Yorkshire law firm helps US group make acquisition

COTT Developments has completed a significant acquisition, with the help of Yorkshire’s Walker Morris.

Food and drink lawyers from the Leeds-based law firm advised Cott Developments on its successful acquisition of Cooke Bros Holdings and its subsidiaries, including Calypso Soft Drinks and Mr Freeze, referred to together as Calypso Soft Drinks.

Cott Developments, a subsidiary of Cott Beverages, has UK production facilities in West Yorkshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Banffshire.

Baker Tilly Corporate Finance acted as lead financial advisers to Cooke Bros Holdings, having previously advised the group on its acquisition of Mr Freeze Europe last year, and the original MBO of Calypso in 2005.

Steve Corby, director of Cott Beverages, said:“The Calypso Soft Drinks acquisition falls within the diversification strategy of Cott Beverages. Calypso Soft Drinks has been highly successful in providing its customers with quality and innovation.  We look forward to building on the solid foundation already established.” 

Calypso Soft Drinks, based in Wrexham, has revenues of approximately £35m and boasts a strong presence in the foodservice channel and is a UK market leader in freezeables with various licensed trade mark offerings.

Richard Naish, corporate partner and head of the food and drink team at Walker Morris, led the team.

He said:”This is an important deal for our new client, Cott Developments and involved the acquisition of some very well-known brands.  We’ve been building our expertise in the food and drink sector over a number of years and it was pleasing to be able to pull together a specialist team from across the firm.”

The Walker Morris food and drink team also recently advised convenience food manufacturer, Symington’s, on an agreement to license Unilever’s wet sauces portfolio in Australia and New Zealand.

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