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Kraft Heinz Completes $3.2 Billion Sale of Cheese Businesses to Groupe Lactalis

Paul, Weiss advised the Kraft Heinz Company in the $3.2 billion sale of its natural and cultured cheese businesses to Groupe Lactalis, a French multinational dairy products corporation. The transaction came under antitrust scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Justice. The Paul, Weiss team secured clearance from the DOJ on November 10 after the companies—the two largest suppliers of feta and ricotta cheese products in the U.S.—agreed to divest Kraft Heinz’s Athenos feta and Polly-O ricotta businesses.

Under the terms of the transaction, Kraft Heinz will sell production facilities located in California, New York and Wisconsin as well as a distribution center in Wisconsin. These facilities are being sold as a going concern and all employees will retain their positions. Approximately 750 employees will be transferred from Kraft Heinz to Groupe Lactalis. The transaction includes Kraft Heinz’s Natural, Snacking, Grated, Cultured and Specialty cheese businesses in the U.S.

The Paul, Weiss team included, among others, corporate partners Jeffrey Marell, Scott Barshay, Kyle Seifried, Caith Kushner and David Carmona; intellectual property partner Claudine Meredith-Goujon and counsel Elana Bensoul; litigation partners Eric Stone, Jaren Janghorbani and Daniel Toal, and counsel Megan Raymond and Steven Herzog; tax partner Jeffrey Samuels and counsel Alyssa Wolpin; real estate partner Peter Fisch; executive compensation partners Jarrett Hoffman and Lawrence Witdorchic; environmental counsel William O’Brien; antitrust counsel Marta Kelly and Yuni Sobel; and international trade counsel Richard Elliott.

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