Davis Polk and Latham lead on Roche megadeal

Davis Polk and Latham lead on Roche megadealA duo of US firms have snared lead roles on Swiss pharmaceutical group Roche’s $43.7bn (£21.88bn) bid for US drug giant Genentech.

Davis Polk & Wardwell New York partners Arthur Golden, Chris Mayer and Peter Douglas are advising Roche, which acquired a 55.9 per cent stake in Genentech in 1990.

While Latham & Watkins is yet to formalise its role on the deal it is thought the firm’s global head of corporate Peter Kerman will lead the firm on advice to existing Latham client Genentech.

If accepted, the deal would represent the biggest acquisition in the pharmaceutical industry since Pfizer’s $64bn (£32.04bn) acquisition of Phamacia Corp in 2003.

Roche’s bid for Genentech comes after an acquisitive streak for the Swiss pharmaceuticals giant. Earlier this year (12 May) The Lawyer reported on Roche acquiring cancer treatment company Piramed from Merlin Biosciences and JP Morgan Partners. Piramed instructed Morrison Foerster partner Paul Claydon while Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer corporate partner Julian Long led the firm advising Roche.

Davis Polk and Latham declined to comment.