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June 15, 2010 5:29 PM

Weil, Milbank Get Piece of $1.3 Billion Chicken Nugget Deal

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Most chicken nugget deals cost about five bucks and come with a soda and an order of french fries. This one cost a Sao Paolo–based company $1.26 billion--and doesn't come with anything on the side.

Marfrig Alimentos, Latin America's second-largest beef supplier, reached a deal Monday to pay that sum in order to acquire West Conshohocken, Penn.-based Keystone Foods, which in the 1980s became the first company in the world to mass produce boneless chicken nuggets, from Lindsay Goldberg LLC, Bloomberg reports.The transaction is still subject to regulatory approval.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy advised Marfrig on the transaction. The firm did not immediately identify which of its attorneys worked on the matter.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges served as legal counsel to Lindsay Goldberg and Keystone. Corporate partner Michael Weisser led a team of lawyers from the firm that included tax partner Jared Rusman, benefits partner Andrew Gaines, antitrust partner Lee Van Voorhis, and environmental partner Annemargaret Connolly, as well as associates Michael Szlamkowicz, Jie Yuan, Andrew Arons, Jordan Kolar, Matthew Morton, and Gregory Burns. Weil has a long-standing relationship with Lindsay Goldberg, the firm said.

Keystone produces more than 1.6 billion pounds of poultry products and 388 million pounds of beef products every year and is a major supplier of McDonald's restaurants and Campbell Soup. In total, the company distributes food products to nearly 30,000 restaurants in 13 countries, according to its Web site

According to Bloomberg, Marfrig has been working to expand its production over the past three years, including two deals worth just under $750 million combined earlier this year. The company paid $38.3 million for the Irish company O'Kane Poultry Ltd. in May, and $705.2 million for a Brazilian subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Cargill in January.

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