I-Banks Cash In on AT&T Deal

Investment banks advising on AT&T Inc's deal to buy T-Mobile USA could rake in $145 million in fees, with Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co among the beneficiaries.

The deal cements Morgan Stanley's position at the top of the adviser rankings of deals announced globally this year, Thomson Reuters data shows. JPMorgan rises one spot to No. 2, and Goldman Sachs remains No. 4. Bank of America Corp slips to No. 3 from No. 2.

The deal should drive huge fees for investment banks and law firms that advised the two sides, and will lift them in the closely followed M&A league tables.

Fees paid to the banks advising AT&T should be $55 million to $65 million, split between JPMorgan and two boutique firms, Greenhill and Evercore, according to estimates by Freeman & Co, a consultancy firm. Advisory fees for the banks working with the seller, Deutsche Telekom AG, should be $50 million to $60 million, split among Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, Freeman said.

Morgan Stanley was the lead adviser to Deutsche Telekom, with its team led by New York-based bankers Adam Shepard, head of North American Telecom; Jim Murray, head of Wireless Banking, and Bob Eatroff, a senior M&A partner.

Morgan Stanley remains No. 1 in M&A advice worldwide this year, while Deutsche Telekom's other advisers, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, rise in the tables to No. 5 and No. 8, respectively.

Greenhill, which was not previously in the top 25, is now No. 13. Evercore rises three places to No. 7.Goldman Sachs was advising Sprint Nextel, a source familiar with the matter said. Sprint held talks to merge with T-Mobile but is now left scrambling to work out its next move. Goldman was not immediately available for comment.

JPMorgan will also reap fees for underwriting a bridge loan to AT&T. AT&T said it would finance the cash portion of the deal with new debt and cash on its balance sheet. The company has an 18-month commitment for a one-year unsecured bridge term facility underwritten by JPMorgan for $20 billion.

Upfront arrangement fees on the bridge loan could be about $20 million, Freeman said.Typical fees in a transaction of this size are 0.15 to 0.17 percent of the deal's value for buy-side M&A advisers, and 0.14 to 0.16 percent for the sell-side banks, according to Freeman & Co Managing Director Teck-Tjuan Yap.

The fee percentage tends to go up as the deal size goes down. In a $1 billion deal, for instance, fees typically would be 0.75 to 1.0 percent, Yap said.The T-Mobile deal is the largest pure M&A transaction this year but is smaller in size than American International Group Inc's restructuring, in which the U.S. Treasury converted $49 billion in preferred shares into common stock of the company.

(Additional reporting by Paritosh Bansal in New York and Quentin Webb in London; editing by John Wallace)