UBS jumps to third spot in M&A deals in Europe

Swiss bank qui­etly moves to high­est rank­ing in a decade

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Foreign News -

ZURICH: UBS Group AG has sur­prised its ri­vals by vault­ing up the league ta­bles this year, putting it on track for the high­est Euro­pean deal rank­ing in more than a decade.

The Swiss bank ranks third for merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions (M&A) work in the re­gion so far this year, up from 14th at the same point in 2019, ac­cord­ing to data com­plied by Bloomberg. It’s now on course for its best fin­ish to a year since 2008, the data show.

UBS has cho­sen its clients wisely in a year that’s seen the value of Euro­pean M&A tum­ble 32%. It was one of the ad­vis­ers to Siemens Health­i­neers AG on its Us$16.4bil pur­chase of Var­ian Med­i­cal Sys­tems Inc an­nounced Sun­day, which ranks as the big­gest med­i­cal ac­qui­si­tion of 2020.

The role left some ad­vis­ers who missed out qui­etly ask­ing how the Swiss lender beat them on such a high-pro­file deal.

The bank ad­vised the win­ning bid­ders for Thyssenkru­pp AG’S el­e­va­tor di­vi­sion, the re­gion’s largest pri­vate-eq­uity deal in a decade. It also worked on the ac­qui­si­tion of Tesco Plc’s Asian busi­nesses for more than Us$10bil -- a record deal in Thai­land. And it ad­vised on

€6.2bil

Al­stom SA’S (Us$7.3bil) takeover of Bom­bardier Inc’s rail-trans­port op­er­a­tions.

It’s deal likes th­ese that helped UBS leapfrog the likes of Mor­gan Stan­ley, Cit­i­group Inc and bou­tique Roth­schild & Co in the Euro­pean M&arank­ingsthisye­ar.

It now trails only Gold­man Sachs Group Inc and Jp­mor­gan Chase & Co, both of which we­re­al­soon­the­vari­antakeover.

The Swiss bank’s rise comes af­ter sev­eral years of the big­gest Wall Street names taking an ever-larger share of the M&A pie in Europe, as many of the re­gion’s for­mer cham­pi­ons re­struc­ture their in­vest­ment banks.

UBS has been fo­cus­ing its in­vest­ment bank on ad­vi­sory in core sec­tors as well as eq­uity un­der­writ­ing af­ter a gov­ern­ment bailout dur­ing the fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

That’s helped it gain trac­tion in ar­eas such as in­dus­tri­als and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions.

It has also ben­e­fited from a strong fran­chise in Asia. A spokesman for UBS de­clined to com­ment.

The bank shook up its bench of top deal­mak­ers last month, nam­ing Philipp Beck head of M&A for Europe, the Mid­dle East and Africa among a num­ber of se­nior changes. UBS has also climbed the global M&A ad­vi­sory rank­ings this year to No. 6, from No. 21 at this point in 2019.

While it’s too early to de­clare that UBS has re­turned to the hey­days of SG War­burg -- the sto­ried City of London in­vest­ment bank it ab­sorbed in the 1990s -- its surge in the rank­ings this year hasn’t gone un­no­ticed. — Bloomberg

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