RIVAL mergers and acquisitions practices at prominent firms Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Gilbert + Tobin have acted on the merger agreement between pharmaceutical companies LEO Pharma and Peplin.
Peplin yesterday announced the merger agreement, whereby LEO Pharma, which is based in Denmark, would acquire all outstanding securities of Peplin for US$287.5 million ($348.4 million) in cash.
Corrs is acting as Australian legal counsel to Peplin on the merger, lead by corporate M&A partner James Rozsa.
Corrs has been acting for Peplin since its first US fundraising in early 2006, including on successive fundraisings and its redomiciliation from Queensland to the United States and re-listing on ASX, it said today.
James Rozsa has now acted as Australian counsel on two major plays in the Australian life science/biotechnology sector in 2009, having also acted as Australian counsel to Thoratec Corporation in its proposed acquisition of HeartWare International, Inc.
Gilbert+Tobin is acting as Australian legal counsel to LEO Pharma A/S.
Goldman, Sachs & Co. is acting as financial advisor and Fenwick & West LLP as legal counsel to Peplin, Inc.
Leerink Swann LLC provided a fairness opinion to the Peplin Board of Directors.
Morgan Stanley & Co. Limited is acting as financial advisor and Cooley Godward Kronish LLP as legal counsel to LEO Pharma A/S.
Peplin Chairman and CEO Tom Wiggans said “We are especially delighted to enter into this agreement with LEO, a globally recognised dermatology leader. We are very proud of the accomplishments of the entire Peplin team over the past several years to advance our lead candidate PEP005 Gel for actinic keratosis through to near completion of Phase 3 clinical trials.
"We are pleased LEO recognises the potential of PEP005 Gel as an innovative product for the treatment of actinic keratoses and other skin diseases.”
President and CEO of LEO Pharma Gitte Aabo said: “The agreement to acquire Peplin fits extremely well with our ambition of staying in the global lead within dermatology. We are truly impressed with the amount of work and dedication that the people at Peplin have tied into this project.”