Brunswick maintains top spot in M&A comms adviser league, says Mergermarket report

Brunswick maintained its position as the PR agency that offered comms support to the greatest number of M&A deals globally in 2015, both by value and volume of deals, new research suggests.

A report by Mergermarket – which showed significant growth in the value of deals handled by the biggest PR firms last year – found that Brunswick was adviser to deals worth US$973.8bn (£674.5bn) in 2015, a rise of 80.4 per cent on the previous year.

Behind Brunswick is Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, which advised on deals worth US$558.5m (up 22 per cent), followed by Finsbury (US$407.5bn, +156.7 per cent), Kekst (US$400.5bn, +261.3 per cent) and Sard Verbinnen & Co (US$358bn, +24.7 per cent).

Edelman just missed out on the top five, coming in sixth at US$298.8m, although this represents a huge rise of 807.5 per cent on 2014.

Despite the value of the deals growing in 2015, the agencies that oversaw the greatest number of deals actually handled fewer of them last year.

Brunswick handled the most deals in 2015: 209. However, that is down from 216 on the previous year. FTI Consulting handled 188 deals (2014: 190) and Sard Verbinnen & Co handled 137 (2014: 161).

Behind them was Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher – handling 133 deals, up from 129 on 2014 –- and Kekst (2015: 124, 2014: 115).

Regional breakdown

In the US, Brunswick overtook Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher in the league table by value of deals that it advised on last year (US$637.2bn versus US$557.8bn). Kest (US$392.6bn) and Sard Verbinnen & Co (US$330.8bn) were next.

At US$292.7bn, Edelman surged from 14th to fifth on the table, with growth of 1,732 per cent.

Despite topping the league by value of deals it advised on, Brunswick maintained its position as fourth by volume of deals in the US (108). Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher handled the most deals in the US (132), followed by Sard Verbinnen & Co (121) and Kekst (116).

Brunswick also topped the list for the value of deals for which it provided comms support in Europe: US$538.6bn, up 67.4 per cent on 2014. Finsbury was second (US$284.2bn, +115.3 per cent). Again, Edelman's position in the table rose sharply, from 19th to third, with US$201.1bn (+1,164 per cent).

FTI Consulting and Brunswick maintained their positions as first and second respectively in the list by the number of deals in Europe (161 and 129) and in the UK (119 and 93).

In the UK, Brunswick and Finsbury maintained their positions at the top of the table of deals they handled by value: US$289.8bn and US$253.3bn – growth of 358.7 and 433.3 per cent respectively.

Third in the UK was FTI Consulting (US$100.4bn, +119 per cent), followed by Tulchan (US$67.4bn, +326.5 per cent) and Sard Verbinnen & Co (US$31.4bn, +8.5 per cent).

Meanwhile, in Asia-Pacific, Sard Verbinnen & Co rose from sixth to first in the table by deal value (US$55.4bn, +458.4 per cent), and FTI Consulting grew from fifth to second (US$47.1bn, +272.5 per cent).

Brunswick was third at US$46,2bn, down 34.7 per cent on 2014. However, that agency continued to handle the greatest number of deals: 32, although that was down from 44 in 2014. FTI was next on 25, followed by Citadel Magnus (19), Sard Verbinnen & Co (15), and Cannings/Cannings Purple (14).

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