James Jian Hu
James Hu is a first-chair M&A lawyer who counsels investors, boards of directors, senior executives and founders on strategic, legal and business matters in all types of M&A transactions, including leverage buyouts, public company mergers, corporate carve-outs, minority investments and distressed situations. James advises transactions across the industry spectrum, with substantial experience in the technology, life science & healthcare and consumer space. Over the course of his career, James has advised on announced M&A transactions with an aggregate value of over $100 billion.
A practical and strategic negotiator, James is known to maintain a constructive deal dynamic and deliver efficient execution. Having represented prominent financial sponsors and multiple Fortune 500 companies, James brings experience to both buyers and sellers and is often credited with creatively bridging the gap.
James was one of four M&A attorneys recognized in Bloomberg Law's "They've Got Next: The 40 Under 40" awards in 2023 and was separately named by Law 360 as a Rising Star in 2023, a designation for attorneys under 40 "whose legal accomplishments belie their age." Additionally per the Legal 500 US, clients laud him as "an outstanding M&A partner" who "master[s] the key details of 100-page M&A contracts." They also appreciate that "he is always on call" and how "his mind works a mile a minute" which is why they "recommend him to anyone looking to do a complicated cross-border M&A deal."
James serves as an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School and Cornell Tech since 2020, where he teaches an upper-class course on M&A, and served as a member of Law360's M&A Editorial Advisory Board, where he provided input to its reporters on M&A coverage.
James is a member of the Board of Trustees at the Museum of Chinese in America, a leading cultural institution for the history of the Chinese in America and one of 20 national institutions recognized as America's Cultural Treasures.
Representative matters (including those prior to joining White & Case):
Life Science, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare
- Danaher Corporation in its US$21.4 billion acquisition of the biopharma business of General Electric. This transaction was shortlisted for "Deal of the Year" at the 2019 Deal Awards.
- Baxalta Incorporated in connection with Shire plc's unsolicited takeover bid resulting in a US$32 billion stock-and-cash sale. This transaction was awarded "U.S. Global M&A Deal of the Year" by The American Lawyer.
- Teva in its US$40 billion takeover proposal to acquire Mylan.
- AbbVie in its announced US$55 billion acquisition of Shire.
- Investor Consortium in US$4.76 billion take-private of China Biologic Products.
- Cambrex Corporation in its US$2.4 billion agreement to be acquired by Permira.
- Danaher in its US$825 million divestment of certain lines of businesses to Sartorius AG.
- Ventas, Inc. in its US$1.75 billion acquisition of Ardent Medical Services, Inc. and the concurrent carve-out sale of Ardent's operational business for US$475 million.
- Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center on its acquisition by CHRISTUS Health, an international, not-for-profit health system.
- Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: SRNG), a SPAC, in its US$15 billion business combination with Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc., a synthetic biology company, which uses technology to program cells for a potentially wide variety of uses, including fragrances and sweeteners, as well as mRNA vaccines and animal-free proteins.
- Apollomics Inc., a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company, on its US$899 million definitive agreement for a business combination with Maxpro Capital Acquisition Corp.
- Clene Nanomedicine, Inc., a nanotechnology-based biopharma company, in its US$542.5 million combination with Tottenham Acquisition I Limited.
- Apax Partners in their sale of Genex Services, a leading provider of managed care services, to Stone Point Capital LLC.
- Viking Global Investors in its carve out acquisition of RUCDR Infinite Biologics lab from Rutgers University.
- Centerview Partners, which acted as financial advisor to AveXis Inc.'s US$8.7 billion acquisition by Novartis. This transaction was shortlisted for "Most Innovative Deal of the Year" at the 2019 Deal Awards.
- Inversago Pharma on its CAD$90 million Series C Financing.
- Famy Life Sciences in its sale to Viartis (NASDAQ: VTRS), together with its portfolio of development stage ophthalmology drugs.
- Represented Biosynex SA, a market-leading designer and distributor of rapid diagnostic tests, on its entry into a definitive merger agreement with Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq: CEMI), a leading point-of-care diagnostics company focused on infectious diseases, under which Biosynex will acquire Chembio by an all-cash tender offer.
- Graf Acquisition Corp. IV, on its entry into a definitive agreement for a business combination with NKGen Biotech, Inc., a leading clinical stage natural killer (NK) cell therapy company.
Technologies and Software
- Micro Focus International plc in its US$8.8 billion "Reverse Morris Trust" acquisition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company's software business.
- GfK, a leader in global information services and a portfolio company of KKR and NIM, in its combination with Nielsen IQ.
- Plantronics in its sale discussion with Logitech, with reported value of $2.2 billion.
- Fortive Corporation in its US$2 billion acquisition of Accruent.
- Fortive Corporation in the combination of its Tektronix Video business, a global leader in video test, with Telestream, a leading provider of digital media tools and workflow solutions.
- Apollo-backed Riverbed Technology, a leading IT solutions provider, on its sale to Vector Capital.
