Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are set for a fee bonanza with both banks playing roles on the sale of Vivendi SA’s French wireless unit, and Vodafone Group Plc’s purchase of a Spanish cable company.
The New York-based banks are advisers on Altice SA’s effort to acquire Vivendi’s SFR unit in a $28 billion deal, and also Vodafone’s agreement to buy Grupo Corporativo Ono SA for $10 billion. If completed, the SFR purchase will be the second-largest globally this year, and the two transactions could generate as much as $173 million in advisory fees for Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and other banks, according to estimates from New York-based research firm Freeman & Co.
Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan are currently the top advisers so far this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Dealmakers are having their strongest start to the year since before the global financial crisis amid growing economic confidence and rising share prices. Deals in technology, media and telecommunications continue to drive overall activity, with five of the top 10 being in that space, including the proposed SFR purchase, the data show.
Vivendi is in exclusive talks with Altice to sell for an enterprise value of 20 billion euros, or $28 billion, according to its billionaire owner Patrick Drahi. A deal could be completed by the end of the month, Drahi said today.
If that deal closes, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley could split as much as $52 million as advisers to Altice, while Vivendi’s banks Citigroup Inc. and Lazard Ltd. could share as much as $59 million, according to Freeman estimates.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan will share in up to $35 million of fees with three other banks that advised Ono on its 7.2 billion euro sale to Vodafone. Deutsche Bank AG was the lead adviser to Ono’s shareholders, and Bank of America Corp. and UBS AG were co-advisers along with JPMorgan.
For its part as an adviser to Vodafone, Morgan Stanley will split as much as $27 million with Robertson Robey Associates LLP, which separately advised the buyer’s board, Freeman’s estimates show.