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Freehills helps CSR lose its sweetness
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Freehills helps CSR lose its sweetness

Freehills has followed up its successful defence of CSR's demerger plans by acting for the Australian conglomerate on the sale of its sugar and renewable energy arm.CSR, one of the largest…

Freehills has followed up its successful defence of CSR's demerger plans by acting for the Australian conglomerate on the sale of its sugar and renewable energy arm.

CSR, one of the largest suppliers of building products throughout the Asia-Pacific, sold its sugar business, Sucrogen, to the Singaporean conglomerate Wilmar International for $1.75 billion. Wilmar is the largest global processor and merchandiser of palm and lauric oils.

Minter Ellison acted for Wilmar and Blake Dawson acted for Bright Foods, the Chinese company that was outbid at the last minute by Wilmar.

"A key challenge was running three workstreams in parallel (negotiations with two bidders and progressing the demerger)," Freehils partner Andrew Pike said. Pike led the Freehills team with Philippa Stone, co-head of the capital markets team at Freehills.

Freehills has previously acted for the CSR Group in relation to the demerger of the Rinker Group, a multinational building supplies company, in 2003. The firm also was successful in an appeal to a full-bench of the Federal Court in April this year, overturning a previous ruling that had banned the planned CSR demerger over concerns the company could not meet asbestos related claims.

The final sale is still subject to approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

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