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Clifford Chance advises Shanghai Ground Food Tech on purchase of Australian dairy group Brownes

14 November 2017

Clifford Chance advises Shanghai Ground Food Tech on purchase of Australian dairy group Brownes

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has advised a consortium led by Shanghai Ground Food Tech Company (Ground Food) on its purchase of Western Australia based dairy group Brownes. Shanghai Stock Exchange-listed Ground Food is one of the biggest cheese manufacturers in China. Brownes will now form part of its network of four existing dairy manufacturing plants all in China (Jilin, Changchun, Tianjin, and Shanghai).

Sydney Partner Lance Sacks led the transaction, supported by counsel Amelia Horvath and Kane Barnett, and senior associate Mark Grime. Commenting on the deal Lance offers, "Ground Food's purchase of Brownes represents a significant investment in the dairy industry in Australia. Increasingly we are seeing a more regional approach from organisations in this sector which reflects an appetite for expansion beyond traditional local markets."

Clifford Chance has recently advised on a number of high profile consumer goods transactions including Mondelēz International, Inc.'s sale of most of its grocery and cheese business in Australia and New Zealand including the iconic vegemite brand to Bega Cheese Limited for AU$460 million. This followed advising The Coca-Cola Company on the signing of definitive agreements relating to the re-alignment of the company's bottling operations in China, with an approximate aggregate value of US$1.4 million. The firm also advised Allied Mills Australia Pty Ltd on its AU$455 million sale by its shareholders, GrainCorp and Cargill, to funds advised by Pacific Equity Partners (PEP).