Achievement Awards 2007 - Australia and NZ

We are pleased to announce the winners of this year's House and Deal Awards in Australia and New Zealand.

The following award winners and their clients will be honoured at our fifth annual dinner in Sydney on Tuesday, February 5 next year at the harbourkitchen&bar, Park Hyatt. For more information on this event, please contact Vicki Shaw at [email protected] or (02) 9437 3070.



All eyes were on ANZ in 2007 as Michael Smith replaced the bank's popular retiring CEO John McFarlane. ANZ is synonymous with business banking and it continues to be the preferred choice for AustraliaÆs top 500 companies. It consistently outranks its competitors in relationship management, being praised for quality service and innovative financing options. Its loan syndication activities and its strength in trade and project finance are stand-out capabilities. But with Westpac nipping at its heels, and ANZ considered more likely to suffer if global credit markets worsen, 2008 is likely be a challenging year for the banking group.


With its solid balance sheet and its international distribution capabilities, Citi continues to attract new customers in AustraliaÆs corporate sector, while remaining the top pick for multinational clients. Independent surveys show that customers now rate Citi as a top relationship bank along with AustraliaÆs four major institutions. One of its obvious strengths is in structuring and syndicating loans to help companies achieve their expansion plans. In 2007, its deal list included arranging finance for Morgan Stanley Real Estate, Seven Media Group, Westfield and Asciano. The bank is also making advances in transactional banking, rolling out new online delivery platforms and offering third-party clearing and depository services.


UBS is a consistent all-round performer in the equity, debt, M&A and securities trading markets. 2007 saw the Swiss bank consolidate its position as the leading investment bank, averaging more than one deal a week. It played a lead role in some of the biggest transactions including Boart LongyearÆs IPO, Newcrest MiningÆs substantial rights issue, RinkerÆs defence of the Cemex takeover, B&B/SPIÆs acquisition of Alinta, and Macquarie CommunicationÆs convertible bond. The bank also arranged an inaugural tier-1 Kangaroo bond for Swiss Re, and completed hybrid transactions for corporate issuers like Nufarm and Downer EDI. It remains the largest broker on the Australian Securities Exchange by traded volume.


Winning for the second year running, ABN AMRO picks up the Best Investment Bank in New Zealand award for the breadth of its coverage in M&A advisory, equity capital markets and debt finance. The bank worked on the three largest private equity deals including the NZ$2.24 billion acquisition of Yellow Pages Group, and also managed a NZ$104 million IPO for Marlin, and a NZ$167 million rights issue for Infratil. ABN AMRO also had a number of wins in the debt markets, raising acquisition finance for Ironbridge Capital and taking Transpower to the Swiss franc markets. Its broking division, ABN AMRO Craigs, continued to grow strongly with the acquisition of two smaller stockbroking firms.


This new category to our awards line-up honours excellence in innovation. Not only did Macquarie arrange some of the largest transactions in the capital markets in 2007, such as Boart LongyearÆs A$2.35 billion IPO, but it also worked on some of the trickiest. These included: Lihir GoldÆs record-breaking A$1.19 billion accelerated rights issue; Dyno NobelÆs tightly priced A$300 million hybrid security, and two of the largest M&A transactions including WesfarmersÆ acquisition of Coles and SuncorpÆs purchase of Promina, both of which carried innovative financing structures. In independent surveys, Macquarie is ranked number one in the provision and execution of capital markets ideas and capital management advice.


In 2007, this Brisbane-based insurance company pulled off the largest acquisition in the financial-services industry since Commonwealth BankÆs purchase of Colonial in 2000. The deal created a company with a market value of A$20 billion and over eight million customers. To drum up the cash, Suncorp tapped into a novel equity bridge structure designed to get around its minimum capital adequacy requirements, and then issued A$1.17 billion in pro-rata entitlements to shareholders. This latter transaction enabled Suncorp to accelerate the acquisition by four weeks. At the same time, it drew down on a A$450 senior debt facility and sold ú200 million worth of 20-year subordinated notes in the sterling market.


UBS continues to top the league tables in equity capital markets thanks to its size, its consistency, and its ability to innovate. Up to November 2007, it executed 51 transactions raising a total of more than A$9.95 billion, giving it a 20% share of the market. On the IPO front, UBS completed several large-scale deals for Boart Longyear, RAMS Home Loans and Ellerston GEMS Fund. It was also busy in the placement market with block trades of above A$600 million for AGL Energy, St George Bank and Macquarie Communications Group. And then in September, it braved the markets with the first large transaction after the credit crunch, raising A$2.04 billion in a rights issue for Newcrest Mining.


For a home-grown firm, Macquarie displays courage and bravery in its willingness to advise clients on multi-billion dollar acquisitions, and then to arrange finance for the deals û and this makes it unique. Macquarie wins the Best M&A House award for its role as co-advisor to Wesfarmers in its A$20.7 billion acquisition of Coles assets and as advisor to Promina in its A$7.6 billion sale to Suncorp. Alongside these headline-grabbing deals, the bank worked with PBL on the recapitalisation of its media assets, with Sydney Roads on its defence of TransurbanÆs takeover, with Gunns on its takeover of Auspine, and with the Goodman group on its acquisition of assets in the UK.


