How top City law firm Slaughter and May got a client out of a jam

The difference lawyers made to one of the UK's biggest food companies

Premier Foods is one of the UK's biggest food companies, whose brands include Ambrosia Creamed Rice, Bisto and Hovis.

The company is also an important client for City law firm Slaughter and May.

Over the past few years, partner Robert Byk, has worked with the company in a number of areas to help it progress out of financial difficulties.

First steps

"When we were appointed to their panel of lawyers," says Robert, "they'd just been through an emergency financing.

"We initially helped them move to a stable capital base by restructuring some of their derivatives."

"We then helped formulate a refinancing plan, including extensive work on their employee pension fund agreements.

Sale and return

"Raising funds through the sale of some of their brands was also a key part of the plan," he says.

In conjunction with other Slaughter and May lawyers, Robert helped Premier Foods through the sale of its vinegar and sour pickles business, its Elephant Atta chapatti flour brand, and its jams and spreads portfolio.

The company's sale of Branston Pickle was completed during 2013 and meant the company managed to raise the funds it was required to generate through disposals under its refinancing plan, and got on track to move forward with its business strategy.

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