Actavis GC to step down as US rival acquires company

The general counsel of Swiss generic drugmaker Actavis is to step down from the role as US rival Watson Pharmaceuticals acquires the company for €4.25bn (£3.4bn).


Former Linklaters lawyer Roy Papatheodorou has been the general counsel for Actavis since 2010 and is expected to leave the combined pharmaceutical company, now the world’s third largest generic drugmaker, in the next few months.

David Buchen, who was made chief legal officer of global at Watson Pharmaceuticals in May 2012, will be general counsel of the combined company with immediate affect. Another member of the US drugmaker’s legal team is expected to be promoted to Europe general counsel in the next few weeks, though a name is yet to be formally announced.

No further changes are expected in the combined pharmaceutical company’s legal department. Actavis has around 55 in-house lawyers while Watson is understood to have around 20.

Latham & Watkins advised Watson on the transaction, which was executed under English law. The corporate team was led by Scott Shean, managing partner of the firm’s Orange County, California office, along with M&A partner Charles Ruck and London-based M&A partner Michael Bond. 

Longstanding Actavis adviser Linklaters represented the Swiss drugmaker and a consortium of stakeholders, including Novator, Landsbanki and Straumir, on the sale, led by private equity partner and co-head of global private equity Ian Bagshaw, tax partner Elizabeth Conway and corporate partner Aisling Zarraga.

Watson, which has projected revenues of approximately $8bn following the deal, bought Greek generic drugmaker Specifar Pharmaceuticals for €400m last year and an Australian unit of Strides Arcolab for AU$387m earlier this year.