On July 30, 2004, Vincor International Inc. announced that it acquired all of the shares of Western Wines Ltd. for $323 million. Western Wines is the largest independent wine importer, marketer and distributor in the United Kingdom. Following the acquisition, Vincor is the world’s eighth-largest New World wine company and 13th largest wine company overall.
In connection with the acquisition, Vincor refinanced its banking and credit facilities. This refinancing was completed with the Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada as well as the issuance of US dollar denominated notes to the John Hancock Life Insurance Co. and its affiliates.
Vincor was represented on the refinancing by Goodmans, with a team that included Mark Surchin, David Matlow, David Wiseman, Cicely Leemhuis, Simon McGrath, Carrie Smit and Yi-Wen Hsu. US counsel to Vincor was Pillsbury Winthrop, with a team that included Jay Tannon, Joseph Downs and Mark Polston. UK counsel to Vincor on the acquisition and refinancing was Norton Rose of London, England, with a team led by Alan Crookes that included Jason Moss, Abigail Thursfield, Jonathan Mullender and Michael Dunlop (corporate finance), Dominic Stuttaford and Claire Falkner (tax), Ros Messer and Mike Knapper (IPT), Amanda Hope (employment), David Cohen and Richard Latham (employee incentives), Michael Grenfell and John Robertson (competition), James Hemmaway (real estate), Angus Evers (environmental) and Dominic Harvey, Ruchit Sheth and Paul Hibbert (banking).
Counsel to the vendors was the Birmingham office of Hammonds, with a team that included Amanda Allen, Jenny Hurford and Ateeq Ahmed (corporate finance), Robert Jones and John Dormer (tax) and Richard Plaistowe and Julia Ishak (commercial and IP).
John Hancock was represented by Morrison & Foerster, with a team led by Donna Zenor that included Eric Sanders and Kelly Logue, with assistance from Martha McKinnon and Nicole Sigouin (corporate finance) and Adrienne Oliver and Barry Segal (tax) of Ogilvy Renault in Toronto.
The banks were represented by Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, with a team that included Brian Wright, John Torrey, John Elias and Thomas Meagher. US counsel to the banks was Vicky Gilbert and Nader Pakfar of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in Los Angeles. UK counsel to the banks was Ian Borman and Ian Roebuck of Allen & Overy in London.