Jones Day has advised Japan’s Ajinomoto on its $800 million purchase of Houston-based frozen food maker Windsor Quality Holdings.
Ajinomoto will purchase Windsor through Ajinomoto North America Inc, its U.S. subsidiary.
Windsor, which owns the Ling Ling, Josè Olè, Tai Pei, Bernardi, VIP, Chili Bowl, Fred’s, Golden Tiger, Posada and Whitey brands, sells its products to more than 80,000 stores and 120,000 restaurants in the U.S.
The purchase comes as Ajinomoto tries to stem slowing sales at home as Japan contends with dual headwinds of an ageing population and a slowing economy.
The team from Jones Day was led by Tokyo-based Of Counsel Eric Sedlak, with assistance from Houston corporate partner Angela Olivarez and associate Alain Dermarkar in Dallas.
Baker Botts, which advised Windsor on the sale, was led by Dallas-based M&A partners Geoff Newton and Brian Henchey, tax partner Steve Marcus and real estate partner Jeremy Gott.
The deal marks Ajinomoto’s biggest ever purchase and will be financed with cash and loans. The acquisition is expected to close by November.
The Japanese producer of processed foods, seasonings, amino acids, pharmaceuticals, and specialty chemicals said it aims to boost sales of its U.S. frozen foods business to $1 billion by 2020.
The U.S. frozen foods market is currently valued at $40 billion.