NEW YORK: The M&A league tables demonstrate that although the number of deals continued to decline in 2002, a handful of financial PR firms continue to have a strong grip on the lucrative but clubby world of corporate transaction PR.
The six firms occupying the top five spots in the tables (two tied for fifth) saw a 32% decline in deals in 2002, as the number of deals the top five advised on fell to 92 from 135 in 2001, according to the table published by Corporate Control Alert.
Kekst & Co. continues to be the dominant player in the market, capturing a commanding 50% market share within firms in the top five places, up from 39% in 2001. Kekst worked on 46 deals in 2002, down from 52 the previous year.
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher landed in second place with 15 deals - a drop of more than half from its total of 34 in 2001. Joele Frank also saw its market share among the top firms fall from 25% to 16%.
Citigate Sard Verbinnen and Abernathy MacGregor Group were third and fourth, respectively. Sard worked on 11 deals, down from 26 in 2001. Abernathy worked on eight deals, down from 20. Sard and Abernathy had market share of 12% and 8%, respectively.
Tied for fifth are two firms that were absent last year. Edelman advised on six deals during 2002, and was the only mainstream PR giant significantly represented in this niche market last year. Edelman ranked fifth on PRWeek's most recent annual rankings with $152 million in revenues.
Transatlantic financial and crisis shop Brunswick Group shared fifth place with Edelman, as it also advised on six deals during 2002.
Dropping off the table was Burson-Marsteller, the only PR giant on the list in 2001, when it worked on three deals.
TOP M&A FIRMS IN 2002
Firm Number of deals Market Share*
Kekst & Co. 46 50%
Joele Frank 15 16%
Citigate Sard Verbinnen 11 12%
Abernathy MacGregor Group 8 9%
Edelman 6 7%
Brunswick Group 6 7%
* Among top six.
Source: Corporate Control Alert.