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The news that Biogen, Inc., and IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation plan to merge brought back memories of the heady late nineties. Not only is the $6.8 billion biotechnology deal structured as a stock swap; it’s also a merger of equals. Shareholders of San Diego�based IDEC will own 50.5 percent of the combined company, while Biogen shareholders will own 49.5 percent. The deal was announced June 23. Biogen IDEC Inc., the new company’s proposed name, will retain Biogen’s current headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and be led by Biogen CEO and chairman James Mullen. IDEC chairman William Rastetter will be the combined company’s executive chairman. The new company will have two drugs with annual sales of more than $1 billion each: Avonex, the multiple sclerosis treatment, and Rituxan, a drug for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The deal must be approved by both companies’ stockholders as well as various regulators. Biogen and IDEC hope to close the deal this fall. For merger partner IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation (San Diego) In-house: General counsel John Dunn, corporate counsel Jo Ann Taormina, and intellectual property counsel Chris Dayton. Dunn joined IDEC in 2001 from Pillsbury Winthrop, where he had been a partner. Taormina was also formerly with Pillsbury. Pillsbury Winthrop (San Francisco): M&A: T. Michael Hird, David Snyder, and associates Justin Ferber, Chris Forrester, and Clara Liang. Intellectual property: John Wetherell, Jr. Tax: James Chudy and C. Brian Wainwright. Employee benefits: Peter Hunt. Antitrust: counsel Aileen “Chucca” Meyer. (Hird, Snyder, Ferber, Forrester and Wetherell are in San Diego; Liang, Chudy, and Hunt are in New York; Wainwright is in Palo Alto; and Meyer is in Washington, D.C.) Pillsbury has represented IDEC since 1999. For merger partner Biogen, Inc. (Cambridge, Massachusetts) In-house: General counsel Thomas Bucknum and chief corporate counsel Ann Marie Cook. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York): M&A: Roger Aaron, Kent Coit, Louis Goodman, and associate Margaret Cohen. (Coit, Goodman, and Cohen are in Skadden’s Boston office.)

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