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/commercial and mergers/acquisitions has been heavily oriented towards the food sector, acting for clients such as Bega Cheese, SunRice and Tatura Milk Industries over many years.
Bega Cheese IPO — advising Bega Cheese on its initial public offering and listing on the ASX in mid-2011, which completed over-subscribed and raised $35 million for Bega Cheese. The lead-up to the listing included advising the company with respect to its overall corporate strategy.
Bega Cheese full merger with Tatura Milk Industries (Scheme of Arrangement) — following the successful listing of Bega Cheese on the ASX, Bega Cheese acquired 100% control of Tatura Milk Industries Limited by way of scheme of arrangement.
Bega Cheese takeover offer for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter — acted for Bega Cheese in relation to its initial 15% investment in ASX listed Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company Holdings Limited in December 2010 and subsequently on the takeover offer made by Bega Cheese in 2013.
Bega Cheese acquisition of Mondelez business — acted for Bega Cheese in relation to its purchase of the Australian and New Zealand grocery business of Mondelez, including Vegemite and peanut butter products in 2017 for a purchase price of $460 million and the associated capital raising.
Bega Cheese Federal Court proceedings — acted for Bega Cheese in its successful defence of its rights in the well-know “yellow lid” peanut butter container against Kraft Heinz.
Bega Cheese acquisition of Lion-Dairy & Drinks — acted for Bega Cheese in relation to its purchase of the shares in the Lion-Dairy & Drinks group in 2021 for $540 million and the associated capital raising.
Long term contracts for Bega Cheese Group — acted for the Bega Cheese Group in relation to its contracts relating to the manufacture and supply of dairy and nutritional powder products to third party customers. These long-term contract manufacturing arrangements are key activities of the group and are formulated on the basis that they have the same level of long term significance as acquisitions, with a focus on key provisions such as ordering and supply, pricing and liability.
SunRice — acted for SunRice in relation to its conversion from a co-operative to a listed company.
The Best Lawyers in Australia — Mergers and Acquisition Law — 2021 - 2023
Other areas of expertise
Bachelor of Arts (Honours): Bachelor of Laws, University of New South Wales
“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.”