Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Danone. S.A. on the $12.5 billion multi-source financing for its acquisition of The WhiteWave Foods Company (WhiteWave). Danone is a leading global food company built on four business lines: Fresh Dairy Products, Early Life Nutrition, Waters and Medical Nutrition with a portfolio of some of the industry's most recognised brands. WhiteWave is a U.S. food and beverage company that manufactures, markets and sells branded plant-based foods and beverages, coffee creamers, premium dairy products and organic produce, primarily in North America.
The firm advised Danone on the French, New York and US federal securities aspects of: (i) the update of its €21 billion EMTN Programme, the issue of its €6.2 billion Notes thereunder; (ii) the issue of US$5.5 billion Yankee Bonds pursuant to Rule 144A of the United States Securities Act 1933; and (iii) the arrangement of its US$13.1 billion bridge facility.
Louis de Longeaux and Tom O'Neill, who led the HSF team, commented: "We are very pleased to have assisted, through our multi-jurisdictional team, on all major aspects of the financing under French, New York and the U.S. federal securities law. The completion of the acquisition will mark a key opportunity for Danone to enhance its growth profile."
The team was led by finance partners Louis de Longeaux in Paris and Tom O'Neill in London alongside senior associate Mark Dickinson in London. They were supported by finance partner Gabrielle Wong and Christopher Lapp (US Associate) in London, and Christelle Salmon Lataste (Senior Associate) and Fabien Communier (Associate) in Paris.
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