NEW YORK: Brunswick Group led all North American PR firms in deal value last year, tallying 101 deals worth $331 billion, according to mergermarket's year end rankings.
Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher finished second in value, with 78 deals worth $253.3 billion. Kekst & Co., which ranked first last year, finished third, with 154 deals worth $251.9 billion.
Sard Verbinnen & Co., formerly Citigate Sard Verbinnen, finished fourth in value, followed by Abernathy MacGregor. Stanton Crenshaw, Finsbury, Owen Blicksilver PR, Financial Dynamics, and Brainerd Communicators rounded out the top ten.
Kekst's 154 deals led the way in volume-a category the firm led last year as well. Kekst was followed by Sard, Abernathy, and Brunswick, all of whom tallied more than 100 deals last year. Financial Dynamics finished fifth in volume with 97 deals in 2006.
Brunswick's win was solidified by the fact that it was the only PR firm advising on the two largest M&A's of 2006: AT&T's $89.4 billion merger with BellSouth, and the record $35 billion leveraged buyout of Equity Office Partners. In a growing trend, four of the top five most valuable deals of the year involved private equity firms.
Overall deal value last year increased more than 35% over 2005, to $1.45 trillion, according to mergermarket.