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Cross-border success for Kennedys Manchester team in food business acquisition

9th July 2019, 9:40 am

Lawyers from the UK and US practices of global law firm Kennedys joined forces to act for global food business Newly Weds Foods Acquisition Limited on its acquisition of UK-based ingredients company Jigsaw Foods Limited.

It is Kennedys’ first work for Newly Weds Foods, a world-leader in the development and manufacture of food ingredient systems, from batters and breadings to seasonings, sauces and food safety products.

Headquartered in Chicago since 1932, Newly Weds Foods’ European operation is based in Ossett, West Yorkshire, with manufacturing sites also in Corby and Banbury, along with 17 sites in North America and 12 throughout India, China, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand which support food processor and food service operators in over 80 countries.

Jigsaw Foods Limited, which is based in Shirebrook, Nottinghamshire, has a wholly owned subsidiary based in Maryland USA, which together produce a range of sauces and butters for food processors and restaurant chains.

Jim Hickey, the Chicago-based partner who led the deal for Kennedys, said: “Like Newly Weds Foods, Jigsaw is a privately-owned business whose success is built on delivering ingredient solutions to all types of food manufacturers and food service operators.

“They are a perfect fit and together promise to create a broader and more complete scope of innovative ingredient solutions for customers around the world.”

Christopher Williams, the senior associate in Kennedys’ Manchester office who managed the UK end of the transaction, added: “This deal showcased our ability to deliver a cross-border deal with a cross-border team covering a wide range of specialties, from corporate and employment law to property and health and safety.

“We see this ability to pull together expertise from across our network seamlessly as key to the continued growth of Kennedys’ corporate offering.”

John Seely, Director of Newly Weds Foods Acquisition Limited, said: “This acquisition of Jigsaw Foods is a perfect one for Newly Weds Foods as it will provide our customers with access to a new and expanded range of products, technologies and support.

“In order to ensure that this acquisition was concluded in a professional and efficient manner, we needed a law firm that not only had global expertise but could work seamlessly across multiple jurisdictions. Kennedys proved to be incredibly attentive in their approach, provided excellent service throughout the process and, ultimately, helped us complete this exciting acquisition.”

Earlier this month Kennedys reported record turnover of £217m for the financial year 2017/18, representing a 12% increase on the previous financial year (£193m) and is the first time the firm’s revenue has topped £200m. The growth was supported by a 7% increase in the number of fee-earners worldwide, with the firm’s total headcount exceeding 2,000 for the first time in its history.

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