Manufacturers and distributors of branded food and drinks products have much in common.
They sell their products via third party retailers and are directly affected by consumer confidence. Competition and regulatory barriers to industry consolidation and government resistance to the takeover of national champions by foreign entities both raise obstacles to the acquisition of brands by large established groups. Industries that are dominated by brands require vigilant brand protection and promotion to maintain their value.
Linklaters lawyers advise many of the leading companies in the global sector on the most complex, multi-jurisdictional corporate M&A, corporate reorganisations, competition issues, tax , IP and equity and debt financings as well as joint ventures. Our understanding of the commercial and competitive pressures and our presence in many of the key markets is fundamental to our success.
The global economic slowdown has prompted customers to trade down in their choice of food and drink, which has particularly affected the premium brands in the portfolios of food and drinks companies. Consumers are moving away from restaurants and bars and spending on takeaway food, the licensed off-trade and retail sector instead. Switching consumer preferences and uncertainty of demand has made it difficult for companies to forecast sales accurately impacting share prices and valuations. There are signs though that the cash-rich major companies are starting to see value which will drive activity in mergers and acquisitions and Linklater’s cross-border corporate M&A expertise will continue to be in high demand.
To discuss legal issues with Linklaters’ global food and beverages team, please contact sector leaders Stuart Bedford or Paul McNicholl.
You can find out more about Linklaters’ food and beverages capabilities from sector manager Tina Gandesha on (44 20) 7456 4455.