Wragge & Co advises on £91 million life sciences deal
Wragge & Co's corporate experts have advised Astex Therapeutics on its proposed £91 million cross-border acquisition by NASDAQ-listed SuperGen Inc.
Corporate partner Kevin Jones led a cross-firm team advising the UK-based biotechnology company Astex Therapeutics. A strategic acquisition, the deal will provide Astex shareholders with a 35% stake in US-based pharmaceutical company SuperGen, plus additional cash of $25 million on closing. A further $30 million will be paid over a 30-month period from the date of closure. The acquisition is conditional upon regulatory and shareholder approvals.
Kevin Jones said: "Having worked with Astex since it launched in 1999 we were well placed to advise on this important deal which supports its future growth and provides liquidity for its shareholders. The deal was highly complex, involving a UK scheme of arrangement and drew on our wide-ranging M&A experience and in-depth life sciences expertise."
Martin Buckland, Chief Business Officer for Astex Therapeutics, added: "This is an exciting step forward in the ongoing development of our business. A complex deal, we needed advisers that understand our business, demonstrate life sciences sector expertise and can think creatively around commercial issues. The Wragge & Co team delivered at every level."
The cross-firm team also included corporate director Andrew Glaze, associate Chris Towle and solicitor Amar Adatia. Partner Neil Pearson led on employee related tax advice and IP expertise was provided by partner Patrick Duxbury. The Wragge & Co team worked closely with Astex's Chief Executive Officer Harren Jhoti and Chief Business Officer Martin Buckland, together with Marc Recht and Barbara Borden of Cooley LLP, Astex's US legal advisers.
Astex Therapeutics focuses on small molecule therapeutics to develop new medicines primarily for the treatment of cancer and viral infections. Its work involves collaborating with a number of major pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Johnson & Johnson. Wragge & Co has worked regularly with Astex over the last 11 years, advising on both corporate and IP matters. Previous deals include advising on its £300 million drug discovery alliance with healthcare giant GlaxoSmithKline.
SuperGen is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel cancer therapies. Earlier this year the company reported total revenues of $53 million for its year ending December 2010. In this latest deal it was advised by Taylor Wessing in the UK and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in the US.
Wragge & Co's 70-lawyer Corporate group specialises in M&A, private equity, IPOs, joint ventures, public takeovers, share schemes, complex corporate structuring, funds and tax. Highlights from the last month include advising the management team on the sale of Phones 4u to private equity house BC Partners. US-based Providence Equity and the Phones 4u management team sold the mobile phone retailer for an undisclosed sum.
The firm's Life Sciences team provides full-service expertise in IP, corporate, antitrust, regulatory and dispute resolution matters. Its experience includes advising on global patent infringement actions, European regulatory compliance, M&A transactions and cross-border licence and collaboration agreements. Among its key clients are AstraZeneca, Chroma Therapeutics and the Medical Research Council.
For further information about this press release, contact Kathryn Hobbs on +44 (0)121 685 2785, Rebecca Davies on +44 (0)121 685 3819, Gayle Biddle on +44 (0)121 685 2708 or Amy Richards on +44 (0)121 260 9973
This press release may contain information of general interest about current legal issues, but does not give legal advice.