Kekst stays on top of Mergermarket's rankings

NEW YORK: Kekst and Company led Mergermarket's third quarter rankings of North American M&A PR firms last week in both number and value of deals this year.

NEW YORK: Kekst and Company led Mergermarket's third quarter rankings of North American M&A PR firms last week in both number and value of deals this year.

The firm has advised on 88 transactions with a combined value of $117.5 billion in 2004, according to the rankings provided by the online M&A information company.

Kekst was also the top-ranked firm last quarter. When the second quarter rankings were released in August, some firms objected to the data presented about them. Mergermarket moved Kekst from second to first place in volume, displacing Financial Dynamics (FD) a week after the rankings came out, based on information Kekst subsequently provided. Hamilton said that he did not expect any changes in this quarter's rankings, but added "it's a live database, so it's continually updated."

Mergermarket CFO Gawn Rowan Hamilton said that although Kekst appears to be a good bet to hold its position through the end of the year, nothing is certain in the up-and-down field. "M&A is lumpy," Hamilton explained. "One big deal can skew your ranking."

"The continued strength of our transactional work is consistent with our firm's growth on many fronts," said Kekst senior partner Jeffrey Taufield, adding, "Historically, the work of our firm tends to reflect trends affecting many corporations across multiple industrial sectors."

Citigate Sard Verbinnen ranked second in deal value at $105.4 billion, followed by Joele Frank and Brunswick Group. FD, with 62 deals, was second to Kekst in volume, just ahead of Sard and Brunswick Group. FD CEO Declan Kelly called the firm's position "a continuation of our growth strategy."

Mergermarket's press release called third quarter activity "gloomy," noting that volume was down 11% and deal value was down 16% compared to the previous quarter. Hamilton could not give a definite reason for the drop, but speculated that it may have been caused by a surge of summer activity slowing down as fall nears.

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