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Wall Street Journal / Life - Entertain

Hundreds of Millions in Fees at Stake in Media Merger Frenzy

Bankers advising AT&T and Time Warner breathed a sigh of relief after a judge blessed the companies’ union Tuesday. That’s because M&A advisers typically only get their considerable fees if a deal closes.


The AT&T logo is displayed on a monitor above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, on June 13, 2018.

Bankers advising AT&T and Time Warner breathed a sigh of relief after a judge blessed the companies’ union Tuesday. That’s because M&A advisers typically only get their considerable fees if a deal closes.

At stake is $220 million for all the banks that landed roles on the proposed deal, according to Dealogic: Perella Weinberg, Allen & Co., Citi, Morgan Stanley , JPMorgan and Bank of America . Bankers involved in a scramble of deal making around 21st Century Fox Inc. FOX 0.79% are vying for hundreds of millions in additional payments.

Fee Frenzy

Hundreds of millions in estimated M&A advisory fees hang in the balance with several potential tie-ups in the media industry.

Estimated fees

$220 million

Deal struck in October 2016 for $85.4 billion

$145

million

Offer made public in April for $31 billion

$170

million

Deal struck in December 2017 for $52.4 billion

$120

million

Offer made public in December 2016* for $14.6 billion

Estimated fees

$220 million

Deal struck in October 2016 for $85.4 billion

$145

million

Offer made public in April for $31 billion

$170

million

Deal struck in December 2017 for $52.4 billion

$120

million

Offer made public in December 2016* for $14.6 billion

Estimated fees

$220 million

Deal struck in October 2016 for $85.4 billion

$170

million

Deal struck in December 2017 for $52.4 billion

$145

million

Offer made public in April for $31 billion

$120

million

Offer made public in December 2016* for $14.6 billion

Estimated fees

$220 million

Deal struck in October 2016 for $85.4 billion

+

$170

Deal struck in December 2017 for $52.4 billion

+

$145

Offer made public in April for $31 billion

+

$120

Offer made public in December 2016* for $14.6 billion

+

Notes: Deal and offer values are as of when they were announced. Dealogic hadn't yet estimated fees for Comcast's Wednesday afternoon offer to buy Fox assets for roughly $65 billion *Share of Sky that Fox didn’t already own

Source: Dealogic

And that could be just the beginning of a windfall for Wall Street if the AT&T-Time Warner ruling unleashes a flood of transactions in the second half, as many expect. With $2.1 trillion of deals announced so far, 2018 is already pacing to be the biggest year ever for mergers.

Across the board, top M&A advisers are already well ahead of where they were at this time last year when measured by the dollar amount of deals.

Corrections & Amplifications
The chart showing value of announced M&A deals has been modified to correct the data for “rest of year.” An earlier version of the graphic incorrectly used annual totals for “rest of year.” (June 13, 2018)

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