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Pinsent Masons advises Teva Pharmaceuticals on €84mn sale

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has advised Teva Pharmaceuticals’ subsidiary, Actavis Group PTC, on the successful €84m sale of a suite of consumer healthcare products to Karo Pharma AB (Karo).

The transaction transfers ownership of the brand portfolio, comprised of Flux®, Decubal®, Lactocare®, Apobase®, Dailycare® and Fludent® from Teva to Karo. The transaction is is expected to close on April 1.

The Pinsent Masons team was jointly led by partners Allistair Booth and Thilo Schneider and included senior associate Ciaran Wilkinson.

Commenting on the transaction Thilo Schneider said: “I am so pleased that we have been able to support Teva and to have brought this transaction to a successful conclusion. The sale is significant for both parties and we are proud to have achieved a successful outcome for Teva. We worked closely with them to understand what they wanted to achieve and helped to determine the best options available to them.”

Pinsent Masons advises on the £28m government funded 5G test project

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has advised the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on its innovative joint £28m investment in 5G test projects to showcase the capability of 5G technology across a range of industries and identify commercially sustainable long-term use cases.

As the latest funding competition run by the DCMS’ 5G Testbeds and Trials programme, 5G Create was run as an open call for 5G use cases, providing successful applicants with public funds to support their testing of 5G technology. Over £28m joint funding from government and industry will be invested across nine different projects, looking at whether 5G can improve construction process monitoring, optimise predictive maintenance of port infrastructure and improve the traceability of goods passing through ports.

Projects will also explore how 5G can support live-streaming by film makers in extreme locations, and provide for a more immersive remote experience of tourist attractions, sports events and the natural world through the use of augmented and virtual reality technology.

Having worked with DCMS on its 5G Testbeds and Trials programme since 2017, Pinsent Masons provided support around funding agreements and compliance with procurement and state aid law. The team was led by Simon Colvin (Partner) and included Justin Chan (Legal Director) and Nick Hutton (Associate).

Minister for Digital Infrastructure, Matt Warman, said: “5G is about so much more than faster mobile internet speeds so we’re investing millions to help some of Britain’s brightest innovators explore the huge potential of the technology to improve and enrich our lives.

“The projects we’ve selected will demonstrate how the blistering speeds of 5G can put some rocket fuel in our economy and help businesses bounce back from the pandemic.”

Global head of TMT and partner at Pinsent Masons, Simon Colvin said: “It’s clear from the breadth of projects that are receiving government support through the 5G Create competition, just how wide ranging the potential applications of 5G technology are.

“The real value from the trials will be derived through unlocking the commercially sustainable 5G use cases. This will come from putting new ideas like private networks, edge computing and Open RAN to the test in a real world setting. I look forward to seeing the trials develop in the coming months and understanding more around how 5G technology enables them to succeed.”

Pinsent Masons advises GNA Biosolutions GmbH on COVID-19 test

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons advised GNA Biosolutions GmbH on IP and commercial aspects of its rapid PCR COVID-19 test.

The test, developed by German molecular diagnostics company GNA Biosolutions, has been approved by the domestic regulatory German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM). The new PCR test, which produces a result in 40 minutes, is being rolled out across Germany with EU-wide approval expected in the coming months

The reliability of the rapid test system by GNA Biosolutions is comparable to common PCR tests, which, however, require up to 48 hours for a result.

The Pinsent Masons team advising on the deal was led by corporate partner Tobias Rodehau and included head of German public and regulatory Dr. Anke Empting, commercial and IP partner Dr. Michael Reich, technology, science and industry sector head Dr. Florian von Baum, head of German IP Marc Holtorf, and commercial legal director Dr. Igor Barabash.

Commenting on the project, Tobias Rodehau, said: “We are proud to have been able to assist GNA Biosolutions GmbH with this important project. Thanks to our expertise in the life sciences sector, we are familiar with the specifics of this industry and have been able to assemble a cross disciplinary team to play a role in facilitating swift access to this ground-breaking technology.”

GNA Biosolutions GmbH is a long-standing client of Pinsent Masons. In 2019 the firm successfully advised the company on its USD 13.5 million Series C financing.

The Bavarian state government has acquired six GNA Biosolutions test devices, which were officially approved in December, as well as 60,000 test kits.

Pinsent Masons advises Simpson Malt Limited on £90m refinancing deal

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has advised Simpson Malt Limited on a £90m asset based lending (ABL) facility with PNC Business Credit.

The deal will enable Simpson Malt Limited, the fifth-generation family malting and agricultural merchanting business headquartered in Berwick-upon-Tweed, to fund its working capital requirements as well as facilitating wider business expansion.

