M&A mitigates summer lull

Summer has hit Europe. But as offices empty across the Continent and the recruitment market temporarily dries up, there’s still work going on.

Two of the biggest M&A transactions to have taken place this year so far have had a heavy European element. Announced within days of each other, both are highly strategic deals with a potentially major impact on their sectors.

The first involved firms in the Netherlands and France as well as the US, as French advertising giant Publicis agreed a merger with US-listed Omnicom, creating a company valued at $35bn (£22.7bn). The deal involved some of Europe’s biggest firms, with Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier and Nauta Dutilh scooping the instruction for Publicis and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek acting for Omnicom.

Meanwhile, over in Ireland, a long-running saga finally came to an end when US pharmaceutical company Perrigo agreed to take over biotechnology company Elan. Elan had been the subject of a hostile takeover offer from Royalty Pharma earlier this year, which eventually failed, but the Perrigo deal was far more amicable.

It was good news for A&L Goodbody and US counsel Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, which have advised Elan throughout, whilst Dillon Eustace picked up the Irish role for Perrigo. Matheson had previously been advising Royalty Pharma.

So though on the surface, it might look as though Europe has quietened down, there’s clearly still plenty going on to keep lawyers busy.