Willkie secures Sanofi’s Rhodia divestment

Willkie Farr & Gallagher has claimed its first instruction from pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis, two years after advising shareholder Total on the E57.7bn (£38.6bn) merger that formed the company.

Paris-based partner Laurent Faugérolas led the team advising Sanofi on the disposal of its stake in chemicals firm Rhodia to BNP Paribas.

The company had picked up the shares, worth E183m (£122.7m) when Sanofi- Synthélabo and Aventis merged in early 2004. Rhodia was a legacy from the 1999 merger between Hoechst and Rhône-Poulenc that created Aventis.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom partner Pierre Servan-Schreiber represented BNP on the transaction, which saw the bank sell the shares in a private placement immediately after acquiring the stake.

Rhodia was not represented during the transaction.