On July 25, 2001, George Weston Limited entered into a credit agreement with a syndicate of 20 Canadian and international financial institutions, for which Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce acted as arranger and administrative agent. Under the credit agreement, Weston obtained credit facilities in the aggregate amounts of approximately $2.5 billion and US$400 million. The proceeds were used principally to finance Weston’s acquisition in the United States of Bestfoods Baking Co. Inc., which had been indirectly owned by Unilever United States Inc. Bestfoods Baking Co. is a leading national premium fresh baking company in the US. Its major brands include Entenmann’s and Thomas’.
Robert Balcom of Weston was responsible for the legal aspects of the financing with outside advice provided by James Mathers, Joanne Foot, Larissa Tkachenko, Neil Saxe and Bindu Pendala of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP acted for the lenders with a team that included Michael Harquail, Lisa Mazor and Paul Greven.