Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Genzyme + Sanofi Lawyers for Hire?

A lot of people are expecting a quick deal in the Sanofi Aventis (Ticker: SNY) + Genzyme (Ticker: GENZ) saga, but it's going to take time. I believe something will happen and one needs to be patient. Both Sanofi Aventis + Genzyme have have their M&A lawyers in place and the serious wheel & dealing will take place shortly. Here's a good article from The Am Law Review:


Who's Getting the Work on the Sanofi-Genzyme Talks?

Posted by Zach Lowe

The talks between Sanofi-Aventis and Genzyme are just starting, but the law firm lineup is coming together, according to two sources familiar with the matter. And the names of the firms on this potential $21 billion deal won't surprise folks who have followed these companies for a long time.

Let's start with Sanofi, the French giant which has sent a letter to Genzyme's board outlining an offer that would pay Genzyme shareholders between $67 and $70 per share--a deal that would value the Cambridge, Mass.-based company at about $18 billion, according to The New York Times and Bloomberg. Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz have both nailed roles representing Sanofi in the deal talks, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Neither is a huge surprise. A team from Weil advised Sanofi late last year on its $1.9 billion acquisition of the consumer products company Chattem, according to our prior reporting. The firm's antitrust team is also advising Sanofi on its move to form a new animal health joint venture with Merck. Key Weil partners on those matters declined to comment or did not return calls.

Wachtell, meanwhile, was around for the creation of Sanofi-Aventis in 2004, when the firm advised the company then known as Sanofi Synthélabo on its $68 billion acquisition of Aventis. (The American Lawyer named Wachtell's David Katz one of its Dealmakers of the Year for his work on that deal. Katz declined to comment on the Genzyme matter.)

Genzyme has reached out to Ropes & Gray for work on the Sanofi talks, though there may be other firms involved on the Genzyme side as well, according to one source. Ropes has represented Genzyme before, including last year on Genzyme's acquisition of the rights to three cancer drugs from Bayer, according to our prior reporting. Ropes partners who have worked with Genzyme either declined to comment or did not return comment.

Neither company has officially acknowledged the talks yet, and the NYT says other bidders might emerge for Genzyme, which is likely holding out for a deal that values that company at about $80 per share.


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