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Evercore Partners With VTB Capital for Russian Transactions

Evercore Partners Inc., the advisory firm founded by former U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, said it reached an agreement with VTB Capital Plc to develop deals between Russia and North America.

The alliance will allow the firms to “develop joint business opportunities for cross-border transactions and other projects involving Russian and North American companies, funds, government agencies, individuals and assets,” the Moscow-based investment-banking arm of Russia’s second-biggest lender said in an e-mailed statement today.

Evercore has expanded outside the U.S. through acquisitions and partnerships. Last year, the company purchased Lexicon Partners Ltd., a London-based advisory firm. Evercore paid $20 million in 2010 for a 50 percent stake in G5 Advisors, a Sao Paulo-based investment-banking boutique founded by Corrado Varoli, a former partner at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“As our clients become increasingly global, it is imperative to be able to serve their needs in important markets throughout the world,” Ralph Schlosstein, 61, chief executive officer of New York-based Evercore, said in the statement. “This alliance is another step in the globalization of our firm.”

Announced deals involving targets, sellers or acquirers in Russia climbed to $98.5 billion so far this year, compared with $67.8 billion for all of 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Global transaction volume stands at $1.76 trillion this year, compared with $2.35 trillion for 2011.

Severstal Deal

Evercore advised OAO Severstal, the Russian steelmaker controlled by billionaire Alexei Mordashov, last year on its sale of three U.S. plants to Renco Group Inc. That was its only Russia deal in 2011, Bloomberg data show.

VTB Capital is continuing to build its international franchise outside of Russia and the former Soviet Union, Riccardo Orcel, deputy CEO of VTB Group, said in the statement. The Russian bank signed an agreement with Brazil’s Banco BTG Pactual SA in June to boost financial ties with Latin America.

The bank, which was the leading organizer of Russian debt and equity sales last year, is closing in on other international partnerships, Orcel said in an e-mailed response to questions. “Asia is our next priority.”

VTB Capital is ranked 15th in Russian mergers and acquisitions this year, up from 42nd last year, Bloomberg data show.

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