Bloomberg News

Lazard Expands M&A Team, Hires Former Credit Suisse’s Basu

December 09, 2011

(Updates with historical perspective in penultimate paragraph.)

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Lazard Ltd., the investment bank that advised on BASF SE’s $7 billion styrene joint venture, said it has hired Atish Basu from Credit Suisse Group AG to expand its chemical deals team.

Basu will remain in New York, where he was working for Credit Suisse, said Richard Creswell, a spokesman for Lazard in London.

The appointment follows Lazard’s hiring of New York-based Richard Whitney as a managing director and global co-head of chemicals in mid-October. Whitney previously held the same position at Credit Suisse. Lazard has been building out its worldwide chemical M&A team, adding Frank Balhorn, a former JPMorgan Chase & Co. chemicals banker, to its office in Frankfurt.

The pace of mergers and acquisitions in the $3.1 trillion chemical industry slumped to the slowest since 2009 in the third quarter, quashing earlier predictions that the year may be a record. Transactions announced in the three months through September fell 64 percent to $6.46 billion from the second quarter and slumped from $48.5 billion in the year-earlier period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the lowest volume since the fourth quarter of 2009.

Lazard hired energy investment banker Mark Renton from Citigroup Inc. to boost market share in oil and gas takeovers, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Dec. 5.

--Editors: Chris V. Nicholson, Heather Harris

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Noel in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at

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