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M&A: Davis Polk and Latham advise on Smith & Nephew’s $1.7bn acquisition of Arthrocare

In the third largest M&A deal in the UK this year after Liberty Global’s $10bn takeover of Ziggo and Amec’s $2.7bn acquisition of Foster Wheeler, Davis Polk & Wardwell is advising Smith & Nephew on its $1.7bn acquisition of Texas-based medical device company ArthroCare opposite Latham & Watkins.

The Davis Polk team includes corporate partners George Bason and Michael Davis, along with Jeffrey Crandall who is providing executive compensation advice. Partners Ronan Harty and Kathleen Ferrell are providing antitrust and tax advice respectively. Davis Polk is advising from its New York and Washington offices.

London Stock Exchange-listed Smith & Nephew, with a market capitalisation of £7.9bn, has in the past used firms including Ashurst and Magic Circle giant Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for corporate work, with Freshfields also having recently advised the corporate on employment and pensions matters.

Latham’s corporate team for Arthrocare is being led by Silicon Valley partners Michael Hall and Josh Dobofsky, along with Orange County corporate partners Charles Ruck and David Lee and Washington D.C-based antitrust partners Michael Egge and Amanda Reeves.

Compensation and benefits advice is being provided by Silicon Valley-based James Metz; intellectual property advice by partner JD Marple; health care regulatory matters by Washington-based partners John Manthei Stuart Kurlander; and securities and finance advice by Washington-based partner Joel Trotter and New York partner Wesley Holmes.

ArthroCare is based in Austin, Texas and employs around 1,800 people. In January the company and the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into a deferred prosecution agreement resolving an investigation by the DOJ into allegations of securities and related fraud going back to 2008.