Shearman & Sterling is advising Mizkan Holdings Co., Ltd. in its $2.15 billion acquisition of Unilever’s portfolio consisting of the Ragú brand and Bertolli brand of pasta sauce products.
Mizkan is a 210-year old privately held international food manufacturer based in Handa City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Mizkan has a stable of well-known international brands under the "Mizkan" umbrella brand and is a leader in the liquid condiment category. Mizkan has operating facilities around the globe, including Japan, China, the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The Ragú and Bertolli brand portfolio is the single largest branded pasta sauce producer and distributor in the United States. Ragú is the number one brand across all key consumer metrics, with strong brand appeal and recognition, a diversified product range and broad distribution channels. Bertolli has the second largest market share in the premium price tier.
The Shearman & Sterling team includes Tokyo-based partner Ken Lebrun (Tokyo-Mergers & Acquisitions) and associates Joe M. Sasanuma (Tokyo-Capital Markets), Raleigh Morgan (New York-Mergers & Acquisitions), Yohei Nakagawa (Tokyo-Capital Markets) and Nathaniel Rowe (Tokyo-Project Development & Finance). Other lawyers involved in this transaction include partners Jessica Delbaum (New York-Antitrust), John Cannon (New York-Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits), Lisa Brill (New York-Real Estate), Samuel Waxman (New York-Intellectual Property Transactions), and Larry Crouch (Palo Alto-Tax); counsel Sharon Lippett (New York-Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits), Jeff Salinger (New York-Environmental), Robert Fagiola (New York-Real Estate), and Eileen O’Pray (Palo Alto-Tax); special associate Kelly Karapetyan (New York-Antitrust); and associates Jack Mellyn (New York-Antitrust), Zach Shub-Essig (New York-Corporate), Ted Lamm (New York-Corporate), Gary Tashjian (New York-Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits), Regina Park (New York-Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits), Laura Mulry (New York-Environmental), Nader Dabbo (New York-Mergers & Acquisitions) and Matt Wochok (Washington, DC-Tax).