Johnson & Johnson’s USD 30 billion acquisition of Actelion Pharmaceuticals, Europe’s biggest biotech company


Johnson & Johnson announced it agreed to acquire Actelion Pharmaceuticals, Europe’s biggest biotech company, for $30 billion, or CHF280 per share, expanding the U.S. pharma giant’s portfolio of rare-disease treatments as its top-selling drug faces new competition.

The transaction involves the creation by way of demerger from Actelion of a new R&D biotech company. This new company will hold Actelion’s drug discovery operations along with the majority of its clinical pipeline and have net cash funding of CHF 1 billion. It will be listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and will be owned by existing Actelion shareholders, with Johnson & Johnson taking an initial 16% holding, with the possibility to rise to 32%.

The transaction is conditional on various matters, including certain anti-trust clearances. It is expected to close by the end of Q2 2017.

Niederer Kraft & Frey, Slaughter and May, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz represented Actelion on its transaction.

The integrated legal team was led by Philipp Haas and Ulysses von Salis (Niederer Kraft & Frey), alongside Simon Nicholls (picture) and David Johnson (Slaughter and May) and Dan Neff and Greg Ostling (Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz).

Niederer Kraft & Frey represented Actelion on the deal with a team composed by Thomas Broennimann (M&A, Corporate), Bertrand Schott (Corporate), Moritz Maurer (M&A, Corporate), Deirdre Ni Annrachain (M&A), Julia Tolstova (M&A, Corporate); Christina DelVecchio (Capital Markets); Daniela Schmucki (Tax), Thomas Graf (Tax), Christina Rinne (VAT), Rachid Ghazi (Tax); Laurence Uttinger (Pensions); Nicolas Birkhäuser (IP and Anti-trust); Clara-Ann Gordon (TMT and IP).

Slaughter and May’s team also included Susannah Macknay (Corporate), Rob Innes (Corporate), Harry Hecht (Corporate), Anthony Doolittle (Corporate), Claire Jackson (Corporate), Henry Herbert (Corporate); Susie Middlemiss (IP), Richard McDonnell (IP); Jeanette Zaman (Tax), Tom Windsor (Tax); Lisa Wright (Anti-trust), Susan Zhuang (Anti-trust) and Andrew Gilbert (Anti-trust).

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz’s team included John Robinson (Corporate), Jillian Colbert Alsheimer (Corporate); Franco Castelli (Competition); Greg Pessin (Restructuring & Finance); Adam Shapiro (Employee Benefits), Katherine O’Neill (Employee Benefits); T. Eiko Stange (Tax) and Sehj Vather (Tax).

Involved fees earner: Philipp Haas – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Ulysses von Salis – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Christina Del Vecchio – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Thomas Brönnimann – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Bertrand Schott – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Moritz Maurer – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Deirdre Ni Annrachain – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Julia Tolstova – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Daniela Schmucki – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Thomas Graf – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Rachid Ghazi – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Christina Rinne – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Laurence Uttinger – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Nicolas Birkhäuser – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Clara-Ann Gordon – Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Daniel Neff – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Gregory Ostling – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; John Robinson – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Jillian Colbert Alsheimer – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Franco Castelli – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Adam Shapiro – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Katherine O’Neill – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Eiko Stange – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Sehj Vather – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Gregory Pessin – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Simon Nicholls – Slaughter and May; David Johnson – Slaughter and May; Susannah Macknay – Slaughter and May; Robert Innes – Slaughter and May; Harry Hecht – Slaughter and May; Anthony Doolittle – Slaughter and May; Claire Jackson – Slaughter and May; Henry Herbert – Slaughter and May; Susie Middlemiss – Slaughter and May; Richard McDonnell – Slaughter and May; Jeanette Zaman – Slaughter and May; Tom Windsor – Slaughter and May; Lisa Wright – Slaughter and May; Susan Zhuang – Slaughter and May; Andrew Gilbert – Slaughter and May;

Law Firms: Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Slaughter and May;

Clients: Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd;