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JSA, ELP, MD&T spice up strategic M&A and PE exit

J Sagar Associates (JSA) advised US spice-manufacturer McCormick and Company in its acquisition of a 26 per cent stake in Keralan curry ingredient maker Eastern Condiments for $35m (Rs 162 crores), which was advised by Bangalore firm MD&T Partners with Economic Laws Practice (ELP) Mumbai representing the main selling shareholder.

The JSA team was led by Mumbai partner Akshay Chudasama, assisted by senior associate Mithun V. Thanks, and associates Anuj Bhasme, Viplav Sharma and Neha Mehta.

The MD&T Partners’ team was led by partner Mahesh Devaiah while ELP partner Suhail Nathani represented New Vernon Private Equity Limited, which was the private equity fund that fully exited from its investment with this deal.

JSA's Chudasama said: "I think McCormick is a great example of a strategic joint venture and it is also an indication that there has been a shift from private equity to strategic deals in India. I think the deal is something that is a win-win for both companies."

He added that he believed McCormick had picked JSA through a referral from a foreign law firm, although he was not sure of which it had been. "McCormick probably did a little bit of a beauty contest with 2 or 3 law firms," he added.

The Kochi-headquartered target company is the flagship arm of the Kerala-based Eastern group of companies that is promoted by the Meeran family.

This is McCormick's second joint venture in India, also having a 50 per cent interest in India-based spice maker AVT McCormick Ingredients Pvt Ltd since 1994, according to financial website VCCircle.

Photo by meaduva

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