Belgian-Japanese strength wins Takeda for A&O

Allen & Overy‘s (A&O) Tokyo office has sourced a valuable Japanese client, which the firm has just advised on its first European acquisition.

A&O advised Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company Takeda on its purchase of unlisted UK company Paradigm.

London-based corporate partner Anna Buscall led the team at A&O alongside IP partner Colleen Keck and Kenneth Oh, a Singapore partner with the Allen & Overy Shook Lin & Bok joint venture.

The instruction came through Japanese and Belgian client contacts, said Buscall. Takeda has set aside $8.5bn (£4.3bn) to develop its drugs pipeline, including acquisitions over the coming years.

This deal follows a renewed commitment by A&O to its Tokyo office following a year of uncertainty and a strategic review of the office.

It now has a Japanese law capability for the first time since taking former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Nabuo Nakata last December, along with fellow bengoshi Osamu Ito from Asahi Koma Law Offices (The Lawyer, 8 December 2006).

US firm Morrison & Foerster acted for Paradigm, with London head of corporate Paul Claydon leading.

The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

A&O has a decent scorecard on cross-border corporate deals in the pharmaceutical sector of late. It advised Schering-Plough on its £7.5bn acquisition of the drugs division of Dutch group Akzo Nobel last month (The Lawyer, 12 March).