Deals of the Year
Best Equity Deal: Petrobras $70 Billion Stock Sale
Lead manager: Banco Bradesco BBI
Global bookrunners: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Santander, Morgan Stanley and Itaú BBA.
The $70 billion add-on equity offering on September 23, 2010 by Petrobras, Brazil’s state-run energy company, was the largest deal ever in the global equity capital markets. Of the $70 billion raised, approximately $50 billion was subscribed through the priority offer, which included the Brazilian government and other holders of local shares, and $20 billion was offered to institutional and retail investors. The majority of the orders were from US and Brazilian accounts. Following the offering, Petrobras became the world’s second largest oil company by market capitalization after Exxon Mobil.
Best Debt Deal: $4.4 Billion Merck bond
Lead managers: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, and Commerzbank.
On March 17, 2010, Germany-based Merck, a global pharmaceutical and specialty chemicals company, priced a three-part benchmark debt offering totaling $4.4 billion. The offering helped refinance Merck’s loan facility put in place for the $6 billion acquisition of US-based Millipore, a manufacturer of biotech equipment. The issue attracted more than €26 billion ($35 billion) of orders in 90 minutes, making it one of the largest-ever euro order books. With exceptionally strong demand, the deal priced at the tight end of price guidance. The swiftly executed bond offering was completed before the closing of the Millipore acquisition with the help of an M&A contingent-event call clause.
Best M&A Deal: Bharti Airtel/Zain Africa
Advising target: UBS Investment Bank
Advising acquirer: Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays Capital, SBI Group, and Global Investment House.
On March 30, 2010, Bharti Airtel, the largest mobile-telecommunications company in India, announced the $10.7 billion acquisition of Zain Africa, a subsidiary of Zain, the largest mobile-telecom services provider in Kuwait. Zain Africa is one of the leading wireless telecom companies in Africa, with 42 million customers in 15 countries. The transaction is the second largest overseas acquisition ever by a company based in India, and the largest cross-border deal in Asia in 2010. As a result of the acquisition, Bharti Airtel has become the largest emerging markets telecom operator outside of China and the fifth largest wireless company globally, with 164 million subscribers and a network capable of reaching 1.8 billion people.
"We are seeing a high level of activity in the natural resources space"
"There is risk appetite backed by strong economic growth in this part of the world" – Prahlad Shantigram, Standard Chartered Bank
Prahlad Shantigram, Mumbai-based global head of mergers and acquisitions at Standard Chartered Bank, says companies in Asia, particularly India and China, keep looking for acquisitions overseas. “We are seeing a high level of activity in the natural resources space,” he says. “There is risk appetite backed by strong economic growth in this part of the world, combined with the availability of financing for transactions,” Shantigram says. “Our deep knowledge and track record in these markets put us in a strong position.”