Kirkland helps Teva win bid battle for Cephalon

US firms Kirkland & Ellis and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom snared the prize mandates on the $6.8bn (£4.12bn) sale of biopharmaceutical ­company Cephalon to rival drugs giant Teva.

Kirkland acted for longstanding client Teva on the deal. The Israeli company saw off a hostile approach for Cephalon from Canadian rival Valeant before agreeing to pay $81.50 a share for the target. Valeant had ­previously offered $73 per share.

New York corporate partner David Fox led the Kirkland team acting alongside fellow corporate partner Jeff Symons, Washington DC competition partner Christine Wilson and New York tax partner Scott Price.

Fox also worked on Teva’s last major acquisition, the $5bn purchase of German generics producer ­Ratiopharm, which was announced last March.

Cephalon turned to ­Skadden New York M&A partners Eileen Nugent and Neil Stronski. The Skadden team also featured antitrust partner Clifford Aronson and compensation and ­benefits partner Regina Olshan.

It is understood that ­Sullivan & Cromwell acted for Valeant on its failed bid for Cephalon, with New York M&A partner Keith Pagnani and Los Angeles M&A partner Alison Ressler leading.

The ultimate purchase price represents a 39 per cent premium on Cephalon shares compared with the price before Valeant launched its initial bid.

The deal, which will be financed through existing capital, credit facilities and public markets, will see Teva grow its branded ­pharmaceutical business.