NEW YORK—Kekst and Company has held on to the top position in mergermarket’s year-end 2007 ranking of PR advisors to North American mergers and acquisitions by both value and volume. The firm leads having worked on 126 deals last year, with a total value of $236.6 billion.
Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher placed second in terms of the value of deals worked, with $219.5 billion, followed by Sard Verbinnen, Abernathy MacGregor, and Brunswick. Abernathy MacGregor came in second in terms of volume with 118 deals for end of 2007, followed by Brunswick, Sard Verbinnen, and FD.
No PR agencies were used in the largest deal for the year, the spin-off of Kraft Foods from parent company Altria; both parties were advised internally. But Kekst advised Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co on two of the top five largest M&A deals in North America by volume, the acquisition of TXU Corp. and First
Despite weakness in the U.S. credit market turning in the second half of the year, M&A activity was high throughout 2007, as foreign investors and large corporations leapt to take advantage of the weak dollar and downturn in the U.S. market. According to mergermarket, early signs for this year point to more corporate deals and foreign investment particularly in technology, industrials, financial services, and media sectors.
For year end 2007, financial services remained the hottest sector for M&A activity with 17.1 percent of total deal value, closely followed by energy and industrials.