Ex-Perella Bankers to Reap Windfall on Monsanto Sale Role

Bayer Seals $66 Billion Deal for Monsanto
  • Ducera bankers landed coveted role on acquisition by Bayer
  • Firm was founded by Michael Kramer, ex-Perella Weinberg banker

Bayer AG’s $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto Co. is producing a big payday for a small advisory firm founded last year by a team of bankers who left Perella Weinberg Partners in an acrimonious split.

Ducera Partners LLC, led by Michael Kramer, is advising Monsanto, and is in line for at least half of the $110 million in estimated fees going to the seller’s bankers, according to acquisition consultant Freeman & Co. Morgan Stanley also advised Monsanto.

“They’re in line for north of $50 million, and it could be much more,” Freeman Vice President Jeff Nassof said of Ducera in an interview Wednesday. Bank of America Corp. and Credit Suisse Group AG are Bayer’s main advisers along with Rothschild.

Deals like this mark a new forte for Kramer, who was best known as a restructuring adviser. He worked with troubled companies at Houlihan Lokey Inc. and Greenhill & Co., which he left in 2005 to start his own boutique, Kramer Capital Partners. Perella Weinberg bought the firm a year later.

New York-based Ducera’s website lists nine employees, eight of whom previously worked at Perella Weinberg. Kramer, Derron Slonecker and two other former members of the firm’s restructuring group -- Joshua Scherer and Adam Verost -- were fired in 2015, then sued the investment bank for wrongful termination. The team secured work advising a group of Puerto Rico’s bondholders that summer.

Monsanto had previously been Perella Weinberg’s client, using them for advice on its acquisition of the Climate Corp. for about $930 million in 2013.

The transaction values shares of Monsanto at $128 apiece, or about $56 billion.

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