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Emerald deal sparkles for two firms

Emerald deal sparkles for two firms

A national firm acted for a Japanese company and a global firm for an Australian agribusiness consortium on an M&A deal.

Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills (Emerald Agribusiness Group); Maddocks (Sumitomo Corporation)

Deal: Sumitomo acquires 50 per cent of Emerald Grain to take full ownership of Emerald Grain

Value: Undisclosed

Area: M&A

Key Players: The HSF team was led by Melbourne-based partner Richard Loveridge (pictured) with support from executive counsel Annie Mould. Anton Bobenko and Tim Monahan also assisted, with HSF advising the founding shareholders of the Emerald Agribusiness Group. Financial services company Lazard also advised the company.

Maddocks advised Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation.

Melbourne-based partner Ron Smooker and senior associate Lisa Billington were the national firm’s representatives

Deal Significance: This deal continues the trend of international interest in Australia’s agribusiness sector. In an opinion piece in Lawyers Weekly last month, senior Clayton Utz partner Karen Evans-Cullen and senior associate Adam Foreman fingered agribusiness as providing M&A lawyers significant opportunities in 2014.

“Concerns at a global level about food security and strategic access to agricultural commodities have meant that the agribusiness and food sectors are of particular strategic interest to a number of investors as an asset class,” they wrote.

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