NEW YORK—While Kekst and Company continues to handle more mergers and acquisitions assignments than any other public relations firm in the United States, Sard Verbinnen was number one in terms of the value of deals working in the third quarter, according the rankings produced by mergermarket.
Sard Verbinnen was number one in value, working on deals worth $254 billion, $60 billion ahead of Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher in second place. Kekst, Brunswick Group and Abernathy MacGregor rounded out the top five.
Kekst leads the volume table for the third consecutive quarter with 94 deals, seven ahead of second-placed Abernathy MacGregor. Brunswick, Sard Verbinnen and FD occupied the next three places, ahead of U.K. financial communications specialist Joele Frank, Mailtand, Owen Blicksilver Public Relaions, Citigate, and Brained.
No PR agencies have been used in what continues to be the largest deal for the year to date, the spin-off of Kraft Foods from parent company Altria; both parties handled communications internally. Sard Verbinnen and Joele Frank both advised on the biggest buyout of the year so far: the bid by private equity groups Teachers Private Capital, Providence Equity Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners’ for BCE.
While recent market turmoil has brought about a dip in M&A figures, North American M&A is up 29 percent from the same period last year, currently standing at $1,376.6bn. Global deal value is also up (by 35 percent). The financial services sector remains the hottest for M&A activity with 17.5 percent of total deal value, along with industrials and manufacturing, also with 17.5 percent.