I am treated by my clients, and I see myself, as part of their management team. This means close liaison with directors and executives and regular visits to both their corporate headquarters and operational facilities.
I believe that a legal adviser can be most effective if they have a good understanding of their clients’ businesses. This principle applies whether you are working on large-scale transactions, such as capital raisings or acquisitions, or more operationally focused matters such as customer contracts. I have found this to be even more critical for my work in the food and consumer sectors, where it is important to understand the complete supply chain associated with the end products sold by clients. This includes, in the case of food products such as dairy or rice products, a knowledge of the relationship between the client and their farmer suppliers. My understanding of these areas allows me to provide advice to my clients that is consistent with the needs of their business and their growth strategies.
My work in the legal areas of corporate advisory and mergers and acquisitions has been heavily oriented towards the food sector acting for clients such as Bega Cheese, Ricegrowers/SunRice and Tatura Milk Industries over many years.
Bega Cheese corporate transactions — advising Bega Cheese in respect of its major corporate restructures, acquisitions and capital markets work over decades. This has included its conversion from a co-operative to a listed company and its initial public offering.
Bega Cheese commercial contracts — one of the core business activities of Bega Cheese and its subsidiary Tatura Milk Industries, is the manufacture of dairy products for supply to third party customers. These contract manufacture arrangements often involve the supply of large quantities of products on a long-term basis and, accordingly, it is important that the commercial terms be carefully formulated and documented. This requires a focus on key provisions such as ordering and supply, pricing and liability.
Bega Cheese’s acquisition of Mondelez business — advised Bega Cheese on its $460 million acquisition of Mondelez’s Australian and New Zealand grocery business, including Vegemite.
SunRice listing — acted for SunRice in relation to its conversion from a co-operative to a listed company. This involved working closely with SunRice in relation to corporate governance issues and is relationship with its farmer suppliers of Australian grown rice.
“David Ferguson has helped Bega Cheese over many years to develop and grow our business, culminating in our recent IPO and ASX listing. His expertise and understanding of our business ensures that we receive legal services that help us get things done.”