For Verizon advisers, patience pays off with huge payday

Mon Sep 2, 2013 5:16pm EDT
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By Soyoung Kim

NEW YORK (Reuters) - It has been a 10-year-long wait for bankers advising Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N: Quote) on its $130 billion deal to take complete control of Verizon Wireless, but their patience will yield both handsome fees and bragging rights.

Bankers, including Paul Taubman, Alan Schwartz, Andrew Decker and James Ferency, were among the advisers that Verizon used back in 2004, when it first came close to buying out Vodafone Group Plc's (VOD.L: Quote) 45 percent stake in the No. 1 U.S. mobile carrier, people familiar with the matter said.

Since that time much has changed. Taubman, then at Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote), left the bank earlier this year and is currently working independently. Schwartz was then the CEO of Bear Stearns and Decker and Ferency were bankers at the firm. They have since moved to Guggenheim Partners after Bear became a victim of the financial crisis in 2008 and had to be rescued by JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote).

But Verizon turned to the same group of bankers - as well as their current and old firms - to help make its latest run at the deal, which was announced on Monday after last-minute negotiations over a U.S. holiday weekend.

The deal, the third-largest corporate acquisition of all time, is estimated to generate M&A advisory and financing fees of around $500 million and catapult Guggenheim, an independent financial services firm, to the 10th position from 42nd in the global rankings of M&A advisers.

It will also seal the lead of Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote), Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: Quote) and JPMorgan as the top three M&A advisors globally, according to Thomson Reuters data.

JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote) and Bank of America also advised Verizon and arranged the financing for the deal. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote) and UBS AG UBSN.VX are advising Vodafone.

The banks are expected to split total advisory fees of $200 million to $250 million, with about $110 million to $125 million paid by Verizon Communications, and $100 million to $118 million paid by Vodafone, according to financial services firm Freeman & Co estimates.   Continued...

A woman talks on her mobile phone as she walks past a Vodafone store in London September 2, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth