The Am Law Daily Names Matt Hurd Dealmaker of the Week

November 23, 2011

On November 23, The Am Law Daily featured Matt Hurd as Dealmaker of the Week for his role in representing Pharmasset, which has products in development showing promising therapy for the treatment of hepatitis C virus infection, in its $11 billion acquisition by Gilead Sciences, the world's largest producer of HIV medicines. The transaction was announced on November 21 and is the second-largest healthcare merger announced so far this year. “Gilead's president and COO John Milligan told Bloomberg that his company had been in talks with Pharmasset about a potential partnership for two years,” Am Law reported.

At closing on Friday, Pharmasset was purchased at an 89 percent premium. Referencing Reuters reports, Am Law observed that some analysts are questioning the amount of the deal price, which is “equal to more than one-third of Gilead's market value,” although it is speculated this was in an effort to prevent other possible Pharmasset acquirers. “The market recognizes the merits of the product and rewards the stockholders,” Mr. Hurd said. “Pharmasset had options besides being acquired, including remaining an independent company…They have a dedication to research that has been clearly recognized by the market and other expert players in the infectious disease worlds.” With his experience in representing clients Amgen and Pharmacia (acquired by Pfizer in 2003) in similar M&A transactions, Mr. Hurd told Am Law that during his initial conversations with Pharmasset executives, they “figured out early on that I kind of understood where they were coming from.”