Travers Smith LLP has advised Equistone and senior management shareholders on the sale of Winterbotham Darby to PAI Partners (PAI).
The transaction sees PAI Partners invest an undisclosed sum for a majority stake in Winterbotham Darby, replacing existing backers Equistone Partners Europe (Equistone) following their eight-year partnership with the company. LDC will also exit its minority shareholding in Winterbotham Darby alongside Equistone, while the company’s management will remain invested in the business.
Winterbotham Darby is one of the UK’s most dynamic chilled food businesses with a leading position in continental foods including olives, antipasti and charcuterie, and in recent years has become a major supplier of vegan meat alternatives and other plant-based products. Since Equistone's investment in Winterbotham Darby in December 2012, the company has significantly expanded its supplier network, customer base and product range and has also completed the construction of new UK manufacturing facilities in the fermented foods and plant-based segments. The new partnership with PAI will, subject to merger control clearance, see Winterbotham Darby form part of a new UK chilled food platform alongside the Addo Food Group, which is being simultaneously acquired by PAI.
The Travers Smith team advising Equistone on the sale was led by Private Equity & Financial Sponsors Partner James Renahan, who was supported by Private Equity Senior Associate Tom Hartwright and Private Equity Associates Stuart Allan and Oliver Morris, with firm-wide input, including Competition Partner Stephen Whitfield, Competition Senior Associate Ingrid Rogers, Tax Partner Russell Warren and Tax Senior Associate Joe Sheldrick.
A separate Travers Smith team led by Private Equity & Financial Sponsors Partner Adam Orr, supported by Private Equity Associate Eve Dwyer, advised senior management of Winterbotham Darby on their reinvestment.
PAI Partners was advised by Allen & Overy.