Credit Suisse Snags Fees in Record M&A Deal

Bayer, Monsanto, M&A, investment banks, fees, Credit Suisse, Bofa Merrill

Bayer’s $66 billion takeover of Monsanto is the largest cash buyout in history and Germany’s second-largest ever merger. The deal means a third-quarter windfall for Credit Suisse’s ailing investment bank.

CEO Tidjane Thiam has some distance to go to prove that he is turning Credit Suisse around, but the Swiss bank can rely on at least one area to deliver in the third quarter.

Credit Suisse has propelled itself to the top of mergers-and-acquisition league tables this year, thanks to two major deals.

Besides Bayer-Monsanto, the Swiss bank is also advising on the $29 billion merger between National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank, both based in Abu Dhabi.

Hundreds of Millions in Fees

The agrochemicals deal is certain to earn Credit Suisse’s M&A bankers hundreds of millions in third-quarter fees: the bank has been working for months to line up the financing together with Bofa Merrill Lynch, the other lead financial advisor.

Goldman Sachs was later added to the deal along with Rothschild and several law firms. Deutsche Bank is conspicuous in its absence: the German banking champion is a long-time advisor to Bayer rival BASF.

BASF also explored a tie-up with Monsanto this summer, according to news agency «Bloomberg», a move which would have definitely shut Deutsche Bank out of the Bayer-Monsanto deal that was ultimately consummated. 

«Bid 'Em Up Bruce»

Credit Suisse was also among bank to line up financing for Chemchina's $44 billion takeover of Swiss agrochemicals firm Syngenta earlier this year. 

Credit Suisse’s M&A practice is rich in history, bringing forth legendary investment bankers such as «bid 'em up» Bruce Wasserstein and Joe Perella in its First Boston days. 

The wider investment bank's fortunes have been mixed more recently: Credit Suisse ousted its trading head Tim O'Hara last week following billion-dollar write-downs earlier this year. 

People Moves

The investment banking department and capital markets side is run by Jim Amine, one of the few executives to survive a cull following Thiam's arrival last summer. 

The Swiss bank’s top dealmaker, David DeNunzio, left for Wells Fargo, which is expanding in M&A, roughly three months ago.

Credit Suisse also hired two prominent bankers from ailing rival Deutsche: Cathal Deasy as head of M&A in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Henrik Aslaksen as head of strategic client coverage in London. 

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