Pfizer-AstraZeneca bankers set to miss up to $340 million in fees

Bankers advising pharmaceuticals companies Pfizer and Britain's AstraZeneca are likely to miss out on $260-340 million in fees after the U.S. company's final takeover bid was rejected on Monday.

Pfizer's sweetened 70 billion pound ($118 billion) offer was dismissed by AstraZenaca as being too low and the U.S. group is expected to announce by Monday that it will now abandon its move to create the world's biggest drugs group.

The U.S. company's advisers at JP Morgan , Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Guggenheim Securities are likely to be the biggest losers, with a source familiar with the situation saying that Pfizer is unlikely to pay any fees.

Pfizer has not yet discussed the matter with its banks and is expected to follow its policy of not paying any consolation fees, the source said.

As a lead adviser to the U.S. company, JP Morgan would have earned the biggest share of the fees.

AstraZeneca's advisers, however, are expected to receive 5-10 percent of their $130 million fee pool, according to estimates by U.S.-based Freeman Consulting Services (FCS).

The British company's advisers Robey Warshaw, Evercore , Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs would have earned up to $130 million and are set to miss out on about $32.5 million each, FCS estimates.

With its low-cost structure, the newly formed Robey Warshaw advisory boutique is likely to benefit most from the deal, even if it fails. As a lead adviser to AstraZeneca, the firm led by former Morgan Stanley banker Simon Robey and ex-UBS dealmaker Simon Warshaw is set to receive up to $10 million - a huge amount for a team of less than 10 people.

AstraZeneca, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Robey Warshaw and Evercore all declined to comment, while Pfizer, Morgan Stanley, Guggenheim Securities were not immediately available for comment.

Buyside advisers tend to earn more money than those acting on a deal defense because the preparation for a takeover bid requires more work. However, AstraZeneca's advisers would have received an extra payout if Pfizer's bid had gone hostile.


Severn Trent paid its advisers 19 million pounds ($32 million) for helping them to see off a bid consortium led by Canadian infrastructure investor Borealis . Some industry players and media observers questioned whether bankers deserved such a high sum for a four-week tussle in a regulated sector with no formal bid on the table.

Marks & Spencer shelled out nearly 39 million pounds in 2004 to rebuff a takeover bid led by former executive Philip Green and develop a new standalone strategy.

Under siege from fellow miner BHP Billiton , Rio Tinto ran up miscellaneous costs of $325 million in 2008.

Thomson Reuters data shows that M&A fees for completed transactions are up 1 percent since January at $7.4 billion, reflecting the increase in activity this year. M&A volumes rose by 54 percent in the first quarter, driven by a string of large deals.

Goldman Sachs currently tops the rankings for global M&A advisory by deal volume and fees, Thomson Reuters data shows. JP Morgan ranks second by fees and fourth by announced transactions, while Robey Warshaw is 13th for global advisory. ($1 = 0.5943 British Pounds)

(Editing by David Goodman)