LONDON—Kekst and Company, Sard Verbinnen & Co., and Brunswick Group topped the North American rankings of public relations advisors on mergers and acquisitions during the first quarter of 2009, according to mergermarket rankings published this week, although the quarter was the worst in six years by both value and volume of deals.
Kekst was number one in terms of value, working on 14 deals worth $62 billion, coming in ahead of Sard Verbinnen (13 deals worth $82 billion) and Brunswick (11 deals worth $117 billion), with FD and Abernathy MacGregor rounding out the top five.
Brunswick led the rankings in terms of value of deals handled, ahead of Sard Verbinnen and Kekst, with Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher and FD rounding out the top five.
The biggest bids were all in the pharmaceutical sector, including Pfizer’s $64 billion offer for Wyeth (represented by Brunswick and Sard Verbinnen respectively); Roche’s $47 billion offer for a 44 percent stake in Genentech (Brunswick and Kekst); and Merck’s $43 billion bid for Schering Plough (Joele Frank is representing the bidder).
The first quarter of 2009 saw deal volume down about 21 percent from an already slow quarter at the end of 2008. Compared to the same quarter last year, activity has declined by 52 percent.