this sector of the market is very fragmented and it will be very interesting to see such an established and sophisticated player such as In2Food operate with such enhanced scale and with such a strong management team and strategy. We are delighted to assist In2Food on their local journey.”

In2Food Group CEO Richard Cooper commented:

“We were delighted with the support from Norton Rose Fulbright on this transaction. Their team had to demonstrate a high degree of dexterity to manage the two acquisitions and raising of debt simultaneously. The inward investment nature of the transaction was a further complication that was managed expertly.  We are very excited about our future journey in Australia, with the firm as one of our partners.”

The team was led by Ben Smits, and was supported by partners Stephen Giles, James Morris, Michael McKee, Sally Woodward and Andrew Spalding; special counsels Maija Kerry, Robert Murphy and Nicola Martin; senior associate Vianna Shing; associate Shanil Lal and James de Szell; and lawyer Andrew Robertson.