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Chinese berry joint venture negotiated

Chinese berry joint venture negotiated

Shannon Finch

Two firms have advised on a joint venture between US-based Driscoll’s and Australian horticulture business Costa Group.

Firms: King & Wood Mallesons (Costa Group); Davis Wright Tremaine LLP (Driscoll’s)

Deal: Costa Group established a joint venture with Driscoll's to create a berry production company operating in China.

Value: Confidential

Area: M&A   

Key players: The cross-border KWM team was led by Sydney-based partner Shannon Finch, supported by senior associates Anthony Boogert and Henrik Moritz. KWM’s Shanghai team was led by partner Mark Schaub and Hong Kong-based lawyer Piny Ly.

Deal significance: The joint venture between Costa Group and US-based Driscoll’s will create a berry production company, which will operate in China.

Under the agreement, Costa will assume 70 per cent ownership and Driscoll’s will take 30 per cent.

This deal builds on Costa’s existing JV with Driscoll’s in Australia, which has been in place for six years and is the number one marketer of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries in the country, according to a statement from KWM.

Partner Shannon Finch (pictured) said the newest JV played into Costa's long-term strategy.

“The company’s expansion was one of the objectives following their 2015 listing, which we also supported them on," she said.

"We are delighted that this important step in their strategy has been successful and that following the creation of a successful joint venture, operations have already commenced in Yunnan Province in China.”

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