The Work

June 4, 2008 1:55 PM

The Best Part of Wakin' Up: Smucker and Folger's $3.3 Billion Union

Posted by Brian Baxter

The J.M. Smucker Company, needing a caffeine fix, announced today that it would acquire Procter & Gamble's Folger Coffee Company in a $3.3 billion deal expected to close by the end of the year.

Smucker, based in Orrville, Ohio, is the nation's largest producer of jams and jellies. Smucker will acquire the Folger brand for $2.95 billion in stock and assume $350 million in debt. (The two companies have done business together before--in 2001, P&G sold its Jif peanut butter and Crisco oil and shortening brands to Smucker in a $675 million deal.)

Representing Cincinnati-based P&G are Jones Day M&A partner Robert Profusek and Cleveland-based associate Peter Izanec.

P&G, the world's largest maker of household products, is a longtime Jones Day client. Deborah Platt Majoras, P&G's newly appointed general counsel, is a former Jones Day antitrust partner. Majoras joined the company June 1. A firm spokesperson says she was uninvolved in the transaction.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft partner Linda Swartz, special counsel Richard Nugent, and associates Stanley Barsky and Megan Stombock served as special tax counsel to P&G. (Swartz is cochair of the firm's tax department.)

Calfee, Halter & Griswold, a 200-lawyer Columbus firm, served as M&A counsel to Smucker. Weil, Gotshal & Manges partner Kenneth Heitner, cochair of the firm's tax department, and associates Chayim Neubort and Timothy O'Grady served as tax counsel.

Profusek--a Cleveland native based in the firm's New York office--was an American Lawyer Dealmaker of the Year in 2005 for his work on the $46 billion merger between Sprint and Nextel, as well as for work done for distressed company investor Wilbur Ross, Jr.

"M&A is not really a specialty," Profusek told The American Lawyer's Vivia Chen in the April 2005 issue. "We're not like tax or IP lawyers--we're not that smart."

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