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Centerview May Split $90 Million Fees on Beam-Suntory Deal

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Centerview Partners, the independent investment bank founded in 2006, will split about $90 million in fees with the two other banks advising on Beam Inc.’s sale to Suntory Holdings Ltd.

Suntory, the closely held Japanese whiskey and beer maker, agreed to buy Beam for $16 billion including debt to create the world’s No. 3 premium spirits maker. Centerview and Credit Suisse Group AG advised Beam, the company behind brands including Maker’s Mark whiskey, and will split about $50 million, according to data from New York-based research firm Freeman & Co. The investment banking joint venture between Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley will get about $40 million for working with Suntory, Freeman said.

The banks will reap those fees on a deal that took just two months to complete: Suntory’s talks with Beam began in November, a spokeswoman at the Japanese company said. The deal is one of almost $91 billion of takeover agreements and offers yesterday. These include Charter Communications Inc.’s bid for Time Warner Cable Inc. and Google Inc.’s $3.2 billion acquisition of digital thermostat maker Nest Labs.

Adviser Rankings

Two weeks into 2014, the deal has vaulted New York-based Centerview to the No. 3 spot among advisers of mergers and acquisitions, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The rankings exclude advisers on Charter’s bid for Time Warner Cable, which the New York-company has rebuffed as too low. Last year, Centerview ranked 16th, with a role on the takeovers of HJ Heinz Co., Dell Inc. and Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Centerview’s team on the deal was led by Robert Pruzan, who co-founded the investment bank with Blair Effron. Pruzan has also served as an adviser to J.C. Penney Co. Chief Executive Officer Mike Ullman amid efforts to turn the retailer around.

Morgan Stanley is the top M&A adviser, with 8 deals valued at $23 billion announced in the first two weeks of 2014, the data compiled by Bloomberg show. Credit Suisse is second, with 4 deals totaling $17 billion.

Centerview has advised on $600 billion of deals since it was founded in 2006, according to its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Wollman in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mohammed Hadi at

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