East European first

Baker & Mckenzie advised on the first ever takeover of a listed company in Central and Eastern Europe last week. The firm advised US Pharmaceuticals giant, Bristol-Myers Squibb on the US$110 million takeover of Pharmavit, a pharmaceutical company listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange. The offer involved an innovative simultaneous domestic offer to Hungarian shareholders and an international offer to institutional investors holding Global Depositaryp Shares. Tim Gee, partner heading the deal, said the greatest challenge was devising an offer structure satisfying divergent regulatory requirements in the UK, US and Hungary. “We needed a structure that was sophisticated and state of the art enough to persuade a fund manager in Boston yet straightforward enough for a shareholder in Budapest to understand,” he said.