Pharma and biotech M&A market in full health

Telecoms and tech have been at the top of the M&A tree so far this year. Who would have thought that the trendy duo would be temporarily eclipsed by a sector trading in Botox and zimmer frames?

But, over the past week, global healthcare has well and truly emerged as the sector of the moment.

Natalie pic
Natalie Stanton

So far magic circle firms have reaped a chunk of the rewards. A cohort of Linklaters and Freshfields lawyers are among the 500 legal advisers involved in Novartis’ $20bn (£11.9bn) worth of transactions with rival GlaxoSmithKline last week.

However, there is also plenty of action for lawyers to get their hands on across the pond. A raft of legal advisers from firms including Sullivan & Cromwell, Skadden and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt and Kirkland & Ellis have been lined up to advise on Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ $47bn (£11.9bn) hostile bid in cash and stock for Botox-creater Allergan.

Meanwhile, Cleary and Weil have picked up roles advising Zimmer – maker of the eponymous zimmer frame – on its $13.4bn (£8bn) acquisition for Biomet. The target turned to White & Case for its sale.

As Pfizer today reiterated its intention to take over UK pharma giant AstraZeneca, it looks as if the healthcare rush has plenty of life in it yet.

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