Pershing Square Capital Management has hired Credit Suisse Group to help it sell Valeant Pharmaceuticals International’s $53 billion bid for Botox-maker Allergan Inc.
The hedge fund, which is working with Valeant on its hostile offer, hopes to convince investors both to accept Valeant’s deal and to oust a majority of its board of directors, which has thus far refused to enter negotiations with Valeant. Indeed, one of Credit Suisse’s jobs will be to counter Allergan’s allegations that Valeant’s business model is unsustainable.
The bank will also work on making the deal’s case to proxy advisory firms, a job that Pershing Square normally handles in-house. The advisory relationship was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The arrangement makes for some strange bedfellows: Among the bankers working on the deal are Chris Young. Young leads Credit Suisse’s activist defense practice and generally finds himself opposing activists such as Pershing Square’s William Ackman. Indeed, Credit Suisse only took the job after an internal debate concluded it was not an activist deal, but a mergers and acquisitions mandate.
The bank’s M&A chief, Scott Lindsay, is also on the Pershing Square team.
Pershing Square owns 9.7% of Allergan and is the company’s largest shareholder.