Mergers + Acquisitions | Europe

Morrison & Foerster is a leader in advising parties to mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances.  Our attorneys have extensive experience advising both publicly-traded and privately-held companies in connection with these transactions.  In Europe, we offer UK and U.S. advice.


  • 3i plc.  Advise 3i on the proposed £230 million acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) of Domantis Ltd, a leader in developing the next generation of antibody therapies.  Domantis, a privately owned company backed by 3i, will become part of GSK’s Biopharmaceuticals Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEDD) while continuing to operate from laboratories in Cambridge, UK.

  • Acambis plc. Advise London Stock Exchange listed vaccine company Acambis plc on the £276 million recommended takeover offer from Sanofi-Aventis.  Implemented by Scheme of Arrangement.

  • African Lakes Corporation. Advise African Lakes, one of the oldest trading companies in Africa, on the disposal of subsidiary Africa Online Limited to Telekom SA Limited.

  • Arrow Therapeutics Ltd. Advise the shareholders of Arrow, a privately owned UK biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of anti-viral therapies, in its $150 million acquisition by AstraZeneca.

  • Advise technology venture fund, DFJ Esprit and the other selling shareholders, on the sale of portfolio company to AOL., with offices in the UK and U.S., is a leading independent affiliate network that provides a platform for performance-based e-commerce marketing programs to advertisers and publishers.

  • Cambridge Biotechnology Limited.  Advise on the sale of Cambridge Biotechnology Limited to Biovitrum A/B.  We represented Merlin Biosciences and other institutional investors.

  • Comsat International, Inc.  Represent Comsat International, a telecommunications company providing full service voice and data services primarily in Latin America, in its acquisition by BT United States L.L.C. (a member of the British Telecom Group) through a reverse triangular merger.

  • Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd.  Advise Tokyo-listed Dainippon Screen on its acquisition of UK-based Inca Digital Printers, the specialist  wide-format digital inkjet printer manufacturer, in an agreement totalling £30 million.

  • DSP Group.  Advise DSP Group, a U.S.-Israeli company, in the successful spin-off of its IP licensing subsidiary, Ceva, and the combination of Ceva with Dublin-based Parthus Technologies.  We also represented the combined company, ParthusCeva, in connection with its listing on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

  • Hitachi. Advise Hitachi on its $2.05 billion acquisition of IBM's worldwide hard disk drive business, including its manufacturing and sales sites in North America (U.S. and Mexico), Asia (Japan, China, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand) and Europe (United Kingdom, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands). 

  • KP Renewables.  Advise KP Renewables, a renewable energy company, on a reverse takeover of Island Gas Limited for £50 million, and its readmission to AIM. KP Renewables is a renewable energy company whose principal activity is developing, building and acquiring portfolios of renewable energy projects.

  • IWP International plc.  Act as English counsel for IWP International in a €134 million disposal of its household products division which includes Jeyes.  IWP is listed on the Dublin and London markets, and is one of the largest Irish companies by market capitalisation.

  • KuDOS Pharmaceuticals. We advised KuDOS Pharmaceuticals Limited, a privately-owned UK biotechnology company in relation to the $210 million acquisition of KuDOS by AstraZeneca.

  • Paradigm Therapeutics. Advise the private equity owners of Paradigm, a private UK drug discovery and development company, in its sale to Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan.

  • PIramed.  Advise the institutional and individual owners of PIramed, a privately-owned UK company focusing on treatments for cancer and immune inflammatory diseases, on the sale of the company to Roche, one of the world’s leading research focused healthcare groups.  Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will acquire PIramed's entire share capital for $160 million, plus a milestone payment of $15 million and an amount equal to cash balances.

  • Puma Unified Communications Limited.  Advise UK-based Puma and its shareholders in connection with its sale to California-based j2 Global Communications, Inc.

  • Thomson S.A.  Advise Thomson in its $2.065 billion acquisition of Technicolor from Carlton Communications PLC.

  • Unique Digital Marketing Limited.  Act for the selling shareholders of Unique Digital Marketing Limited (a digital media advertising agency) on the sale of Unique to Syzygy AG.

  • Weatherly International. Advise Weatherly International on the transfer of assets, which included mining leases and licenses, to Forsys Metals Corp. The total value of the transaction is in excess of $10 million.

Chambers UK 2012
London: Corporate/M&A: Lower Mid-Market (Band 1)

Legal 500 UK 2011
M&A: Lower Mid-Market Deals

League Tables

Thomson Reuters M&A
#15 Any Italian Involvement - Announced Deals Ranked by Value Q2 2009

#5 Europe Announced Deals - UK Targets Only Ranked by Volume Q2 2009
#7 Europe Announced Deals - UK Targets Only Ranked by Value Q2 2009
#11 Europe Announced Deals - Europe Targets Ranked by Volume Q2 2009
#12 Europe Announced Deals - Any Europe Participant Ranked by Volume Q2 2009

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(Chambers UK 2013)

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