JPMorgan, based in New York, participated in 16 transactions last year with a combined value of $22.7 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, based on announced deals and including financing and underwriting roles. Morgan Stanley was fourth after Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) Morgan Stanley was No. 1 in 2009 and 2010.
Transaction volume fell by 25 percent to $91.7 billion in 2011 from a year earlier as Europe’s debt crisis led chief executive officers to avoid multi-billion-dollar deals in the second half. JPMorgan’s tally includes advising potash producer Mosaic Co. (MOS) when investor Cargill Inc. sold its stake. It worked with DuPont Co. (DD) on its takeover of food-additives maker Danisco.
“Once the wait-and-see mode has changed we might see some positive surprises,” said Ken Oliver Fritz, head of investment banking in Germany at Credit Suisse. “CEO confidence is the most important factor and will have to improve if we want to see more transactions in 2012.”
Consolidation is waiting to happen in several industries and getting the right timing is important, Fritz said. Opportunities abound for companies with cash on their balance sheets as valuations are low compared to historical levels, he said.
Last year’s biggest chemical deal was Warren Buffett’s $9.22 billion acquisition of Lubrizol Corp. where advisers included Citigroup Inc. (C) and Evercore Partners Inc. (EVR) DuPont paid $7.1 billion for Danisco.
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