May 19, 2011 4:50 PM
Wilmer, Freshfields on $3.5 Billion Sale of Diagnostics Firm to Thermo Fisher
Posted by Julie Triedman
In the second multibillion-dollar acquisition of a privately held pharmaceutical company announced Thursday, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. said it will pay London-based private equity firm Cinven Ltd. $3.5 billion in cash to acquire the diagnostics maker Phadia Group.
The announcement came a few hours after Takeda Pharmaceutical announced its plans to purchase Swiss-based Nycomed for $13.7 billion.
Thermo Fisher has been actively pursuing deals since 2009, with nine publicly announced acquisitions and two divestitures in that time, according to a recent company press release. As Dealbook reported, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based company has been spending big to acquire a number of specialty diagnostics businesses and selling off noncore services assets. In February, Thermo Fisher agreed to sell two service-oriented units for a total of nearly $1 billion.
A team from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr advised the company on that deal and on today's announced acquisition. The team is led by corporate chair Hal Leibowitz, based in Boston, and includes corporate partners Tim Matthews in London and Jeffrey Hermanson in Boston. In-house, Thermo Fisher looked to senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary Seth Hoogasian and chief M&A counsel John Piccione.
Thermo Fisher's last billion-dollar-plus purchase, the $2.1 billion acquisition of Dionex in December, was led by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. The firm also is a longtime outside counsel to the company.
Cinven has tapped longtime outside counsel Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for the sale of Phadia, based in Uppsala, Sweden. London-based corporate partner David Higgins is leading on the deal, working alongside finance partner Chris Davis, antitrust partner Rod Carlton, corporate associates James Scott and Keir MacLennan, and antitrust associate Simon Constantine.
Higgins has represented Cinven on several major transactions, according to his firm bio. "This disposal continues our long-standing relationship with Cinven," he said in a statement, noting recent work on transactions such as the acquisition of Spice plc and the acquisition of Avolon Aerospace (together with CVC and Oakhill).
Freshfields represented Cinven in 2007 in its $1.85 billion acquisition of Phadia. The acquisition was at the height of the market boom, and was highly leveraged at nine times earnings, according to The Wall Street Journal. In spite of this, Cinven stands to clear more than triple the cash it put into the deal.
The deal is expected to close within the fourth quarter of 2011.Make a comment