UCB’s Acquisition of Zogenix

Covington represented UCB, while Latham & Watkins represented Zogenix on the deal. Fried Frank acted as counsel to BofA Securities and SVB Leerink as financial advisors to Zogenix.

UCB (Euronext: UCB) announced its entry into an agreement under which UCB would acquire Zogenix, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZGNX), a global biopharmaceutical company commercializing and developing therapies for rare diseases. Under the terms of the agreement, UCB will commence a tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Zogenix for a purchase price per share of US$ 26.00 in cash at closing, plus a contingent value right (CVR) for a potential cash payment of US$ 2.00 upon EU approval by December 31, 2023, of FINTEPLA® as an orphan medicine for treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). The upfront consideration represents an approximately 72% premium to Zogenix shares based on the 30-day volume weighted average closing stock price of Zogenix prior to signing. The total transaction is valued at up to approximately US$ 1.9 billion / € 1.7 billion.

Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, UCB is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system.

Zogenix is a global biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing therapies with the potential to transform the lives of patients and their families living with rare diseases. The company’s first rare disease therapy, FINTEPLA® (fenfluramine) oral solution, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency and is under regulatory review in Japan for the treatment of seizures associated with Dravet syndrome, a rare, severe lifelong epilepsy. The U.S. FDA recently accepted for filing Zogenix’s supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) and granted Priority Review for the use of FINTEPLA for the treatment of seizures associated with an additional rare epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). Zogenix is also initiating a study of FINTEPLA in a genetic epilepsy called CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder (CDD) and is collaborating with Tevard Biosciences to identify and develop potential next-generation gene therapies for Dravet syndrome and other genetic epilepsies. The company has an additional late-stage development program, MT-1621, in a mitochondrial disease called TK2 deficiency.

The Covington corporate team consisted of J. D. Weinberg (Picture), Kyle Rabe, Gustavo Akkerman, and Tyler Cochrane (corporate), Amy Toro, Vesta Goshtasbi, and Henry Bett (life sciences), Michael Francese (employee benefits), Ansgar Simon and Xueshu (Shae) Qian (tax), James Dean and Miranda Cole (antitrust), Richard Kingham, Peter Bogaert, Scott Cunningham, Krista Carver, Rujul Desai, Marienna Murch, and Dalia Deak (regulatory), Libbie Canter and Andrew Longhi (privacy/cybersecurity), Heather Haberl (real estate), Thomas Brugato (environmental), Mona Patel (anti-corruption), Stefanie Doebler and Sanchi Khare (healthcare compliance), and George Pappas and Einar Stole (intellectual property).

Latham & Watkins represented Zogenix in the transaction with a corporate deal team led by Orange County partner Scott Shean and San Diego partners Cheston Larson and Matthew Bush, with associates Kristin Rulison, Mekbeb Hagos, Jack McKay, and Trevor Yedoni. Advice was also provided on capital markets matters by Boston partner Wesley Holmes; on benefits and compensation matters by San Diego partner Holly Bauer; on antitrust matters by Washington, D.C. partner Amanda Reeves and Washington, D.C. counsel Patrick English, with associate Denver Dunn; on tax matters by Washington, D.C. partner Andrea Ramezan-Jackson, with associate Robert Christoffel; on regulatory matters by Washington, D.C. partner Elizabeth Richards, Paris partner Eveline Van Keymeulen, and Bay Area counsels Betty Pang and Heather Deixler; and on intellectual property matters by San Diego counsel Darryl Steensma. 

The Fried Frank team included corporate partners Philip Richter and Roy Tannenbaum and corporate law clerk Trent Pacer, who advised BofA Securities, and corporate partner Warren S. de Wied, who advised SVB Leerink.

Involved fees earner: Gustavo Akkerman – Covington & Burling LLP; Henry Bett – Covington & Burling LLP; Peter Bogaert – Covington & Burling LLP; Thomas Brugato – Covington & Burling LLP; Elizabeth Canter – Covington & Burling LLP; Tyler Cochrane – Covington & Burling LLP; Miranda Cole – Covington & Burling LLP; Scott Cunningham – Covington & Burling LLP; Dalia Deak – Covington & Burling LLP; James Dean – Covington & Burling LLP; Rujul Desai – Covington & Burling LLP; Stefanie Doebler – Covington & Burling LLP; Michael Francese – Covington & Burling LLP; Vesta Goshtasbi – Covington & Burling LLP; Heather Haberl – Covington & Burling LLP; Krista Hessler Carver – Covington & Burling LLP; Sanchi Khare – Covington & Burling LLP; Richard Kingham – Covington & Burling LLP; Andrew Longhi – Covington & Burling LLP; Marienna Murch – Covington & Burling LLP; George Pappas – Covington & Burling LLP; Mona Patel – Covington & Burling LLP; Xueshu Qian – Covington & Burling LLP; Kyle Rabe – Covington & Burling LLP; Ansgar Simon – Covington & Burling LLP; Einar Stole – Covington & Burling LLP; Amy Toro – Covington & Burling LLP; J. D. Weinberg – Covington & Burling LLP; Warren de Wied – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Philip Richter – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Roy Tannenbaum – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Holly Bauer – Latham & Watkins; Matthew Bush – Latham & Watkins; Robert Christoffel – Latham & Watkins; Heather Deixler – Latham & Watkins; Patrick English – Latham & Watkins; Mekbeb Negash Hagos – Latham & Watkins; Wesley Holmes – Latham & Watkins; Cheston Larson – Latham & Watkins; Jack McKay – Latham & Watkins; Betty Pang – Latham & Watkins; Andrea Ramezan-Jackson – Latham & Watkins; Amanda Reeves – Latham & Watkins; Elizabeth Richards – Latham & Watkins; Kristin Rulison – Latham & Watkins; Scott Shean – Latham & Watkins; Darryl Steensma – Latham & Watkins; Evelyne Van Keymeulen – Latham & Watkins; Trevor Yedoni – Latham & Watkins;

Law Firms: Covington & Burling LLP; Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Latham & Watkins;

Clients: Bank of America Securities; SVB Leerink LLC; UCB Pharma GmbH; Zogenix;

Martina Bellini

Author: Martina Bellini