Groupe Danone, through its affiliates, Compagnie Gervais Danone S.A., Société des Eaux de Volvic and S.A. des Eaux Minérales d'Evian (the sellers), sold 100 per cent of the shares of Danone Waters of Canada Inc. (Danone Canada) to a company controlled by Birch Hill Equity Inc. The transaction closed on June 30, 2006 for an undisclosed amount. The sale of Danone Canada included its 55 per cent interest in Labrador Laurentian Inc. (LLI), which carried on the home and office water business in the Province of Quebec. At closing, Danone Canada was reorganized to form a new entity known as Aquaterra Corporation Inc.
Financing for the transaction was provided by a syndicate of lenders in which Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was the administrative agent. The lenders were represented by Joel Scoler, Edward Ra, David Bross, John Sullivan (Montreal) and Sarah Bird (Vancouver) of McCarthy Tétrault LLP.
Groupe Danone was represented by in-house counsel Alison Hughes, who is the director of the International Legal Department and is based in Paris. Stewart McKelvey, led by Lawrence J. Stordy, acted for the sellers, which team included Mark Bursey, Jim Cruickshank, Lydia Bugden, Robert Aske, Deanne MacLeod, Aimee Yee and Christine Pound. Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP acted as agent for Stewart McKelvey with a team that included Marc-Antoine La Rochelle, Marise Chabot and Yanka Laramée in Montreal and Iris Tam and David Smith in Toronto.
Birch Hill Equity Inc. was represented by Torys LLP. The Torys team, led by Matt Cockburn, included Guy Berman, Shelley Balshine and Saira Bhojani (corporate), Adam Delean and Vanessa Kee (lending), David Dell and Joanna Dybel (real estate), Carolyn Naiman (competition), Dennis Mahony and Michael Fortier (environmental), Chris Medland, Tara Sastri and Stacey Parker-Yull (employment).