Mergers and Acquisitions

Davis Polk is regularly involved in the largest and most complex M&A deals of the day. Clients – longstanding and new, large and small, global and domestic – come to us when the scope and strategic importance of a transaction calls for Davis Polk.

We have a long history of innovation and creative problem-solving. Our M&A lawyers bring sophisticated judgment, advice and client service to high-stakes transactions, including public and private deals, private equity transactions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, carveouts and divestitures, friendly and contested situations, leveraged buyouts and other types of transactions.

Our regulatory capabilities are increasingly important to our clients and complement our M&A transactional capability, including our antitrust and competition, FCPA, CFIUS, information privacy, and Asian investigations and enforcement practices.


  • According to Bloomberg, in Q1 2015, Davis Polk ranked:
    • 1st in announced global M&A
    • 1st in announced U.S. M&A
    • 2nd in announced global private equity
  • According to Thomson Reuters, in 2014, Davis Polk ranked:

    • 2nd in announced worldwide M&A (including all proposed deals)

    • 1st in Latin American M&A

    • 1st among U.S. advisers in Chinese M&A
    • 2nd in completed European M&A
    • 2nd among U.S. advisers in Asian (ex-Japan) M&A

  • 1st tier among law firms in U.S. M&A – Chambers USA 2014, Legal 500 2014 and IFLR1000 2015

  • Among the "M&A Practice Groups of the Year" – Law360 (2013-2014)

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  • Clients note: “They have top-drawer expertise in the partnership in a lot of different areas and are creative problem solvers. You get the same consistent high level of service and attention from any partner in the firm.” - Chambers USA 2014

  • “The build-out of its international network, including the development of local law capabilities in key markets such as London and Hong Kong, has earned it an even stronger standing when it comes to multi-jurisdictional deals.” - Legal 500 U.S. 2014

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Notable Matters

Davis Polk has long been the firm of choice for many of the world’s leading blue chip companies.


  • $81 billion merger with Mobil – creating the world’s largest integrated oil company

  • $41 billion stock acquisition of XTO Energy – the largest oil and gas deal in four years


  • $53 billion acquisition of AT&T’s broadband business

  • $37 billion NBCUniversal joint venture with General Electric

  • $16.7 billion acquisition of GE’s 49% common equity stake in NBCUniversal  

  • $3.6 billion sale by SpectrumCo of 122 Advanced Wireless Services spectrum licenses to Verizon Wireless

  • $1.4 billion acquisition of properties used by NBCUniversal at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and CNBC’s headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

  • $150 million acquisition of shares of the common stock of ARRIS Group 


  • $58 billion recapitalization transaction involving the U.S. government and private investors

  • Formation of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and Citi's subsequent sale of its interest in MSSB to Morgan Stanley 

  • $4.25 billion sale of OneMain Financial to Springleaf
  • Spinout of certain Citi alternatives businesses, including CAI’s hedge fund, private equity and CLO businesses, to management


  • Defense of an unsolicited $119 billion acquisition proposed by Pfizer
  • $15.6 billion acquisition of MedImmune

  • $7 billion expansion of its diabetes alliance with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) through BMS' acquisition of Amylin Pharmaceuticals

  • $323 million pending acquisition of Omthera Pharmaceuticals


  • $46.8 billion acquisition of the public minority in Genentech – the largest-ever completed going-private transaction

  • $8.3 billion acquisition of InterMune
  • $6.7 billion unsolicited proposal to acquire Illumina

  • $3.4 billion hostile acquisition of Ventana Medical Systems

  • $1.03 billion strategic collaboration with Foundation Medicine
  • $1 billion majority investment  and broad strategic collaboration with Foundation Medicine


  • $5.2 billion acquisition of NPS Pharmaceuticals
  • $4.2 billion acquisition of ViroPharma
  • $2.6 billion acquisition of New River Pharma
  • $260 million acquisition of Lumena Pharmaceuticals


  • $38 billion pending acquisition by Halliburton


  • $26.5 billion sale of real estate assets and performing loans of GE Capital Real Estate to Blackstone and Wells Fargo, as part of GE's reduction in the size of its financial businesses through the sale of most of GE Capital assets


  • $25.6 billion acquisition of Phelps Dodge

  • $6.9 billion acquisition of Plains Exploration & Production Company

  • $3.4 billion acquisition of McMoRan Exploration Co.

