Willkie Farr & Gallagher scores role on £2.5bn pharma M&A job

Willkie Farr & Gallagher has advised US dermatology company Stiefel Laboratories on its $3.6bn (£2.5bn) takeover by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Willkie Farr & Gallagher has advised US dermatology company Stiefel Laboratories on its $3.6bn (£2.5bn) takeover by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), in what is one of the biggest M&A transactions to hit the market in recent months.

Corporate partners William Grant and Greg Astrachan began advising Stiefel in 2006 following a beauty parade. They have since advised the company on a number of significant transactions including the $500m (£340m) investment by Blackstone in 2007 and its 2008 acquisition of Barrier Therapeutics.

Astrachan said: “There were three big M&A deals announced last Monday. My hope is that it’s a bellwether of future activity.”
GSK will acquire the total share capital of Stiefel for $2.9bn (£1.9bn) and assume $400m (£300m) of net debt upon closing. A potential further $300m (£200m) cash payment is contingent on future performance.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advised GSK. The team was led by New York-based corporate partner Benet O’Reilly, assisted by teams across antitrust, employee benefits, environmental, international diligence, IP, international regulatory, real estate and tax based in Brussels, New York and Washington DC.