On August 14, 2000, HJ Heinz Company sold the business of Fitness Institute Limited to a subsidiary of Cambridge Group Inc. (Cambridge), the well-known operator of high-end executive fitness clubs including the Cambridge and Adelaide Clubs in Toronto and the Montreal Athletic Association. The disposition was part of Heinz’s “Operation Excel”, a transformative growth and restructuring initiative. Operation Excel is expected to generate approximately $357 million in annual pretax savings.
Jack Radke, in-house counsel for Heinz, called on Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP to assist in the transaction. The Blakes team was led by Thomas McKee and David Kruse (corporate) with assistance from Blakes’ lawyers Graham McLeod (corporate), Lee Shouldice and John Thomas (labour), Seumas Woods (litigation) and Allan Gelkopf, Jeff Trossman and Bryan Bailey (tax). Cambridge was advised by Peter Guselle and Lori Axelrod of Fogler, Rubinoff LLP.