Softbank deal shakes up Japan M&A league tables, Mizuho on top

Reuters

Softbank Corp's $20 billion deal for control of Sprint Nextel Corp has shaken up the rankings of investment banks in Japan, vaulting Mizuho Securities to the top position and relegating Nomura Securities, which was not on the record-setting transaction, to second place.

The so-called league tables, based on the value of mergers and acquisitions on which investment banks offer advice, are closely watched by bankers as an indication of their firm's ability to land key mandates and generate fees.

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The Softbank deal, which represents the most a Japanese firm has spent on an overseas acquisition, will generate roughly $111 million in advisory fees, according to Freeman Consulting's estimates.

Mizuho Securities, the brokerage unit of banking group Mizuho Financial Group, was listed as a lead advisor to Softbank along with the Raine Group, a relatively small U.S.-based merchant bank.

That catapulted Mizuho Securities to the top of the league table for deals involving a Japanese company so far in 2012, with credit for $62.6 billion worth of transactions, according to Thomson Reuters data. Before the Softbank deal Mizuho was in third place.

Nomura, Japan's largest brokerage and the previous leader in the 2012 list, dropped to second place at $48.7 billion.

Sprint hired Citigroup Global Markets Inc, Rothschild Inc, and UBS Investment Bank as co-lead financial advisors. As a result, Citigroup jumped to 5th from 11th in the ranking, Rothschild went from 18th to 8th, and UBS to 4th from 9th, the data shows. Deutsche Bank, which also provided advice to Softbank, jumped to 7th from 17th.

Softbank announced plans to take a 70 percent stake in Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, on Monday.

The deal takes outbound deals by Japanese firms to a record $75 billion this year, according to Thomson Reuters data, underscoring a strong appetite for overseas assets spurred on by the strong yen. (Reporting by Nathan Layne and Emi Emoto; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)