City bids and deals yield pounds 500m in fees

Bankers, brokers, accountants, lawyers and public relations firms earned pounds 500m from City bids and deals in the first half of the year and are on course to top pounds 1bn for 1996, the magazine Acquisitions Monthly said yesterday.

This would be their most lucrative year, eclipsing the previous record of pounds 950m at the height of the merger mania of the 1980s, when fees reached pounds 950m.

Philip Healey, editor of the magazine, said: "The frenzied activity in the first half of 1996 had to be paid for and it did not come cheap."

In the first six months, there were 729 acquisitions, worth pounds 27.3bn, with the highest number of public company bids since 1990. The period also saw enormous shifts of position among the big investment banks, with Barings, owned by ING, dropping from top position in 1995 to 11th with pounds 3.2bn of public and private mergers and acquisitions.

Union Bank of Switzerland shot up the league table from 20th in 1995 as a whole to fifth in the first half of 1996, with 10 deals worth pounds 4.7bn. By number of transactions, it was top for public company bids, advising on nine. BZW was another riser, up from 17th to sixth.

Bids and deals among the utilities continued to be one of the main sources of income, but the Granada takeover of Forte and the Rentokil battle for BET were among the other takeovers that helped the fees bonanza. As a result of advising on these two takeovers, Lazards topped the list with pounds 7.25bn.

Among private deals, Lazards advised Liverpool Victoria on the acquisition of Frizzell Group and Firstbus on its purchase of several bus companies.

SBC Warburg rose from third to second place with pounds 6.8bn of deals, including 43 in which it acted for the Government on the sale of British Rail assets.

UK public and private league table

January-June 1996

Adviser Public deals Private deals Combined totals

No Value No Value No Value

pounds m pounds m pounds m

1 Lazard Brothers (2*) 4 5,967 15 1,281 19 7,248

2 SBC Warburg (3) 5 4,725 55 2,093 60 6,818

3 Kleinwort Benson (9) 7 4,127 12 1,240 19 5,367

4 Morgan Stanley(4) 2 4,105 4 812 6 4,917

5 UBS(20) 9 4,675 1 41 10 4,716

6 BZW (17) 3 3,890 4 777 7 4,667

7 NM Rothschild (5) 6 4,375 5 289 11 4,664

8 Merrill Lynch (-) 4 4,150 2 138 6 4,288

9 Hambros Bank (16) 5 1,989 13 2,115 18 4,104

10 Schroders(7) 4 3,503 7 567 11 4,070

11 Baring Brothers (1) 3 2,385 10 821 13 3,206

12 Deutsche Morgan Grenfell(8) 4 741 15 2,202 19 2,943

13 JO Hambro Magan (15) 1 1,487 5 527 6 2,014

14 Goldman Sachs (10) 1 1,561 5 371 6 1,932

15 HBSC Samuel Montagu (-) 5 1,351 14 345 19 1,696

16 Ernst & Young (19) 1 22 50 1,482 51 1,504

17 Coopers & Lybrand (-) 1 13 54 1,322 55 1,355

18 Price Waterhouse (-) - - 49 1,206 49 1,206

19 Robert Fleming (11) 1 227 8 936 7 1,163

20 Deloitte & Touche (-) 1 4 57 966 58 970

*1995 full year ranking

This table is based on the first half public league table positions plus UK private transactions completed between 21 December and 21 June 1996.

Source: Acquisitions Monthly

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