The team, led by partner Edward Sunderland and including property senior associate Margaret McNeill, banking associate Aaron Kenny and solicitor Sam Williams, advised on all elements of the deal. This involved co-ordinating the negotiations with the incoming funder, the repayment of the existing arrangements and managing the closing process, all on a remote basis due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Commenting on the deal, lead partner Edward Sunderland said: “We are delighted to have worked with our long-standing client Simpson Malt Limited on another important ABL transaction. The significant refinancing will allow our client to continue their proposed expansion as well as meet day to day working capital needs”

Graeme Hogg, Director at Simpson Malt Limited added: “Pinsent Masons are our “go to” legal adviser on banking matters having advised on two previous ABL transactions. Their expertise comes with a practicality that we know will always contribute to a successful completion.”

Pinsent Masons realigns its professional services offerings

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has brought together a range of skill set offerings to launch a professional services practice group as it further embeds its strategy to become a purpose-led professional services business with law at the core.

Pinsent Masons Vario, will become a practice group and sit alongside the firm’s traditional legal practice service lines, and will combine the firm’s flexible resourcing division, diversity and inclusion (D&I) consultancy Brook Graham, technology and consulting group, legal project management and managed legal services capabilities in response to client demand for commercial expertise alongside legal capabilities.

Over the past three financial years, Pinsent Masons Vario has achieved average year-on-year growth in excess of 30% and has opened in four new jurisdictions. In addition to this, it has grown its global client base to 250 clients in the past year.

Managing Director of Pinsent Masons Vario, Matthew Kay, said: “For some time now there has been a move away from the idea that the provision of legal services is mainly about black letter law. More and more, we and our competitors are called on to play a central role in responding to broader business issues through the provision of technology, or the delivery of managed legal services. While flexible services have been a game changer in recent years – enabling businesses to dial resource up and down in line with day-to-day needs – this offering alone will not be the only solution required by clients as they grapple with increasingly complex business demands.

“By combining the very best of our expertise across legal tech, D&I, project management, resourcing and managed legal services into one function and by establishing it as a practice group we can tailor our response more effectively to the specific needs of each client.

Senior Partner for Pinsent Masons, Richard Foley, commented: “These disciplines are a core component of our ever widening range of skill sets. Clients may require corporate or planning lawyers as well as forensic accountants, data scientists and D&I consultants. These are all just skill sets and yet historically many have looked and treated the former very differently to the latter. By bringing these professional disciplines into one group and aligning them internally alongside our global practice groups we hope to drive a material change and thus to be able to easily flex and adapt how we provide support on a case-by-case basis.

“Legal services have been transformed in recent years by increasing client demand for a flexible and solutions-based approach to legal and commercial challenges. Now more than ever, clients are looking for professional services advisers to collaborate with who are able to deploy an array of professionals, including lawyers, who can help them deliver their strategic aims.

Pinsent Masons advises 4D Pharma PLC on innovative move to NASDAQ

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has advised AIM listed biotech company 4D Pharma plc (4D) on its acquisition of Longevity Acquisition Corporation, a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listed on NASDAQ. Upon completion of the transaction 4D will apply for its American Depositary Shares to be admitted to trading on NASDAQ.

4D, who are leading the development of live biotherapeutic products, are believed to be the first UK biotech to make the move to NASDAQ via the acquisition of a SPAC, breaking new ground for UK listed biotech’s. The Company will also maintain its current listing on AIM.

With 4D acquiring the SPAC in order to inherit its listing on NASDAQ, they are able to by-pass the usual nine month lead-in time foreign issuers have to contend with when seeking a direct listing on NASDAQ.

The Pinsent Masons team was led by Charles Waddell and Sunjay Malhotra with assistance from Julian Stanier, Amy Moore and Nathalie Goetsches; US securities advice was provided by Roberta Markovina and Beatrice Kelly; Eloise Walker, Jamie Robson and Daniel Place assisted on UK tax matters; and Fleur Benns and James Sullivan-Tailyour provided assistance with regards to 4D’s share option plans.

Commenting on the transaction, lead partner at Pinsent Masons Charles Waddell said: “We have enjoyed working with 4D for a number of years, they are at the cutting edge of live biotherapeutic products and this transaction is an important step in their future development and access to key to international markets.

Given the number of European biotech’s that covet a move to NASDAQ, and notwithstanding the complex financing structures of SPACs, this deal highlights that there is an alternative route to the US markets. It is therefore unlikely to be the last biotech we see looking at SPACs to access the deep pool of sophisticated investors in the United States.”