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White & Case’s City office wins first work from CVC as PE house leads on $2bn Alvogen acquisition

White & Case, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Slaughter and May have all won roles as CVC Capital Partners, Vatera Healthcare and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek teamed up to buy a controlling stake in pharmaceutical firm Alvogen.

Although White & Case has an historic relationship with CVC stateside, this is the first work led out of London for the European private equity fund that led on the deal for the consortium. The firm’s team was led by partners Ian Bagshaw (pictured) in London and Oliver Brahmst from New York and included New York partner Brian Smarsh, plus Justin Wagstaff and Marcus Booth, both in London.

Bagshaw told Legal Business the deal played to the firm’s strengths: ‘It was one of those deals where you needed to be strong in New York and strong in London to get the deal away as the M&A was done in the US while I could lead the deal and the investment work out of London.’

The deal, which reportedly values Alvogen at $2bn, saw a club of investors including CVC, Temasek and Vatera Healthcare purchase a controlling stake in the pharma company from Pamplona Capital Management. Simpson Thacher led for Alvogen and Pamplona with a team including Peter Martelli in New York and Clare Gaskell in London. Lowenstein Sandler provided additional advice to Pamplona, which only bought its stake in the company with operations in 35 countries last year.

Bagshaw added: ‘Ultimately, it was a complex deal because of the nature of the consortia and the different drivers within it meant there were a number of points of view to reconcile. The deal played to the strengths of the firm, as Alvogen’s revenues are US but the growth areas are Central Europe and Asia. We were able to look at the due diligence in the US, and then when it comes to looking at comparable issues in Romania or Korea or Taiwan, we had teams on the ground to apply local knowledge.’

Those other point of views saw Slaughters win a role acting for Temasek with a team led by Nigel Boardman while biotech/pharmaceutical investment specialist Vatera was advised by Wilkie Farr & Gallagher.

The company has over 200 projects in development and registrations plus 350 marketed products. Aztiq Pharma, an investment vehicle led by Alvogen’s chief executive Robert Wessman, is retaining a stake while Pamplona will also keep a small stake.

CVC has previously turned to a raft of firms for its corporate work including Clifford Chance and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.