LONDON—Brunswick and FD were again the two dominant firms in European mergers and acquisitions activity during 2009, according to year-end rankings produced by mergermarket, which show Brunswick leading by value of deals (working on 80 transactions worth around $199 billion) and FD leading in terms of volume (104 deals worth $62 billion).
On a global basis, a 27 percent reduction in global M&A activity was coupled with an almost complete absence of IPOs, so that fee income was sharply lower, even though the number and value of insolvency deals eclipsed even the peaks of 2002. The year offered opportunistic buyers the chance to take advantage of stressed and distressed companies, giving rise to a staggering 370 percent increase in the value of insolvency deals since 2008.
Brunswick was helped by its work advising Pfizer on its $63.3 billion bid for Wyeth, the top deal of the year globally, although the firm experienced a $62.2 billion decline in deal value over 2008 total and worked on 58 fewer deals.
Finsbury was second in terms of value of deals, helped by its work on HM Treasury’s takeover of the Royal Bank of Scotland. FD, Kekst and Company and Hinton & Associates rounded out the top five. Brunswick was number two in terms of volume, ahead of Finsbury, Citigate and Maitland.
In the U.K., Finsbury took first place in terms of value of deals, beating out Brunswick, Hinton, FD and Maitland, while FD led in volume, ahead of Finsbury, Citigate, Brunswick and Maitland. Hering Schuppener led in Germany in terms of both value and volume of deals worked; in France, Kekst was number one in terms of value while FD led the volume rankings; in Italy, Finsbury was tops in terms of value, while local firm Barabino & Partners led in volume of deals.