Cleary and White & Case win lead roles on Zimmer’s £8bn acquisition of Biomet

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and White & Case are advising on the £7.9bn ($13.4bn) acquisition of orthopaedic manufacturing company Biomet by Zimmer, the manufacturer of the ‘zimmer frame’.

The acquisition will put an end to a planned IPO of Biomet, which was intended to raise funds to pay off the debt incurred by its owners, including Blackstone, KKR, TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs, when the company went private in 2007. 

Cleary picked up the mandate from existing client Biomet. The transaction is being led out of New York by corporate partner Robert Davis along with partner Jeff Karpf, counsel Helena Crannis, and associates Jim Langston, Dan Fernandez, Dorje Glassman, Chris Oglesby and Marc Rotter with law clerk Rusty Feldman. 

New York partner Arthur Kohn, counsel Mary Alcock and associate Amber Thiel are advising on employment matters, while partner Meme Peponis is dealing with financing issues. 

Cleary is also fielding a European antitrust team on the transaction led by Brussels-based M&A and competition partner Enrique Gonzalez-Diaz, who has an existing relationship with the Biomet. London competition associate Paul Gilbert and Brussels associates Ben Holles, Ian Hastings and Virginia Romero are supporting. 

Weil Gotshal & Manges is advising Biomet on US regulatory issues. 

Zimmer has instructed New York-based White & Case M&A partner Mort Pierce to lead the firm’s team on the buyout with help from partners Chang-Do Gong and Robert Chung.

The transaction marks the latest in a rush of healthcare M&A deals. Earlier this week Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline announced $20bn in deals, while Valeant made a $45bn hostile bid for Allergan (22 April 2014). 

Background to this deal: 

Both Zimmer and Biomet have turned to trusted advisers on the deal. Cleary has picked up numerous mandates from Biomet in recent years, including a substantial refinancing last year which involved partners in both the US and Europe. 

Zimmer is also familiar with White & Case, having instructed the firm on numerous matters including its acquisition of Centerpulse in 2003.