September 14, 2010 2:03 PM
Four Firms On (Yet Another) Coffee Deal
Posted by Zach Lowe
For the fourth time in less than two years, Ropes & Gray won the lead role advising Green Mountain Coffee Roasters on a large acquisition of a competitor--today's $890 million deal to buy the Montreal-based gourmet coffee roaster Van Houtte from the private equity firm Littlejohn, according to Reuters and lawyers who worked on the deal.
Last year, Green Mountain announced plans to expand by acquiring smaller coffee makers to whom Green Mountain has historically licensed its popular single-serving K-cup technology, according to Reuters and our prior reporting. That initiative led Green Mountain to acquire the California company Diedrich Coffee for $290 million after a contentious bidding war late last year as well as smaller acquisitions of Timothy's World of Coffee and Tully's Coffee Corporation, according to Reuters and our prior reporting.
With today's deal, that well of licensees has now dried up for Green Mountain, Reuters says. Hey, it was good till the last drop, right? Especially for Ropes partner Jane Goldstein, who led on all four deals plus a few related stock transactions, according to Ropes and our prior reporting. Goldstein was not immediately available for comment.
A team from Stikeman Elliott led by partner Peter Castiel advised Littlejohn on its move to sell Van Houtte, according to lawyers on the deal. Castiel did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Morrison Cohen also provided counsel to Littlejohn on the deal. Stikeman's involvement is not a surprise. They advised Littlejohn on its acquisition of Van Houtte in 2007; Littlejohn paid $600 million for Van Houtte, meaning they and their investors are making out well in today's deal, Reuters says. Also of note: Stikeman's executive director, Lucia Pollice, was a top official at Van Houtte before moving to Stikeman in a nonlawyer capacity, according to her bio.
The acquisition is an all-cash deal, Reuters says.Make a comment