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Herbert Smith Freehills is advising Danone on its negotiations with the shareholders of Michel et Augustin to allow Danone to acquire a minority interest in Michel et Augustin, alongside Artémis and Michel et Augustin’s founders.

Launched in 2004, Michel et Augustin is a French company that designs and markets an innovative, premium range of biscuits, dairy products, fresh desserts and beverages. In 2015, sales totalled around €40 million (around a 35% rise from 2014).

The deal would be the first by Danone Manifesto Ventures, Danone’s newly created corporate venture capital unit based in New York, which will be fully operational in autumn 2016. Danone plans to use this new structure to support the development of innovative companies with high growth potential that share its vision of alimentation. Through Danone Manifesto Ventures, Danone will provide financial and operational support, giving the businesses it invests in access to its experienced teams around the world, along with the independence they need to grow their entrepreneurial project.

The contemplated transaction, which anticipates a gradual increase of Danone’s stake in Michel et Augustin’s share capital, remains subject to the information and consultation of Michel et Augustin’s employee representatives.

The in-house team at Danone was led by Isabelle Coste-Le Personnic, Senior Legal Counsel.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by Paris Corporate partner Hubert Segain, assisted by Cyril Boulignat and Sara Gharbi on corporate aspects; Sergio Sorinas (partner) on competition aspects; Sophie Brézin (partner), Marie Ballenghien and Lauriane Gregor on employment law aspects; and Céline Bey (of counsel) and Samira Anfi on intellectual property matters. 


About Herbert Smith Freehills

Operating from over 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. We provide many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including energy, natural resources, infrastructure, technology and financial services.

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Sonal Ladwa

Sonal Ladwa, BD Lead