20 Sep 2017

Bond Dickinson has advised international group Molins PLC on the sale of its Instrumentation & Tobacco Machinery business to Italian based global conglomerate G.D. S.p.A., a company in the Coesia S.p.A. group.

The Instrumentation & Tobacco Machinery division is a global player in the design, development and manufacturing of secondary tobacco processing machinery, with 2016 revenues of approximately £40 million. The division sold included Cerulean, Celsius, the quality control, testing and analytical instrumentation business and Molins Tobacco Machinery, the tobacco processing and packaging machinery business. The transaction represents a good opportunity for Coesia to consolidate its position in its chosen markets and for Molins to divest of non-core businesses in order to focus on its key packaging solutions businesses going forward.

Bond Dickinson and Molins have been working on structuring the deal since the beginning of the year. The sale of the business division was announced to the Stock Market following an announcement that the transaction had been signed on 7 June of this year. Following the acquisition, the Molins and Cerulean trademarks were transferred to Coesia.

Lawyers from Bond Dickinson's Newcastle and London offices alongside a team from US law firm Womble Carlyle, advised Molins on the complex sale which involved several jurisdictions including Czech Republic, Singapore, Brazil, China, Germany and the USA.

The transaction was led by corporate finance partners Robert Phillips and Ben Butler and associate Stacey Hall who provided support on key legal issues including pensions, commercial and real estate. Managing Associate Leon Miller and Head of Competition and Regulation Francesco Lamanna, based in London, also provided insight on Stock Exchange regulatory advice and competition law.

Anna Mills, partner at Womble Carlyle, provided support in respect of a US asset disposal which was part of the overall transaction.   

Robert Phillips of Bond Dickinson, said: "Building a new relationship with the executive team at Molins was easy and the teamwork involved in project managing, co-ordinating and advising on a significant project of this scale played to the strengths of our Bond Dickinson corporate and broader team and national and international footprint.  The complexities of the transaction structure and the logistics of co-ordinating multi-jurisdictional aspects was something that we were challenged with from the outset and were able to successfully anticipate and address as the transaction proceeded and subsequently closed – it was a pleasure to work with all of the Molins team to help them realise this significant strategic objective."

Tony Steels, Chief Executive of Molins PLC added :"We thoroughly enjoyed working with the whole of the Bond Dickinson team who supported us on this important transaction – they really complemented and fitted our own working style and we couldn't have been more pleased with their responsiveness and help with co-ordinating this process for us.

"The strength in depth was apparent at all stages of the transaction – and we were incredibly impressed with Stacey Hall's handling of everything that we and the process threw at her."

Later this year Bond Dickinson will combine with Womble Carlyle to create a new law firm – Womble Bond Dickinson.  

Womble Bond Dickinson will have more than 420 partners, 1,000 lawyers and 2,395 people across eight offices in the UK and 16 offices in the US.  The combination will put Womble Bond Dickinson in the UK's top 20 and in the top 80 in the US listings.