Bloomberg News

Barclays Takes Top Australia M&A Rank With BHP-Petrohawk Deal

July 14, 2011

July 15 (Bloomberg) -- Barclays Capital claimed the lead among Australia’s mergers arrangers after advising BHP Billiton Ltd. on today’s proposed $12.1 billion purchase of Petrohawk Energy Corp.

The investment banking unit of London-based Barclays Plc has worked on $29.6 billion of announced mergers involving Australian companies this year according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which is advising Petrohawk, is in second place with $27.8 billion, the data show.

Barclays Capital benefited this year from its relationship with BHP, which announced the two biggest acquisitions by Australian companies in 2011. The investment bank also worked for BHP, the world’s largest mining company, on its $4.75 billion takeover of Chesapeake Energy Corp. assets in March.

“Our point of difference is cross-border transactions,” Cynthia Whelan, chief executive officer of Barclays Capital’s Australian and New Zealand business, said by phone in Sydney. “We continue to see good interest from clients although deals are taking longer to come to fruition.” She declined to comment on the Petrohawk transaction.

UBS AG slipped to fourth in Australia’s mergers advisory market this year from first in 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Still, the Zurich-based lender has worked on nine transactions involving Australian companies since Dec. 31, second only to Goldman Sachs among the top 10 M&A arrangers, the data show. UBS wasn’t involved in the Petrohawk or Chesapeake transactions.

Takeovers valued at about $80 billion involving Australian companies have been announced this year, compared with $149 billion for all of 2010, according to Bloomberg data. Last year’s tally was the biggest since 2007.

Daniel Janes, the head of mergers and acquisitions for Australia at Barclays Capital, said in June that the value of transactions in 2011’s second half would surpass that of the first six months.

--Editors: Philip Lagerkranser, Mohammed Hadi

To contact the reporter on this story: Angus Whitley in Sydney at awhitley1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Lagerkranser at lagerkranser@bloomberg.net


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