HSBCÆs leading position on the debt league tables is the result of its ability to help Australian borrowers tap bonds in multiple currencies, and its preparedness to do so during times of volatility. HSBCÆs main strength lies in the Eurobond markets, but in 2007 it arranged deals in US dollar, HK dollar, Japanese yen, Singapore dollar and Canadian dollar. And while the bulk of its clients are financial institutions, it also led a US private placement for Worley Parsons and a sterling transaction for Fonterra. When the credit turmoil hit in August, HSBC continued to find windows of opportunity for issuers like Westpac, ANZ and CBA.

Commonwealth Bank

Returning to win this award after a yearÆs hiatus, CBA has led more domestic bond transactions for Australian and overseas corporate, financial institution, bank and government issuers than any other arranger. Up to mid-November, the bank was lead manager or joint-lead manager on over A$8.7 billion worth of vanilla and structured transactions, and participated in another A$6.5 billion as co-lead manager. Some of its more notable deals included: an inaugural Kangaroo bond for HBOS raising A$600 million; and a A$1 billion five-year senior unsecured debt and A$200 million 10-year subordinated debt transaction for Bank of America. The latter was the first subordinated issue for a US financial in the Aussie dollar markets.

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank operates as a well-oiled machine in the asset-backed markets and proved its dominance following the commencement of the liquidity crisis by continuing to lead transactions for issuers like Macquarie, Adelaide Bank and Bank of Queensland. 2007 was the year of the residential mortgage-backed security, and Deutsche distributed about 45% more Australian RMBS than its nearest competitor. In February, it completed the largest ever Australian RMBS transaction for CBA with its A$7.1 billion (equivalent) Medallion Trust 2007-1G deal. It also broke records by arranging the largest tranches in US dollars and euros, and achieving the tightest pricing by an RMBS issuer.


The margin might be small, but UBS continues to beat its nearest competitor in terms of market share traded on the Australian Securities Exchange. The firm has 36 sales people focused entirely on Australian and New Zealand equities, and one-third of these are in offshore locations in Europe, the US and Asia. Every member of the team has been in the business of finance for over five years, and several of them specialise in hedge funds, boutique managers, small caps and family offices. In independent surveys, UBS comes top in sales service and is praised by customers for providing market colour and coming up with ideas that generate alpha.


UBS regains the Best Equity Research award this year thanks to the number of accurate calls made by its top-rated analysts. In 2007, its key buy recommendations on Australian stocks have outperformed the local index by an average of 23.5%, and its model Aussie portfolio is up 32.7% compared to about 27% for the ASX200 market. Some of the best calls made by its team of 55 analysts have been on stocks like Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and Challenger Group. UBS is also becoming synonymous with the hosting of a range of well-attended conferences and seminars providing investors with industry insights and investment ideas.

Blake Dawson

Under the abbreviated banner of Blake Dawson, this fast-growing law firm worked on a number of significant transactions in 2007 across the spectrum of capital markets instruments. The firm has undergone a strategic restructure and, in the process, has hired 21 new partners and increased the revenue from its major clients by 20%. It now counts among its top clients ANZ, UBS, Macquarie, GSJBW, BHP Billiton, Woodside, Qantas and PwC. Some of its biggest deals of the year included equity deals for Boart Longyear, Platinum Asset Management, Newcrest Mining and Lihir Gold; and M&A work for Alinta, APN News & Media, Eastman Kodak and Goodyear.


Boart Longyear, A$2.35 billion

Goldman Sachs JBWere, Macquarie, UBS
Boart Longyear pulled off the largest Australian IPO in nearly 10 years with its A$2.35 billion offering in April 2007. The transaction was executed during turbulent markets with an 8.8% drop in the Shanghai exchange triggering a global equity sell-off just days before the IPO was launched. But the deal was saved by a colossal marketing effort on behalf of the joint lead managers who took Boart on a four-week roadshow around the world to meet 250 investors. The deal priced above the bottom of the range, and unlike many of its newly listed peers, has performed well since.

Lihir Gold, A$1.19 billion accelerated renounceable offer

Goldman Sachs JBWere, Macquarie
Following a global trend by gold companies to close-out their hedge books, Lihir Gold launched its A$1.19 billion accelerated renounceable offer in April, completing the deal in 35 days and achieving a 31.5% discount to last close. The deal was complicated by LihirÆs geographically diverse share register, with QIB investors in the US also participating in the offer. But the deal was well executed and the accelerated structure allowed the company to access 80% of the proceeds within 11 days of the deal being launched. Lihir paved the way for Newcrest Mining which issued a A$2.04 billion accelerated rights entitlement in September.

