Award winners will be honoured at a special dinner in Sydney on Tuesday, 1 February at the Harbour Kitchen + Bar, Park Hyatt. For more information on this event, please contact Vicki Shaw at [email protected].
Best Local Commercial Bank
In the cutthroat world of domestic banking, Westpac is still the preferred primary relationship bank and transactional banking partner. The bank has a strong trade finance product, has launched a new corporate internet banking platform and has had a good year in the corporate debt markets.
Best Foreign Commercial Bank
Tough to beat, Citigroup manages more corporate business for foreign and local companies than any other foreign bank. It continues to offer corporate treasurers access to its balance sheet through loan syndication, bridge facilities and other capital markets instruments, while also supporting them with transactional banking services.
Best Investment Bank
Another stellar year for the Swiss firm, UBS topped league tables in debt, equity and corporate advisory. The bank led well-priced and innovative issues for corporate and FIG clients alike, meantime building on its unrivalled equity research, and sales and trading capabilities.
Goldman Sachs JB Were
A year on from the merger and Goldman Sachs JBWere is gaining serious street cred. 2004 saw the firm clock up several successes: ranking high in straight corporate bonds, doubling the number of IPOs executed and increasing its market share in hybrids. The bank enjoys great client loyalty.
Issuer of the Year
A solid Aussie company in a controversial sector, Tabcorp completed three noteworthy transactions in 2004: a benchmark-setting A$450 million local bond; a $700 million private bond placement in the US; and the acquisition of TAB.
Best Equity House
Self-led deals aside, Macquarie's equity team worked on some of the biggest and best equity transactions in 2004 including IPOs for Pacific Brands, ConnectEast Group and DUET. A placement for Alinta and hybrids for Leighton and Macquarie Airports rounded out its winning equity capabilities.
Best International Bond House
Given its relative size and youth, Barclays Capital has punched above its weight in the international bond market this year. The bank is a favourite with corporate issuers, completing US private placements for Coca-Cola Amatil, Tabcorp, and utilities ETSA and Alinta.
Best Local Bond House
Commonwealth Bank arranged over A$7.2 billion in vanilla and structured bonds this year, including Kangaroos for Goldman Sachs and Royal Bank of Scotland, and domestic bonds for clients in the utilities, energy, financial institutions and property sectors.
Best Securitization House
As more of Australia's asset-backed paper is sold offshore, Deutsche Bank is the bank of choice to lead manage global offerings. Tapping a rich vein of Euro investor appetite for residential mortgage backed deals, the bank completed more than A$13 billion worth of deals up to 30 September. Deutsche also holds sway on the domestic scene.
Best M&A House
UBS had a hand in almost every big M&A transaction of the year including Westfield's three-way merger, Stockland's outstanding bid for GPT, Tabcorp's TAB purchase, and News Corp's relocation to the US. It also ran several dual track trade sales/IPOs for financial investors in the hot private equity sector.
Though still not the biggest broker, Macquarie has a skilled sales team and great sales relationships. The Sydney-based bank has increased its market share of trades on the Australian Stock Exchange from 4.9% of volume to 9.5% in just two years - a fantastic story in anyone's book.
Best Equity Research
The award-winning analysts at UBS just won another one. The firm has helped to line investors' pockets with well-timed buy recommendations on stocks like Aristocrat, Coles Myer and Multiplex. It also impressed our judges with its trademark Q Series reports.
Best Financial Law Firm
Mallesons Stephen Jaques
Mallesons' client list reads like the Who's Who of Australian capital markets transactions in 2004. The firm acted for companies and banks alike, advising on transactions such as British Airways' share sale, Pacific Brands' IPO, ConnectEast's Mitcham-Frankston bid and Westfield's merger.
Pacific Brands, A$1.3 billion
Macquarie Bank, UBS
In April, clothing group Pacific Brands showed that it pays to be first to market with a big transaction. The exit for financial investors CVC and Catalyst attracted bids from 175 institutions and strong demand from every continent on the globe.
Best Secondary Offering
British Airways, A$1.1 billion Qantas block trade
British Airways' mega sale of its 18.25% stake in Qantas was priced at a 1.5% discount to Qantas' price before the sale and a 4% premium to the underwritten floor price. Citigroup beat four other banks down to the wire to be the sole underwriter and went on to build the book in a record 18 hours.
Best Equity-Linked Deal
Macquarie Airports, A$465 million TICkETS
ABN AMRO Rothschild, Macquarie Bank
Macquarie and ABN AMRO wrapped up a big hybrid year with a popular deal for Macquarie Airports in December. The debut issue of convertible-to-equity securities priced at the tighter end of the indicative range and successfully diversified the listed airport entity's funding base.
Best Securitization Deal
Harvey Norman STOREs, A$250 million CMBS
ANZ Investment Bank
Harvey Norman's A$250 million property-backed deal broached new ground for an Australian securitization. It was the first deal backed by properties in both Australia and New Zealand, the first triple-A commercial mortgage-backed securitization from an unrated issuer, and the first five-year deal to punch through the 40bp pricing band.
Best M&A Deal
Westfield's three-way merger
Deutsche Bank, Grange First Provident and UBS
The stapling of securities of three entities with complex capital structures wins this year's M&A award for its ingenuity and value generation. The merging of Westfield's listed entities into a single group was done on a tight timetable to create a company with a market capitalization in excess of A$25 billion.
Best Local Bond Deal
Tabcorp, A$450 million fixed and floating rate notes
Westpac Banking Corporation
This debut deal for gaming operator Tabcorp set a new benchmark for BBB+ rated issuers. The deal was upsized from A$200 million and carried a long maturity of seven-years, proving that there is enough appetite in the market for low-rated corporates.
Best International Bond Deal
Tabcorp, $700 million US private placement
Barclays Capital, UBS
A split US and Australian dollar deal, this private placement for gaming operator Tabcorp broke many records. Originally marketed as a $150 million deal, the issue was seven times oversubscribed. It successfully extended the issuer's maturity profile and allowed Tabcorp to complete its acquisition of TAB.
Highly commended: Westfield's $2.6 billion 10-year and 6-year fixed rate 144a Notes (JPMorgan and Citigroup)
Best Project Finance Deal and Most Innovative Deal
ConnectEast's $3.3 billion Mitcham Frankston toll way
Macquarie Bank, ABN AMRO Rothschild, BOS International, Commonwealth Bank, Societe Generale, United Overseas Bank
The biggest project financing of the year, ConnectEast raised A$2.1 billion in bank debt and A$1.2 billion from an IPO. With several banks banding together to provide bridging finance and innovative underwriting structures, the deal was testimony to the depth and breadth of the Australian market.
Best New Zealand Deal
Kiwi Forests' NZ$725 million acquisition and on-sale of Fletcher Challenge Forests' estate
First NZ Capital adviser to Kiwi Forests
This headline-grabbing deal saw an underdog beat a large US contender to a coveted asset. The deal incorporated four transactions including debt financing and the sale of forestry cutting rights to institutional investors. Kiwi Forests pulled off the daring bid under intense scrutiny.