KPMG leads $5.4bn watershed deal

KPMG leads $5.4bn watershed deal

Building a presence as lead advisers on the biggest deals has always been a struggle for the corporate finance arms of accounting firms, but all that could change after a $5.4bn (£2.89bn) deal closed by KPMG Corporate Finance last week

The firm acted as lead adviser for Japan’s Toshiba Corporation on its
acquisition of Westinghouse from British Nuclear Fuels plc. The deal is thought
to be the largest involving an accounting firm as lead adviser.

The sheer size and global nature of the transaction could be a significant
watershed not only for
KPMG,
but for all the corporate finance arms operating out of accounting firms.

Global accounting firms have always had a presence on the largest deals.
Ernst & Young, for example, worked on the $15bn purchase of the Hertz
Corporation, while Deloitte advised Vodafone on its $15.2bn sale of Vodafone KK
to the Softbank Corporation, according to data compiled by mergermarket.

It is the lead advisory work on deals of this scale that has eluded
accounting firms, but Tim Stone, a consultation partner on the Toshiba deal,
believes that KPMG’s role in the transaction has established the firm as a
heavyweight player.

‘We have always had the ability to lead deals of this size, but it was just a
case of a business realising what we can do. After this deal we see ourselves
working on more strategically important deals,’ said Stone.

KPMG’s chief executive of corporate finance, Simon Collins, described the
transaction as a ‘redefining piece of business’.

‘This huge, high profile, cross-border deal is a redefining piece of business
for KPMG Corporate Finance. No-one can now say that
KPMG Corporate Finance
does not compete in the $1bn plus market,’ said Collins.

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