Growing demand for agricultural products and food security is driving significant growth and foreign investment interest in the food and agribusiness sector in Australia. At the same time, a fluctuating economy and environmental changes are placing pressure on the sector. As a result, the legal issues facing industry participants are diverse and include free trade agreements, quarantine, product labelling and distribution considerations, to land ownership issues, access to infrastructure, IP protection and funding considerations.

We have and continue to act for some of the largest food and agribusiness companies in the region and represent clients across every facet of the industry, including manufacturers, producers and distributors, investors, financiers, regulators and government agencies. This breadth of experience gives our team comprehensive insight into the legal and regulatory agribusiness landscape.

Our multidisciplinary team has experience in subsectors including oils, fats & grains, dairy, livestock, aquaculture, wool, sugar, cotton, forestry, as well as manufacturing, processing, distribution and agricultural real estate. As a result, we have a clear understanding of the sensitivities and challenges that our clients face as well as the drivers and opportunities for their growth.

Sale of Burra Foods

Acted for the Crothers Brothers and the other vendors on the sale of 100% of Burra Foods, a dairy ingredients processor and exporter based in South Gippsland, for approximately $310,000,000 to a consortium of Chinese buyers led by Inner Mongolia Fuyuan Farming Co Ltd, including CIC Investment Fund and COFCO. In addition, advised the Crothers and other vendors on the reinvestment in the purchaser for an aggregate of approximately 20 per cent.

Legend Holdings Corporation's 90% strategic investment in the Kailis Bros Australian wholesale, processing and export seafood business

Advised Legend Holdings Corporation on its acquisition of a 90% interest Kailis Bros Seafood.

Elders Limited $102.4 million capital raising

Advised Elders Limited in relation to its $102.4 million underwritten placement and non-renounceable rights issue for the on-market acquisition of all non-controlled ELDPA Hybrids.

Acquisition of Patties Foods Limited by Pacific Equity Partners Pty Limited

Advised Patties Foods Limited in response to the 'friendly' takeover offer received from Pacific Equity Partners, a leading private equity firm. The takeover was structured as a scheme of arrangement and valued Patties at A$307 million. Patties Foods Limited is an Australian food manufacturing company that owns a portfolio of iconic Australian brands. The Patties scheme was particularly complex due to Patties shareholders being offered an alternative to elect unlisted shares in the private equity bid vehicle instead of cash consideration for between 40%-100% of their Patties shares. The unlisted share alternative was subject to minimum and maximum caps and potential scale back. The unlisted scrip alternative also required Patties' scheme booklet to comply with prospectus disclosure requirements. Further complexity also arose from the cash consideration being reduced by the payment of a special dividend to eligible Patties shareholders.

Re-regulation of the Queensland Sugar industry

Advised Wilmar Sugar in relation to whether the re-regulation of the Queensland Sugar industry breaches commitments under SAFTA.