Minter Ellison has acted for Parmalat S.p.A on its sale of its operations in Thailand to Dutch dairy company Campina International Holdings BV. Parmalat Thailand Ltd employs about 170 people and is focused on pasteurised and long-life milk.
Craig Carracher, managing partner of Minter Ellison’s Bangkok office, led the team, which also included Ruengrit Pooprasert and Kristen Edmonds.
Carracher said they were formally instructed in January to begin work on the sale, but it took only about two months between the opening and closing of the deal, with shares transferred on 8 April.
Minters also acted as agent for Parmalat Australia, who were also shareholders in Parmalat Thailand.
Campina is a cooperative of Dutch, Belgian, and German farmers. When announcing the deal earlier this month, the company said the acquisition of Parmalat’s Thai operations was its first venture in Asia and provided it with an opportunity to quickly build its presence in the rapidly expanding Thai market.
Under the deal, Parmalat S.p.A — a subsidiary of Parmalat Finanziaria S.p.A — sold its 89.79 per cent share in Parmalat Thailand to Campina for a “symbolic consideration” of US$1 ($1.37). The parent company said this represented a capital loss of 4.1 million euros ($6.6 million) for the Parmalat Group. The remaining 10 per cent is in the hands off a local partner.
Campina said dairy consumption in Thailand is low compared to that of Western European countries, but there was strong growth in consumption. The acquisition allowed the company to quickly build a presence in the market and meant it was assured of professional local management that is well acquainted with the local market and culture.
There were also a number of “innovative product concepts” that were geared entirely to the local market, and fitted in well with the Campina brand.
Parmalat Finanziaria S.p.A and Parmalat S.p.A have been in “extraordinary administration” since late last year.