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Dealwatch: Davis Polk and Simpson Thacher lead as AstraZeneca takes over ZS Pharma for $2.7bn

Wall Street leaders Davis Polk & Wardell and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are lead advisers on Anglo-Swedish pharma giant AstraZeneca’s $2.7bn acquisition of California-based biopharmaceutical company ZS Pharma.

The deal is the latest in a wave of takeover deals in the healthcare industry, including the potential $100bn merger of AstraZeneca and Pfizer, which came to a halt last year. Last week Dublin-based Shire moved to acquire US firm Dyax for $5.9bn, in a deal which Ropes & Gray‎, Slaughter and May, Davis Polk and Sullivan & Cromwell all advised on.

Under this latest agreement, AstraZeneca will acquire all of the outstanding capital stock of ZS Pharma for $90 per share in an all-cash transaction.

Davis Polk’s team out of New York represented AstraZeneca, comprising corporate partners Marc Williams and Brian Wolfe, partner Edmond FitzGerald for compensation advice, tax partner Neil Barr and Joel Cohen on antitrust and competition issues

ZS Pharma instructed Simpson Thacher with corporate partners Kevin Kennedy and Kirsten Jensen, employment partner Tristan Brown, tax partner Katharine Moir and IP partner Noah Leibowitz.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2015.

AstraZeneca has used a range of firms in the past, including RPC on its move to a new headquarters in Cambridge in 2013, and Covington & Burling when it purchased Spanish healthcare group Almirall for $2.1bn in 2014.