  • $2 billion sale of its interest in Candelaria/Ojos del Salado copper mining operations
  • $435 million acquisition of a large-scale cobalt refinery in Kokkolo, Finland, from Om Group


  • $15.1 billion acquisition of Nexen – the largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company

  • $18.5 billion proposed acquisition of Unocal


  • $9 billion investment by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial

  • Joint venture with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial that integrated their securities operations in Japan

  • $1.5 billion disposition of Van Kampen Investments

  • Spinoffs of FrontPoint Partners and Process Driven Trading (PDT)

  • Sale of its interests in its TransMontaigne commodities business to NGL Energy Partners


  • $14.4 billion acquisition of Quaker Oats

  • $7.8 billion going-private acquisition of its two largest anchor bottlers

  • $5.8 billion acquisition of a 95% stake in Russian food and beverage company Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods


  • $8.55 billion acquisition of all the outstanding shares of Hillshire Brands
  • $575 million sale of it poultry businesses in Mexico and Brazil to JBS


  • $7.3 billion acquisition of Coventry Health Care, a diversified national managed health care company based in Bethesda, Maryland

  • $600 million acquisition of Prodigy Health Group

  • $500 million acquisition of Medicity

  • $400 million acquisition of bswift
  • $290 million acquisition of Genworth Financial’s Medicare Supplement business

  • $202 million acquisition of PayFlex Holdings


  • $1.9 billion investment in Bumi Resources, the largest coal mining company in Indonesia

  • Strategic investments in a variety of companies, including Bank of Communications, Enogex Holdings and China Lumena New Materials


  • $1.9 billion acquisition of 91 Wireless, a Chinese mobile software developer
  • $370 million acquisition of the online business of PPS
  • $306 million majority investment in Qunar, the leading travel search engine in China


  • £997 million unsolicited acquisition of Chloride Group

  • $1.44 billion sale of its Power Transmission Solutions business unit to Regal Beloit Corporation
  • $1.2 billion acquisition of Avocent

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  • PartnerRe. We have advised PartnerRe, a global reinsurer, providing multi-line reinsurance to insurance companies, on its pending $11 billion merger of equals with AXIS Capital, a Bermudan global provider of specialty lines insurance and treaty reinsurance. The transaction creates a broadly diversified global specialty insurance and reinsurance company with expanded market presence, gross premiums above $10 billion and total capitalization above $14 billion.
  • Electrolux. We have advised Electrolux, a Swedish leader in household appliances and appliances for professional use, on its pending $3.3 billion acquisition of the appliances business of General Electric. GE Appliances, which is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the premier manufacturers of kitchen and laundry products in the United States.
  • SS&C Technologies. We have advised SS&C Technologies, a global provider of investment and financial software-enabled services and software focused exclusively on the global financial services industry, on its pending $2.7 billion acquisition of Advent Software, which has been providing portfolio management and accounting systems, straight-through processing and research management software.
  • First Wind. We advised First Wind, an independent renewable energy company focused on the development and operation of utility-scale renewable energy projects in the United States, on its $2.4 billion acquisition by SunEdison, which manufactures solar technology and develops, finances, installs and operates distributed solar power plants, and TerraForm Power, a renewable energy leader.
  • JPMorgan Chase. We have advised JPMorgan Chase & Co. on its sale of a portfolio of loans and other securities from J.P. Morgan’s Global Special Opportunities Group to Sankaty Advisors, the independently managed credit affiliate of Bain Capital and one of the world’s leading private managers of fixed income and credit instruments. The portfolio contains mezzanine loans in North America and Europe, as well as loans and related special situations investments in Australia and across Asia, with an aggregate value of approximately $1.3 billion.
  • Prosensa. We have advised Prosensa, a biotechnology company based in Leiden, The Netherlands that discovers and develops RNA-modulating therapeutics, on its acquisition by BioMarin Pharmaceutical, a biotechnology firm based in San Rafael, California, for a total up front consideration of approximately $680 million and two approximately $80 million contingent milestone payments that are payable upon the approval of drisapersen in the United States and European Union.
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