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Deal done over a cup of coffee

LEADING regional law firm, Howes Percival has advised Northampton-based Euro Food Brands Limited (EFB) on its disposal of the UK illy division distribution business to Italian coffee company illycaffè SpA.

The acquisition will enable illycaffè to directly manage its UK distribution operations and signals the company’s intention ‘to keep on investing in the United Kingdom, despite Brexit uncertainties’.

The deal involved an initial reorganisation and restructure of the EFB business to demerge the illy coffee business, together with the sale of this division to illycaffè SpA. The disposal included the transfer of business, assets and staff responsible for the distribution of illy coffee products in the UK. However, EFB will continue to manage the supply of all retail and ecommerce retail customers on illycaffè’s behalf.

The Howes Percival team, led by Gerald Couldrake, included Matthew Thompson (corporate), Miles Barnes (corporate), Lucy Lord (real estate) and Aimee Knight (real estate).

Howes Percival carried out the restructure (alongside KPMG who provided tax and structuring advice) and advised the shareholders on the sale to illycaffè.

Commenting on the deal, Gerald Couldrake, Partner and Head of Howes Percival’s Northampton corporate and commercial team, said: “We are delighted to have advised the shareholders in relation to this complex transaction, which allows EFB to continue to distribute illy coffee into UK retailers for the foreseeable future.

“Even in the current uncertain economic climate, our corporate team is completing significant sized deals and we have a strong pipeline of deals to come. We are seeing an upturn in transactions in the Northampton office, and across the country we’ve been busy with everything from financing and acquisitions through to MBOs.”

Finance Director of EFB, Phil Gotch said: “The solicitors at Howes Percival clearly have an in-depth knowledge of the food and drink sector and were always on hand to deliver clear and practical advice throughout this transaction. I would highly recommend them.”

For more information on Howes Percival’s services for the food and drink sector visit: www.howespercival.com/sectors/food-and-drink/

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