QBE Insurance, ú258 million LYONs Notes

Merrill Lynch
Continuing with its successful liquid yield option note (LYONs) programme, QBE added a twist in 2007 by tapping the sterling market with the first ever sterling convertible instrument for an Australian issuer. The deal priced with a yield of 6.1925% and a stellar initial conversion premium of 80%. Sole bookrunner Merrill Lynch generated enough demand to cover the book twice, with over 53% of orders coming from the Asia region. The zero-coupon notes have a long 20-year maturity which address QBEÆs funding needs and give it flexibility. The proceeds went towards the companyÆs acquisitions in the US.

Wesfarmers/Coles, A$20.7 billion acquisition

Advisors to Wesfarmers: Gresham, Macquarie
Advisors to Coles: Deutsche, Lazard Carnegie Wylie
Lead debt underwriters: ANZ, BNP Paribas, nabCapital

If we had an award for the most unexpected move in the capital markets, then it would go to MacquarieÆs surprising raid on ColesÆ shares in April which gave Wesfarmers a pre-bid stake of 12.8% in the beleaguered retail company. What then followed was a heart-stopping drama involving a cast of big-business luminaries as bidders and shareholders worked hard to find common ground. The eventual structure of the offer had to compensate shareholders for declining markets and the onset of the credit crunch meant that Wesfarmers had to renegotiate the A$10 debt facility needed to fund the acquisition. The advisors on this deal did well to hold things together.

Swiss Re, A$750 million perpetual notes

Deutsche, Westpac, UBS
Swiss Re wooed investors with this rare tier-1 Kangaroo offering in April. Investors liked the yield and were left begging for more when the issuer capped the deal size at A$750 million. The dual-tranche deal was priced at BBSW+117bp which was 23 points tighter than its nearest comparable. This was a debut Kangaroo for the global reinsurer and a high proportion of the paper was bought by Australian accounts, helping the issuer to achieve its diversification objectives. The transaction also received a Basket D classification by MoodyÆs, giving it an enviable 75% equity credit.

National Australia Bank, Ñ50 billion Samurai

Nikko Citi, Daiwa, Nomura
Until now the Samurai market has been the domain of government and semi-government issuers, but NABÆs Ñ50 billion deal in July changed all that, and set a benchmark for bank issuers in the market. NAB had issued privately placed EMTNs and retail targeted UridashiÆs in Japan before, but this was the first Samurai. The deal was upsized from an initial size of Ñ30 billion and was eventually sold in two even tranches of fixed and floating notes. Well over 100 investors participated in the deal which priced in line with peer comparisons. CBA followed suit with a Samurai bond in November.

PUMA Masterfund P-13, A$500 million RMBS

Macquarie Bank, Deutsche, SociTtT GTnTrale
Westpac and CBA may have grabbed the headlines with the largest RMBS transactions on record, but the award for bravery goes to MacquarieÆs PUMA Masterfund P-13 deal which was the first to price after the global credit crunch in September. Macquarie broke a six-week drought in asset-backed issuance with the A$500 million transaction and re-opened the market for others players who were too fearful to take the lead. The deal demonstrated the demand for high-quality Australian RMBS names and was upsized from an initial size of A$300 million. Most of the securities were sold to banks and fund managers.

Cross City Tunnel, A$695 million acquisition and refinancing

Everybody likes a happy ending to a tragic story, so when co-sponsors ABN AMRO and Leighton Contractors were successful in purchasing the bankrupt Cross City Tunnel from receivers KordaMentha in June, the city of Sydney rejoiced. The creditors to the original project were even more jubilant in September when ABN AMRO was finally able to restructure the financing of the tunnel and save them from losing their shirts. The acquisition makes ABN AMRO and its infrastructure funds some of biggest owners of toll-road assets in Australia.

B&B/SPI acquisition of Alinta, A$13.8 billion

Advisors to B&B and equity underwriters: Deutsche Bank, UBS
Advisor to Singapore Power: Morgan Stanley
Advisors to Alinta: JP Morgan, Lazard Carnegie Wylie

Lead debt underwriters: ANZ, BNP Paribas, CBA, Dexia, SociTtT GTnTrale
Alinta shareholders were caught in the middle of a duel this year, as two bidding parties went head-to-head to offer the best price for the asset. Initial offers were increased and eventually the deal with the most flexible terms and the highest synergies rose to the top. The banks involved in the transaction should be commended for their endurance and for their clever thinking. The A$13.8 billion M&A deal was the largest ever in the utilities sector and makes the consortium of Babcock&Brown/Singapore Power a force to be reckoned with.

Rabobank, NZ$900 million Kiwi bond

Credit Suisse, First NZ Capital, ASB
In one of the most turbulent years for global debt markets in recent history, full credit should be paid to issuers like Rabobank which completed the largest ever tier-1 transaction by a foreign institution in the Kiwi market in September. The size of RabobankÆs offering, which was initially targeted at NZ$400 million and was the bankÆs first in New Zealand, was considered audacious by some investors even before the full extent of the credit crisis was revealed. So for Rabobank to upsize the deal to NZ$900 million and then to price at similar levels to the bankÆs non-step perpetuals trading in the secondary market offshore was an astounding feat.

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