Wednesday 28 May 2014

Bank of America Merrill Lynch sees £80 billion worth deals vanish in two days

Dealmakers round at Bank of America Merrill Lynch must be feeling pretty sore right now.

Why? Well, rainmakers at the US investment bank have just seen about £80 billion worth of deals go up in smoke in the last 48 hours.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch was one of the lead advisers to Pfizer on its £70 billion takeover attempt of AstraZeneca but as we all know that ended on Monday when the US pharmaceutical giant decided against pursuing a formal offer for the FTSE 100 giant.

And now corporate financiers at Bank of America Merrill Lynch have just seen their "exclusive" client Weir Group ditch its plan to merge with Metso to create a £8.5 billion industrial group.

Weir gave up after having a second takeover proposal (I think I dropped a big hint on Tip TV last week that a fresh proposal was coming down the track) rejected by the Finnish company.  Ouch! If you weren't aware, M&A bankers don't really get paid their massive bonuses if they don't complete the deal.

I guess bankers at the US banking behemoth - once well-known for its "Thundering Herd" of bullish brokers - can console themselves with the fact that they still have a few more high-profile deals on the go.

Yesterday, Bloomberg revealed that Bank of America Merrill Lynch has been appointed to sell the Los Angeles Clippers Basketball franchise for $1.5 billion while in the UK the US bank has picked up the mandate to find a buyer for Aston Villa Football Club for about £200m for US entrepreneur Randy Lerner.

I hope the dealmakers over at Bank of America Merrill Lynch have better luck flogging sports clubs than they did advising on multi-billion pound, corporate mergers.

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