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

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
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

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam