City bonus hopes rise amid deals bonanza from rice to whiskey

 

Hopes for a return of the big corporate takeover – and associated bonuses for bankers – were sparked yesterday by a clutch of deals in the US and UK led by the $16bn (£9.76bn) purchase of the makers of Jim Beam whiskey by a Japanese drinks giant.

That deal came just hours after Britain's Amec engineering group bid nearly £2bn for oil-industry rival Foster Wheeler and family-owned Tilda rice accepted a takeover by the US organic food giant Hain Celestial for £217m.

The flurry of takeovers led to big bonus expectations from the bankers advising on the deals and arranging finance. But it also rekindled hopes that, with the economy apparently picking up and interest rates remaining low, 2014 could be a bumper year for company mergers and acquisitions.

The Beam takeover saw Japan's Suntory group adding more megabrands to its growing stable of drinks. Beam owns, among other big spirits labels, Courvoisier and Canadian Club whiskies and Maker's Mark bourbon.

Suntory, which last year bought GlaxoSmithKline's Ribena and Lucozade brands for £1.4bn, distributes many western whiskies in Asia, including Canadian Club and Laphroaig. But it does not own many western spirits outright, focusing thus far on Japanese brands. Super-low interest rates in Tokyo fuelled the deal, analysts said.

Meanwhile, Amec is also to borrow heavily from investors to fund a large part of its takeover of Foster Wheeler, the Reading-based but Swiss-domiciled engineer.

Amec's bid came after it failed last year in its attempts to buy German rival Kentz in what would have been an £800m takeover. While Foster Wheeler is a bigger bite, Amec is making it more digestible by paying part of the price in shares. If the deal goes ahead, Foster Wheeler investors would end up with a 23 per cent stake in the combined business.

READ MORE: Suntory buys Jim Beam drinks group in $16bn deal

Tilda's owners, the Thakrar family, are reported to have agreed about £217m in cash and Hain Celestial shares to hand over control of their business.

The Thakrars came to the UK from Uganda, fleeing persecution from Idi Amin in the early 1970s. Patriarch Vipul Thakrar established what was to become a hugely successful basmati rice importing business. At first it primarily catered for British Asians, but the growing popularity of curries meant it quickly spread to the mainstream.

Now dubbed the "Rice Kings" in the food industry, they run a global empire exporting across the world.

The advisory firms in London set to share sizeable bonuses from yesterday's deals include Rothschild, which advised the Thakrar family, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, advisers to Foster Wheeler and Bank of America Merrill Lynch for Amec. In the US and Japan, bonuses from what was the third-biggest foreign takeover for a Japanese company, will be shared between Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley on the Suntory side and Credit Suisse and the specialist firm Centerview Partners for Beam.

Centerview's involvement was just the latest example of a specialist boutique being chosen over a giant investment bank for specialist takeover advice. It was set up by takeover titan Blair Effron, formerly of Dillon Read/UBS.

Potential UK takeover: Targets for 2014

Weir Group (engineering)

Cobham (defence)

Smith & Nephew (medical)

BG (exploration)

Tullow Oil (exploration)

Imperial Tobacco

Intercontinental Hotels

J Sainsbury

Source: Killik & Co

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
i100
Extras
indybest
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
British author Howard Jacobson has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize
books
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

PMO Analyst - London - Banking - £350 - £400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: PMO Analyst - Banking - London - £350 -£400 per d...

Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

Insight Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k – North London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...

Test Lead - London - Investment Banking

£475 - £525 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Investment Banking, Technical ...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn