Associated British Foods (ABF), the UK-based ingredients and retail giant, has drafted in Madrid M&A firm Araoz & Rueda to advise it on a €385m Spanish adquisition.
The deal sees the company, best known for brands such as Ryvita, Pataks and Twinings (pictured), agree to buy Spanish sugar business Azucarera Ebro from present owner Ebro Puleva. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is likely to occur in early 2009.
Azucarera Ebro is Spain's main sugar producer in Iberia, supplying around half of the sugar consumed in Spain and Portugal. It brings the business alongside ABG unit British Sugar, which is the second largest sugar producer in the world with production last year of some 3.9 million tonnes.
The transaction has given Araoz & Rueda, a long-standing adviser to ABF, a headline role. ABF called in the eight-partner Madrid corporate leader to advise it on the purchase through name partner Pedro Rueda.
A number of UK companies have been active in Spain during 2008. These include transport business Arriva, which purchased Spanish contracting company Empresa de Blas y Cia for €100m and private equity firm 3i, which acquired a 16.63% stake in Union Radio Digital. In both these transactions, the British companies hired Cuatrecasas for local legal advice.