- Madison Dearborn Partners in its acquisition of Benefytt Technologies for approximately US$624.5 million.
- Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a global investment group, to acquire majority ownership of Wizeline, a global technology services provider.
- F-Secure, a consumer cyber security company that operates in more than 100 countries, in its acquisition of the mobile consumer security business from Lookout, Inc (Lookout) for an enterprise value of US$223 million.
- Harland Clarke Holdings, a portfolio company of MacAndrew & Forbes, on its sale of Scantron Corporation, a leader in Assessment Solutions and Technology Solutions, to Transom Capital Group.
- Harland Clarke Holdings, a portfolio company of MacAndrew & Forbes, on Valassis' US$95 million acquisition of MaxPoint Interactive.
- Ad Hoc Group of Institutional Investors in the recapitalization of Riverbed Aternity in a Chapter 11 proceeding.
- dMY Technology Group Inc. IV in its $2.8 billion business combination with Planet Labs.
- VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings II (Nasdaq: VPCB), a SPAC sponsored by Victory Park Capital, in its US$2.5 billion business combination with FinAccel, the parent of artificial intelligence-enabled digital consumer credit platform Kredivo.
- New Providence Acquisition Corp. in its US$1.8 billion business combination with AST & Science.
- Air Water Ventures Ltd., a leading sustainable water solutions company, on its entry into a definitive agreement for a business combination with Athena Technology Acquisition Corp. II, at a pre-money equity value of US$300 million.
Media and Telecom
- Falcon's Beyond, a leading global entertainment development company, in its merger agreement with FAST Acquisition Corp. II with a pro forma enterprise value of US$1 billion.
- Charter Communications in its strategic investment in comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR), together with Qurate Retail and Cerberus Capital, totaling US$204 million.
- Charter Communications in its divestiture of its datacenter business to RDX.
- Charter Communications in connection with its formation of a 50/50 operating platform partnership with Comcast Corporation focused on the development and design of backend systems that support Charter's Spectrum Mobile and Comcast's Xfinity Mobile service.
- Centerview Partners, which acted as financial advisor to Pandora Media in US$3.5 billion acquisition by SiriusXM.
- Centerview Partners and Lazard Frères & Co., which acted as financial advisors to the special committee of CBS Corporation in its combination with Viacom Inc. This transaction was awarded the "Most Innovative Deal of the Year" by The Deal.
- KKR in its bid to acquire Tesco's Korean Unit, with a reported value of US$6 billion.
- Vestar Capital Partners in its acquisition of majority ownership in Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods, a Leader in Plant-Based Food.
- Warburg Pincus and its portfolio company TriMark USA in the sale of TriMark USA, the country's largest provider of design services, equipment and supplies to the foodservice industry, to private equity firm Centerbridge Partners.
- TZP Group in its acquisition of Pyramid Hotel Group, a leading hotel management company.
- Norwegian Cruise Line in its US$2.4 billion capital market transaction.
Energy, Infrastructure and Industrial
- Celanese Corporation in its joint venture with Blackstone to create a global acetate tow supplier.
- TDR Capital in its US$6.6 billion combination of WillScot with Mobile Mini. This transaction was awarded the "Energy & Industrials Deal of the Year" by The Deal.
- Equity One in its US$15.6 billion merger with Regency Centers Corporation, creating the preeminent shopping center REIT in the United States.
- The Macerich Company in connection with Simon Property Group's US$23.2 billion unsolicited takeover offer and subsequent settlement with two activist investors.
- RGIS Holdings LLC, a global leader in inventory and retail services and a former Blackstone portfolio company, in connection with its out-of-court restructuring.
- European Lithium (ASX: EUR) on its business combination with Sizzle Acquisition Corp to create Critical Metals Corp., owning Europe’s first major source of battery-grade lithium concentrates, with a pro forma market capitalization of $972 million.
- E.E.W. Eco Energy World PLC on its business combination with Climate Rock, with a valuation of $650 million.
- JTC, the global provider of fund, corporate and private client services, in its acquisition of South Dakota Trust Company for a maximum consideration of $270 million.
- Värde Partners in its investment in OneMain, the largest subprime installment lender, together with funds managed by Apollo.
- Lion Financial Group, a diversified financial services company based in Hong Kong, on its combination with Proficient Alpha Acquisition Corp.
Strafford Webinar: Public Company M&A: Transaction Structures, Securities Compliance, Avoiding Shareholder Litigation (2023)
Expert Webcast: Risk Mitigations Strategies in M&A (2022)
Panelist, "Cornell Alternative Investments Symposium," New York (2022)
Panelist, "A Brave New World: Emerging Topics in Corporate Law Practice," University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia (2018).
Panelist, "East Meets West: How Strengthened U.S.-Asia Ties are Changing the Cross-Border Investment Ecosystem," University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia (2017).
Rising Star, Law 360, 2023
Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2020 – 2022
Notable Practitioner, IFLR1000