Nancy Lieberman '79 Named a 'Dealmaker of the Year' by The American Lawyer

From The American Lawyer:


Deal in Brief: Amylin Sale
Deal Value:$7 billion
Firm's Role:Seller's Counsel
Deal Trivia:Lieberman used the iPhone No! button app to object to unfavorable deal terms.

Sometimes the most important prerequisite for a good marriage is a good divorce lawyer. That was certainly true for Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., which in 2011 found itself stuck in an unhappy partnership with pharma giant Eli Lilly and Company. Looking to get out of the relationship, the biotech turned to Nancy Lieberman and her team at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Over the next 18 months, Skadden helped Amylin terminate its 10-year alliance with Lilly, navigate unsolicited bids for the company, and ultimately negotiate a $7 billion sale to Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and AstraZeneca PLC, a $3.5 billion premium over earlier offers.

The blockbuster combination, announced last June, never would have happened without Lieberman's deft counsel, say former Amylin executives. "There are many lawyers who could have helped us do the deal with Bristol-Myers once we were free of [Eli] Lilly, but what's unique about Nancy is that she got me the chance to do the deal," says Marcea Lloyd, Amylin's general counsel. Amylin had teamed up with Eli Lilly in 2002 to jointly develop and market diabetes drugs, a deal that supplied the young biotech with funds to launch its first drug, Byetta, in 2005. But the collaboration agreement meant that Amylin was tied inextricably to Lilly—they shared all drug rights, and though both companies promoted Byetta in the United States, only Lilly had a sales force to market it overseas. Certain contractual provisions also encumbered any potential sale of Amylin to another company.

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