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Dechert represented PeroxyChem, LLC, a leading global manufacturer and supplier of peroxygen chemistries, in its sale to Evonik Industries AG (FRA: EVK), a German-headquartered, publicly-traded global specialty chemicals company, for US$640 million. The transaction closed on February 3, after a U.S. district court ruled in favor of PeroxyChem in the FTC’s challenge to the merger. This decision ended the FTC’s 5-case winning streak for its D.C. federal court merger trials. PeroxyChem has been a portfolio company of One Equity Partners since 2014. The corporate work was led by partners Derek Winokur, Gareth Clark and Stephen Pratt while the antitrust work was led by partners Mike Cowie, James Fishkin and Shari Ross Lahlou.
On January 24, following a 2-week trial, a U.S. district court ruled for the defense, allowing the merger to close. This is the first FTC trial loss in a merger case in D.C. federal court since 2007, when Dechert defended Whole Foods in its acquisition of Wild Oats. Dechert has successfully defended clients in the FTC’s only two losses in merger trials in D.C. federal court over the past fifteen years. As counsel for the seller, Dechert handled direct or cross-examination of ten witnesses at trial, including senior management, key customers and key competitors. The Evonik/PeroxyChem merger was the only FTC-litigated merger case in 2019.
A global, multi-disciplinary team of Dechert lawyers represented PeroxyChem on all aspects of its sale to Evonik. The Dechert team included corporate partners Derek Winokur, Gareth Clark (New York), Stephen Pratt (Philadelphia), Giovanni Russo (Munich), corporate associates Paul Bennett (Philadelphia), Valerie Etienne, Phil Treesh and Ranjini Ramesh (New York) and Florian Leitsbach (Munich); antitrust partners Mike Cowie, James Fishkin, Shari Lahlou and associates Brian Rafkin, Anna Aryankalayil, Blair Kuykendall, and Dennis Schmelzer (Washington, DC) and antitrust partner Clemens York (Frankfurt) and associates Arkadius Strohoff (Frankfurt) and Michael Okkonen (Brussels); finance partner Samantha Koplik (New York) and associates Rohan Maitra and Zach Goldberg (New York); tax partner Steve Clemens and associate George Davis (New York); environmental partner Abbi Cohen (Philadelphia); employee benefits partner Eric Rubin (Philadelphia) and associates Aryeh Zuber and Ellie Kang (New York); IP partner Thomas Rayski and associate Noah Shier (New York); labor counsel Jeffrey Rubin (Philadelphia) and international trade partner Darshak Dholakia (Washington, DC).
Dechert is a leading global law firm with 26 offices around the world. We advise on matters and transactions of the greatest complexity, bringing energy, creativity and efficient management of legal issues to deliver commercial and practical advice for clients.