Financial Dynamics takes top position with 16 deals

Financial Dynamics is top of the pile of City PR M&A advisers, according to Deal Watch figures for September.

ant Communications-owned group moved up from fourth position in August to take the pole position, handling 16 deals worth £7.2bn.

FD, led by CEO Charles Watson, advised US financial institution M&T Bank Corporation on its £2bn acquisition of Allfirst Financial, the troubled American subsidiary of Allied Irish Banks.

The deal comes seven months after Allfirst was rocked by a trading scandal - the world's biggest since Nick Leeson brought down Barings Bank.

Baltimore-based trader John Rusnak faces fraud charges in a US federal court next February over allegedly hiding £473m in losses. Rusnak denies the charges.

Last month's biggest UK deal saw the £2.3bn sale of paper packaging giant Jefferson Smurfit Group to MDCP, an affiliate of US private equity firm Madison Dearborn Group.

Tulchan Communications advised Dublin-headquartered Jefferson on the deal, having been drafted in five months ago after MDCP's initial unsolicited bid (PRWeek, 10 May).

The deal helped push Tulchan into third position in the Deal Watch table, compiled according to figures produced exclusively for PRWeek by M&A information service Zephyr.

Gavin Anderson re-entered the league after a two-month absence, taking second place, largely through its work for loss-making nuclear group British Energy, which is selling its American operations for £1bn in a desperate attempt to raise cash.

GA's retainer IR brief was extended to include media handling as calls flooded in after news of the Government's £410m lifeline to help save the group from bankruptcy (PRWeek, 13 September).

The agency also forms part of a three-strong consultancy team working on the £850m sale of TopShop and Dorothy Perkins owner Arcadia to Taveta Investments - retail entrepreneur and Bhs chief Philip Green's bid vehicle.

Finsbury, which ranks fifth, handles PR for Taveta's financial adviser Merrill Lynch, while GA advises Taveta and Tulchan works for Arcadia.

Former table-topper Brunswick slips down to sixth position as Harrison Cowley makes its first ever entry in the Deal Watch league.

HC secured eighth place working for client The Royal Bank of Scotland, which saw Spanish banking investee Santander Central Hispano reduce its RBS stake by one per cent.

DEAL WATCH SEPTEMBER 2002 RANKING

Rnk Financial PR Company No of Deals Deal Value

pounds m

1 Financial Dynamics 16 7,199

2 Gavin Anderson & Company 8 3,248

3 Tulchan Communications 4 3,196

4 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 5 951

5 Finsbury 4 875

6 Brunswick 9 794

7 Cardew & Co 1 698

8 Harrison Cowley 1 317

9 College Hill Associates 7 262

10 The Maitland Consultancy 6 249

Source: Bureau van Dijk - ZEPHYR

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