Linklaters in New York and Lefosse Advogados in São Paulo are advising Brazilian meat company Marfrig Global Food in its acquisition of a 51% stake in National Beef, the fourth-largest beef processor in the United States.
Pinheiro Neto Advogados in São Paulo advised National Beef. Morgan Lewis in New York is also thought to have advised the seller, but this could not be confirmed prior to publication.
Through the US$969 million deal signed on 9 April, Marfrig will become the world's second-largest beef producer and gain access to markets like Japan and South Korea.
The transaction includes an upfront break-up fee of US$150 million, which will be put into escrow and will become payable if Marfrig does not deliver consent from its shareholder BNDES Participações, the investment arm of the Brazilian development bank, within 135 days of signing.
Greenberg Traurig LLP in New York is thought to have advised Coöperatieve Rabobank, which acted as arranger, but this could not be confirmed prior to publication.
Once the transaction closes, Leucadia, National Beef's owner, will transfer control to Marfrig and remain a minority shareholder in the company, with a 31% interest. The US Premium Beef, an association of American producers, will hold 15% and other shareholders the remaining 3%.
As well as helping Marfrig expand into new markets, the transaction is aimed at improving Marfrig's leverage ratio.
Counsel to Marfrig Global Food
Partners Matthew Poulter and Scott Sonnenblick, and associate Gabriel Silva in New York
Partners Carlos Mello and André Calumby in São Paulo
Counsel to National Beef / Leucadia National Corporation (Seller)
Pinheiro Neto Advogados
Partners Caio Silva and Fernando Zorzo, and associate Rafael Gaspar in São Paulo