11 November 2015

Carey Olsen is lead counsel on Sandpiper acquisition

Carey Olsen's corporate team acted as lead counsel for a Channel Islands consortium of buyers in their acquisition of Sandpiper, the Channel Islands' leading retailer with franchises that include Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Costa and George.

The consortium has been assembled by Ravenscroft Limited and includes Bailiwick Investments Limited, Sealyham Investments Limited and other Ravenscroft Limited private clients. The Sandpiper management team, led by Tony O’Neill, will be investing alongside the consortium and will continue to lead the business.

Carey Olsen advised the consortium on all aspects of the purchase, providing them with full-service corporate and other specialist advice, including property advice.

Our pan-Channel Island team included corporate partner Mike Jeffrey, senior associate James Willmott (who led on the deal), Guernsey partner Tony Lane and Jersey associate Katherine Tresca. Partners Chris Philpott and Jason Morgan, together with senior associates Will Whitehead and Jonathan Anderson, provided property advice across the Channel Islands.

Fintan Kennedy of Sealyham Investments Limited said: "Having engaged Carey Olsen on several M&A transactions, they have once again demonstrated a proven ability to deal with a range of pan-Channel Islands issues across a number of practice areas. We had full confidence that they would deliver in line with our strategic direction using their team's valuable onshore and offshore experience."

Jersey corporate partner, Mike Jeffrey, said: "We have enjoyed a long association with Sandpiper and this is an exciting development in the company's history. To be selected to advise on the biggest retail acquisition of the year in the Channel Islands is testament to the reputation we have built in advising on these types of transactions. The investment strategy of the purchasers is to invest in local, pan-Channel Islands businesses with a view to long-term holdings, which is a positive development for the businesses and staff in both islands.

Senior associate, James Willmott, said: "Carey Olsen's corporate team is noted for its strength in advising on mergers and acquisitions, especially in the Channel Islands and that experience was brought to the fore in this transaction, which was particularly complex because of the number of franchises and properties that it involved."

The successful completion of the transaction is subject to the usual competition regulatory approvals.

Carey Olsen's corporate team advised on the sale of Cimandis, the wholesale and food distribution business of Sandpiper, to Bidvest Foodservice International; the £41.7 million sale by the Scott family of the Jacksons CI Group to a consortium led by Bailiwick Investments Limited; and acted for Sandpiper on the sale of five supermarkets across the Channel Islands to Waitrose.

Other recent M&A deals include acting for JTC on its acquisition of Kleinwort Benson's fund administration business, the sale of Fiduciary Management Ltd to Vistra and advising Aviva on its £5.6 billion takeover of Friends Life.

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