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David Jones produce provider plans expansion

David Jones produce provider plans expansion

Produce market

The acquisition of Yarra Valley Farms and T&F All States by a company based in South Africa is part of a strategy to grow its share of the high-end produce market in Australia.

Firms: Norton Rose Fulbright (In2Food Group); Frenkel Partners (Yarra Valley Farms); Emil Ford Lawyers (T&F All States); Minter Ellison (Financiers)

Deal: Yarra Valley Farms and T&F All States have both been acquired by In2Food Group.

Value: $50 million (approx)

Area: M&A, finance, corporate, employment, property

Key players: Emil Ford Lawyers acted on the sale of the T & F All States providore business to the South African giant In2Food. The Emil Ford team was led by partners Fred Chilton and Garry Pritchard, assisted by associate Joseph O’Mara.

Deal significance:

According to a statement by Norton Rose Fulbright, In2Food is the biggest food supplier to South African-based multinational retail company Woolworths Holdings. The company supplies a range of produce and ready-to-eat food to high-end retailers globally.

In2Food arranged the deals to acquire Yarra Valley Farms and T&F All States so that the acquisition finance achieved closing in sync.

Yarra Valley Farms is the first independent national fruit and vegetable supplier and retailer in Australia. The company currently supplies more than 400 commercial and hospitality clients, as well as some of Victoria’s leading restaurants.

T&F All States is a leading Australian produce supplier and retailer, delivering daily to hospitality and food service businesses in Canberra and NSW regions, including Sydney, Blue Mountains, Newcastle, Hunter Valley, South Coast.

In2Food has plans to expand its reach over the high-end produce market in Australia. The company already has a local presence, servicing David Jones.

NRF lead partner Ben Smits said that the deals were both “game changers” for the Australian food market.  

“Presently this sector of the market is very fragmented and it will be very interesting to see such an established and sophisticated player such as In2Food operate with such enhanced scale and with such a strong management team and strategy,” Mr Smits said.

“We are delighted to assist In2Food on their local journey,” he said.  

Emil Ford partner Garry Pritchard congratulated T & F principals Rohan Benn, Randal Benn and Ross Ingram on completion of the sale.

“It’s always good to work with a client each step of the way from its start-up," Mr Pritchard said.

“Emil Ford Lawyers has provided legal advice to T & F All States from the day they opened their door in 1997 until the recent sale. In that time the firm has advised on a wide range of issues relevant to the business. Advising such a client is a true partnership." 

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