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, commercial awareness 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 tax and regulatory capabilities are increasingly important to our clients and complement our transactional capabilities, including our antitrust and competition, FCPA, CFIUS, information privacy, and Asian investigations and enforcement practices.


  • According to Dealogic, in 2016, Davis Polk ranked:
    • 2nd in announced global M&A
    • 3rd in announced U.S. M&A
    • 2nd in announced European M&A

  • According to Thomson Reuters, in 2016, Davis Polk ranked:
    • 1st in U.S. M&A – Health Care
    • 1st in U.S. M&A – Technology
    • 1st in U.K. M&A

  • According to Mergermarket, in 2016, Davis Polk ranked:
    • 1st in U.S. (West Coast) M&A
    • 1st among U.S. legal advisers in Asia-Pacific (excl. Japan) M&A
    • 1st among U.S. legal advisers in Greater China M&A

  • Law360  Among the "M&A Practice Groups of the Year" 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016

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

  • Chambers USA Awards – “Corporate/M&A Team of the Year” 

  • Chambers USA – Clients say: “‘Their work is excellent. I go to them for complicated matters. They are thoughtful and their drafting is strong.’ ‘A phenomenal firm, very good technical lawyers.’”

  • Legal 500 U.S – “Davis Polk’s supreme financing and capital markets expertise and its strong presence in the key global financial centers make it a leader for complex and cross-border mega deals.”

Notable Matters

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

  • $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
  • $5.6 billion pending acquisition of Bass Family assets in the Permian Basin
  • $2.5 billion acquisition of InterOil, an independent oil and gas business with a sole focus on Papua New Guinea

  • $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
  • $3.8 billion acquisition of DreamWorks Animation
  • $1.4 billion acquisition of properties used by NBCUniversal at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and CNBC’s headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

  • $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
  • $982 million sale of its Agency Mortgage Servicing business
  • 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
  • $2.7 billion acquisition of ZS Pharma

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

  • $45 billion pending acquisition by ChemChina – the largest Chinese outbound M&A transaction ever
  • Successful defense of an unsolicited bid from Monsanto

  • $37 proposed billion acquisition of Humana
  • $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
ARM Holdings
  • $32 billion acquisition by SoftBank Group – the largest acquisition of a U.K. company by an Asian acquirer
  • $913 million acquisition of Artisan Components
  • Acquisition of Obsidian Software, a developer of verification software
  • Acquisition of Prolific, a developer of IC design optimization software
Lockheed Martin
  • $9 billion acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft from United Technologies 
  • $5.9 billion separation and combination of its realigned Information Systems & Global Solutions business with Leidos in a tax-efficient Reverse Morris Trust transaction

  • $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

General Electric
  • $32 billion sale of Commerical Distribution, Vendor and Corporate Finance platforms to Wells Fargo
  • $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
  • $12 billion sale of its U.S. sponsor finance business and a $3 billion bank loan portfolio to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
  • Sale of $8.5 billion of health care-related loans and GE's Healthcare Financial Services U.S. lending business to Capital One Financial
  • Sale of GE Capital Bank’s U.S. online deposit platform along with $16 billion in deposits of GE Capital Bank, including online savings accounts, online CDs and brokered CDs, to Goldman Sachs Bank USA

  • $25.6 billion acquisition of Phelps Dodge
  • $6.9 billion acquisition of Plains Exploration & Production Company
  • $3.4 billion acquisition of McMoRan Exploration Co.
  • $2.77 billion sale of its interests in TF Holdings to China Molybdenum
  • $2 billion sale of its interest in Candelaria/Ojos del Salado copper mining operations
  • $1 billion sale of a minority interest in its Morenci copper mining JV

  • $15.1 billion acquisition of Nexen – the largest completed foreign acquisition by a Chinese company
  • $18.5 billion proposed acquisition of Unocal

Morgan Stanley
  • $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
  • Sale of its Global Oil Merchanting businessto Castleton Commodities International

  • $13 billion merger of equals with IHS to create IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions

Tyson 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 

ConAgra Foods
  • $6.8 billion acquisition of Ralcorp
  • $2.7 billion sale of its private label operations to TreeHouse Foods
  • Separation into two independent public companies: one comprising its consumer brands portfolio and the other its portfolio of frozen potato products
  • Cooperation agreement with JANA Partners

  • $13 billion combination with FMC Technologies, a  global market leader in subsea systems
  • $1.1 billion acquisition of Global Industries, a U.S. solutions provider of oil and gas subsea construction and pipelay
  • €225 million acquisition of Stone & Webster Process Technologies from The Shaw Group

  • $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, a travel search engine in China

  • $4 billon sale of its Network Power division to Platinum Equity
  • $3.15 billion acquisition of Pentair’s Valves & Controls business
  • £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 sale of Leroy-Somer and Control Techniques to Nidec
  • $1.2 billion acquisition of Avocent
  • Proposed spinoff of its Network Power business

  • Reckitt Benckiser. We have advised Reckitt Benckiser, a world-leading consumer health and hygiene company, on its pending $17.9 billion acquisition of Mead Johnson Nutrition, a global leader in infant and children’s nutrition.

  • Emera. We advised Emera, an energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia that invests in electricity generation, transmission and distribution, on its $10.4 billion acquisition of TECO Energy, an energy-related holding company with regulated electric and gas utilities in Florida and New Mexico.

  • Western Refining. We advised Western Refining, an independent oil refiner and marketer operating mostly in the southwestern and western United States, on its $6.4 billion acquisition by Tesoro Corporation, one of the largest independent refiners and marketers of petroleum products in the United States.

  • Heineken. We advised Heineken, which has a powerful portfolio of over 250 international, regional, local and specialty beers and ciders, on its pending €664 million acquisition of Brasil Kirin, a large beer producer in Brazil, from Kirin Holdings, a Japanese integrated beverages company, through its Brazilian subsidiary Bavaria.