16 May 2022

DLA Piper, Roschier advise Philip Morris on $16bn cash offer for Swedish Match

Global firm fielded lawyers from more than 20 offices; Mannheimer Swartling and KANTER advise target

DLA Piper and Roschier are advising Philip Morris Holland Holdings, an affiliate of Phillip Morris International, on its $16bn recommended public offer to the shareholders of Swedish Match. 

Phillip Morris's purchase of the Stockholm-based company, which manufactures a number of smoke-free products and announced last year it was set to go entirely smoke free, is the largest in the tobacco giant’s history and reflects its ambition to diversify its portfolio long term. 

Swedish Match is being advised by local heavyweight Mannheimer Swartling and Stockholm-based independent firm KANTER. The company's financial adviser, Goldman Sachs, is being advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. 

The DLA Piper team advising on the deal in London includes corporate partners Tracey Renshaw and Tom Heylon, managing partner of the London office, as well as senior associates Sarah Riley and Isabella Gee and associates Freddie De Boise and Kirsty Underhill. 

Also working on the deal in the US is Stasia Kelly, partner and executive director, client relations; Kathleen Ruhland, global co-chair and US chair of the firm’s corporate practice; Jonathan Klein, chair of the US M&A practice; and Sanjay Shirodkar, co-chair of the public company and corporate governance practice. Working on the deal with the partners are associates Jenna Stewart and Brian Wohlberg. 

More cross-practice teams from 20 of DLA Piper’s international offices are involved in the transaction, the firm said. Swedish law firm Roschier acted as deal counsel. 

Kelly said: “Our ability to work as a global team has been central to the effective delivery of this transaction. Swedish Match has a significant number of US shareholders so it was key that we worked closely with PMI in relation to their participation in the offer.”

The firm previously advised Philip Morris on its acquisitions of asthma inhaler maker Vectura and oral drug delivery specialist Fertin Pharma, which both closed late last year as part of the company’s plans to advance its position in the smoke-free race taking place among the Big Tobacco giants. 

Roschier's team, meanwhile, comprises partners Jens Bengtsso, Malin Leffler, Ola Sandersson, Veronica Stiller, Björn Johansson Heigis, Kristian Hugmark and Jenny Welander Wadström, who are working alongsied a team of associates. 

Philip Morris has invested more than $9bn since 2008 towards the research, development and commercialisation of its smoke-free products with the goal of becoming predominantly smoke-free by 2025. Last year, the company made nearly a third of its net revenues from smoke-free products, compared to zero in 2015, Bloomberg reported

Top