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Ashurst laterals bag Stephenson Harwood $3.7bn Abbott-Piramal buy alongside Crawford, Luthra

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Crawford Bayley, Luthra & Luthra and Baker & McKenzie and Stephenson Harwood have advised on the $3.7bn takeover of Piramal Healthcare by US pharma major Abbott Laboratories.

Baker & McKenzie and Luthra & Luthra advised Abbott as US and domestic counsel respectively.

Luthra & Luthra's team consisted of corporate partners Samir Dudhoria and Vikrant Kumar with senior associate Aparna Mittal while senior partner Mohit Saraf oversaw the deal.

Baker & McKenzie Abbott relationship is Pablo Garcia-Moreno.

While Crawford Bayley senior partner RA Shah advised Mumbai-based Piramal, Stephenson Harwood corporate partner Andrew Edge led the UK legal advice for the company.

The Stephenson Harwood team also included corporate partner Duncan Stiles and IP partner Eifion Morris, assisted by corporate associate Becky Vernon.

Both Edge and Stiles were former Ashurst partners, having joined in March 2010 and June 2009 respectively, with a brief to ramp up Stephenson Harwood's corporate practice.

Edge was a corporate partner at Ashurst with a particular focus on Russia, having acted in particular for metal mining giant Rusal, while Stiles was the firm's US relationship partner.

Edge said that although his main practice focus had not been India to date, he looked forward to focussing more on the country. "[Former senior partner] Sunil [Ghadia] and I have said that we need to sit down together and work out what might be the right way forward to combine me with the practice here," he said.

Edge explained that he had acted on deals for Piramal while at Ashurst, such as on its takeover of one of Pfizer's UK manufacturing plants.

The takeover of Piramal’s healthcare solution business will enable Abbott to emerge as the country’s top drug maker with a market size of 7 per cent.

The deal involves an up-front cash payment of $2.12bn and four annual $400m payments starting 2011. Piramal Healthcare will use the proceeds for paying off debt and for business expansion including investments in new areas of growth.

Abbott's latest acquisition follows Daiichi Sankyo's $5.4bn (Rs 25,000 crore) buy out of Ranbaxy in June last year and is the second-largest acquisition in India's pharmaceutical sector ever.

Photo by blmurch
In the second-largest deal ever in the Indian pharma industry

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