Drugs: lawyers just say yes

It’s been a busy weekend for those lawyers working in the pharmaceutical sector.

Drugs retail giant Alliance-Boots revealed late last week that it had received a friendly £9.7bn takeover approach from US private equity house Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) – another busy bee, given its mooted offer with the rest of the CVC-led consortium for J Sainsbury.

Allen & Overy (A&O) and Slaughter and May have been battling it out to be Alliance-Boots’ go-to firm ever since the Boots and Alliance-Unichem merger last year.

It’s one-nil to Slaughters, with the news that Alliance-Boots is turning to the firm for its KKR approach. And that’s one hell of an instruction. (see story)

Still, A&O shouldn’t feel too glum given that it picked up, together with Lovells, the other big pharma instruction of the last few days: Schering-Plough’s £7.5bn purchase of Dutch giant Akzo Nobel’s drugs division. (see story)