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Kellogg Asks Kirkland for Legal Advice on Three-Way Split (1)

June 21, 2022, 2:20 PMUpdated: June 21, 2022, 3:10 PM

Kirkland & Ellis is advising Kellogg Co. in its split into three independent companies, helping the maker of Rice Krispies cereal and Cheez-It crackers through a process expected to finish next year.

Kellogg will split into companies focused on global snacking, North American cereals, and plant-based foods, the company said Tuesday. The breakup will occur through two tax-free spin-offs, Kellogg said.

The main business will focus on global snacking and had about $11 billion in net sales in the last full-year. The North American cereal unit’s sales were about $2.4 billion, while the plant-based food operation, led by MorningStar Farms brand, handled $340 million in sales.

The Kirkland team representing Kellogg was led by corporate partners Eric Schiele, Allie Wein and Keith Crow, capital markets partners Robert Hayward and Robert Goedert, tax partners Dean Shulman and Adam Kool, executive compensation partner Scott Price, technology & IP transactions partner Seth Traxler, and antitrust partner Andrea Murino.

Kirkland in May 2021 advised Kellogg on its first “sustainability bond” issuance, a 300 million euro, eight-year bond with proceeds used to address well being, hunger relief and climate sustainability.

The Kirkland team on the sustainability bond was led by Chicago-based capital markets partners Hayward and Goedert.

Kirkland also advised the Battle Creek, Michigan-based company in its $600 million purchase of RX Bar maker Chicago Bar Co. LLC in 2017.

The new global snacking business will maintain a dual headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan and Chicago, where Kirkland, the world’s largest law firm by revenue, was founded and maintains a large presence.

Kirkland was long known for its expertise in private equity deals, but it has also grown into a public company M&A powerhouse in more recent years. The firm did more than $6 billion in revenue last year, according to data from AmLaw, while its average equity partner earned more than $7 million.

(Adds fourth paragraph with Kirkland lawyers leading Kellogg representation.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Roy Strom in Chicago at rstrom@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com