Bird & Bird and Smith Anderson Advise Catalyst Clinical Research on its First International Acquisition of Aptus Clinical

International law firm Bird & Bird has collaborated with U.S. law firm Smith Anderson to advise mutual client, Catalyst Clinical Research LLC, on its acquisition of Aptus Clinical Limited. Aptus is a clinical contract research organisation based in Alderley Park, England specialising in the design, conduct and delivery of early phase clinical studies with a particular focus in oncology, rare diseases, cell and gene therapies. The transaction, which completed on 29 April 2022, sees the two entities combine to become one multi-region clinical research organization with more than 800 staff across 35 countries and demonstrates an accelerated growth trajectory for Catalyst in both the U.S. and Europe. Catalyst is a portfolio company of NovaQuest Private Equity, LLC, a leading U.S. healthcare and life sciences investment firm.

Corporate partner, Simon Allport and client relationship partner, Sally Shorthose led a multi-disciplinary Bird & Bird team with Smith Anderson’s managing partner, Byron Kirkland and corporate attorney Rob Hash leading the U.S. group. The Aptus sellers were advised by the global law firm, Squire Patton Boggs and its partner Giles Chesher, who heads the Manchester Corporate team.

“We are delighted to have worked alongside the team at Smith Anderson in helping Catalyst to complete this important and strategic acquisition in the UK,” said Bird & Bird corporate partner, Simon Allport. “Healthcare and life sciences is a key focus for the firm and the transaction is a good example of how the Bird & Bird team can lend its sector expertise to businesses seeking and execute corporate acquisitions in this space.”

Smith Anderson’s managing partner, Byron Kirkland, said “It was a privilege to assist Catalyst in this important cross-border transaction and to work alongside our fantastic Bird & Bird colleagues”

 Other key members of the Bird & Bird team included Hannah Fletcher, Arif Saleem, Jasmin Cole (corporate), Simon Gough, Emily Patel (tax), Liz Lang, Rumana Khanom, Rob Collier-Wright (employment), Emma Brindley-Reynes (real estate), Sanj Sura (data protection), Pieter Erasmus (commercial), James Pearson (IP), Rob Moher (finance) and Anthony Rosen (regulatory).

Smith Anderson attorneys involved in the transaction included Alex Bowling (corporate), Andrew Benton (corporate), Travis Hockaday (employment), and William Nelson (tax).

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