WASHINGTON (June 10, 2013) — International law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP secured a significant win for firm client Constellation Brands, Inc., over a group of consumer plaintiffs seeking to stop its $4.75 billion acquisition of the U.S. beer business of Corona and related brands from Anheuser-Busch InBev (Euronext: ABI; NYSE: BUD).
Constellation's acquisition was contingent upon the results of an investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division into ABI's acquisition of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV: GMODELOC). McDermott’s antitrust team worked with counsel for ABI and Modelo to obtain DOJ's approval of those transactions in April 2013. A lawsuit on behalf of a small group of consumers was filed against ABI, Grupo Modelo, and Constellation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleging the transactions violated the antitrust laws.
On Monday, June 3, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion to stop the transactions from proceeding. Because the ABI acquisition of Modelo closed prior to the motion being heard on June 4, the plaintiffs concentrated their efforts to target the Constellation transaction, which closed on June 7. After the hearing, the court promptly denied the plaintiffs’ motion.
“We are proud of the outcome for our client,” said Peg Warner, partner and lead trial lawyer. “This win builds on the great work the Firm’s antitrust team has done to help make this transformational deal for Constellation a reality after months of negotiations with the DOJ, and showcases how McDermott’s deep bench of cross-practice talent works to solve problems for our clients. This was a consummate team effort across multiple practice groups as our lawyers worked alongside the very talented in-house legal teams at Constellation and Crown Imports to bring this transaction to a successful close.”
This victory for Constellation preserved its transformational acquisition by which it will become the third-largest brewer in the U.S. market. As a result of McDermott’s multi-faceted litigation and antitrust representation, Constellation will add a large-scale imported beer business to its already-existing world-class premium wine and spirits operations.
The McDermott antitrust and trial team was led by partners Raymond Jacobsen and Ms. Warner and also included partners Jon Dubrow, Warren Rosborough, Dan Alberti, Carla Hine, and Joshua Rogaczewski as well as associates Carrie Amezcua, Cerissa Cafasso, Young Cynn, Lincoln Mayer and Nicholas Rosinia.
About McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,100 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Further extending our reach into Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.