Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom took the lead on two back-to-back M&A deals this week.
First, the firm advised Bermuda-based reinsurer Validus Holdings Ltd. on its $690 million cash purchase of New Jersey-based Western World Insurance Group Inc. in a deal announced Monday.
Then, the following day, Skadden was there to guide Irish specialty health care company Endo International plc on its agreement to buy generic drug company DAVA Pharmaceuticals for $575 million in cash.
Sullivan & Cromwell and Morrison Cohen advised Western World on Monday’s deal, while Dechert advised DAVA on Tuesday’s transaction.
The Western World acquisition will allow Validus to expand its line of specialty coverage. According to Validus, Western World will operate as an independent business under its current name and be led by its existing management team. The deal is expected to close at the end of the third quarter of 2014, pending regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions,
Validus CEO Ed Noonan said that Western World’s U.S. distribution platform, management and technology “creates a franchise that will provide compelling products and services for our customers,” while Western World CEO Tom Mulligan noted that Validus’ capital and expertise in short-tail classes of business “will advance the competitive advantages in all of our underwriting divisions.”
Advising Validus from Skadden was a team that included financial institutions partner Jon Hlafter, mergers and acquisitions partner Todd Freed and tax partner Jessica Hough. Intellectual property and technology counsel James Talbot and M&A associate Alpa Fedor were also on the team.
Skadden had previously advised Validus on its 2012 purchase of Flagstone Reinsurance Holdings for $623.3 million in cash and stock.
Western World turned to S&C for legal counsel on its sale to Validus, with a team made up of corporate partners Joseph Frumkin and Stephen Kotran, executive compensation and benefits partner Matthew Friestedt and tax partner Ronald Creamer Jr. Also advising were insurance special counsel Cheryl Bunevich and intellectual property special counsel Spencer Simon, along with associates Adrienne Bradley, Jeannette Braun, Alison Heyden and Alan Kravitz. This is S&C’s first time working with Western World.
In its acquisition of DAVA, Dublin-based Endo expects to enhance its portfolios in the generic drug market. The $575 million deal calls for Endo to pay DAVA an additional $25 million if it achieves certain sales milestones. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.
With its generics portfolio of 13 on-market therapeutic products, more than five new products coming out in 2015 and an additional 20 products due out in the next few years, DAVA will help Endo capitalize on a consumer shift toward generic drugs, which has led to declining sales of Endo’s own top products, such as pain treatments Lidoderm and Opana ER. Endo saw its first-quarter revenue decline more than analysts had forecasted but its U.S. generics sector witnessed a 19 percent growth.
For legal advice on the DAVA acquisition, Endo tapped Skadden mergers and acquisitions partners Brandon Van Dyke and Eileen Nugent, executive compensation and benefits partner Erica Schohn, IP and technology partner Matthew Zisk, corporate finance partner Stacy Kanter and health care enforcement and regulation partner Jennifer Bragg, along with health care enforcement and regulation counsel Maya Florence. Associates on the deal were Nazmiye Gokcebay, Claire James, Megan Manfred, Sarah Moros, Audrey Murga and Breanna Peterson.
Skadden had previously advised Endo on its $2.7 billion acquisition of Paladin Labs in February.
DAVA retained Dechert for counsel on the Endo transaction, with a team led by corporate partner Richard Goldberg that included tax partner Josh Milgrim, employee benefits partner David Jones, corporate partner Tony Chan and antitrust partner Mike Cowie. Associates Jay Buchman, Jon Bush, Youjin Choi, Eun Young Lee, Angelina Liang and Michael Rosenberg provided additional assistance.
According to Peggy Heffner, the public relations and social media manager at Dechert, DAVA has been a longtime corporate and transactional counsel client of the firm.