Top M&A financial and legal advisers

Whether it’s exclusive mandate, with sell or buy-side initiative or partial services, such as due-diligence, every facet of the deal has to be reviewed and assessed by financial advisors and law firms. Wall-Street is short listing the most active advisors, investment banks and law firms in mergers and acquisitions in 2008 and in first quarter 2009, based on a DealWatch survey.

Top 10 consultants/ deal size

Investment bank Merrill Lynch took part in the largest deals of 2008 and of first quarter 2009, while Deloitte had the highest deal count (nine, worth an aggregate value of 770 million US dollars), according to DealWatch.

According to DealWatch methodology, merger and acquisition deals and initial public offerings larger than 1 million US dollars were considered.

US Investment bank, Merrill Lynch took part in only two deals worth approximately 3.165 billion dollars, followed in the top of financial advisors in the mergermarket by JP Morgan Chase with 3 deals worth 2.868 billion dollars. Among the biggest deal that JP Morgan Chase assisted, is the second largest corporate deal in 2009: the full acquisition of local insurer Unita by Uniqa.

Erste Corporate Finance rounds out the top three financial advisors in terms of deals and IPO value in Romania, only to leave European investment bank Rotschild on fourth, who took part in the acquisition by Groupama.

The investment bank is active in local advisory market since 1998, and as of 2000, it has a new senior country advisor, Florin Olteanu. However, Arielle Malard, managing director of Rotschild’s operations in Paris involved actively in the deal.

“The size was the only criteria we’ve pursued, as representative of vendors. We’ve managed to get the best price because we used the SPA contract (Share Purchase Agreement – e.n) as mechanism in the stages of M&A lifecycle”, baroness Arielle Malard, managing director at Rotschild told Wall-Street last year.

Rank Company
Value (mln USD) No. of deals
1. Merrill Lynch 3,165 2
2. JP Morgan Chase 2,868 3
3. Erste Bank Corporate Finance 2,270 1
4. Rotschild 1,084 1
5. Deutsche Bank 895 1
6. Raiffeisen Group 832 7
7. Deloitte 770 9
8. Royal bank of Scotland 585 3
9. BNP Paribas 572 1
10 Arjil SAS 542 1

Top 10 advisors by deal count

With nine deals worth 770 million US dollars, Deloitte took the top spot among financial advisors to Romanian 2008 and Q1 2009 M&A market by deal count.

Antonis Ioannides (photo), partner at Deloitte on mergers and acquisitions said when crisis erupted, that the heydays of hero-entrepreneur had ended in Romania, and that he was advising clients to reevaluate assets.

Among the most important deals assisted last year by Deloitte are the sale of Tempo Media to Aegis Media and the sale of Romtrans to DB Schenker.

Audit and advisory firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers takes no 2 spot with 8 deals worth 221 million dollars. PwC’s merger and acquisition department headed by Radu Stoicoviciu assisted in La Fourmi-Delhaize deal as well as in Upground – Deutsche Bank’s RREEF fund, deal worth expected at 340 million euros.

In top ten financial advisors, the remaining two companies in the Big Four are present, Ernst & Young (fourth position with 5 deals), and KPMG ((eight position with three deals). Ernst & Young assisted in one of the biggest ten deals announced last year in the local market, including in due diligence. “Now we see a different landscape of the Romanian M&A market. We have a changing market, and I expect to see a variety of drivers to fuel the local M&A market, such as force-feeding deals and reorganizations/restructuring, which account for merely one segment of merger and acquisitions that will be concluded in the following months”, Philippe Lajat, M&A Partner Ernst & Young, told Wall-Street in an interview.

Rank Company
No. of deals Value (mln USD)
1. Deloitte 9 770
2. PwC 8 221
3. Raiffeisen Group 7 832
4. Erns&Young 5 303
5. KBC Securities 4 10
6. JP Morgan Chase 3 2,868
7. Royal Bank of Scotland 3 585
8. KPMG 3 300
9. Capital Partners 3 61
10. BT Securities 3 12

Top 10 consultanti de M&A
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