The following award winners and their clients will be honoured at our fourth annual dinner in Sydney on Wednesday, February 7 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.
Best Local Commercial Bank
A leader on the syndicated loan league tables and a key provider of corporate banking services, ANZ wins the Best Local Commercial Bank category for the second year in a row. The bank offers innovative financing solutions for clients and brought some interesting deals to market in 2006 such as CDOs, CMBS and sub-debt deals for lower-rated issuers.
Best Foreign Commercial Bank
In banking surveys, Citigroup scores the same points for relationship strength as AustraliaÆs four major domestic banks, and many more points than its foreign rivals. In 2006, the bank arranged corporate loans for the likes of Toll Holdings and Mirvac Group, while continuing to offer some of the best cash management and trade finance services.
Best Investment Bank
In a year marked by the sale of T3 and a rash of leveraged buy-outs, UBS played a leading role in most of the significant equity and M&A transactions of 2006. UBS worked on deals for AGL, PBL, Brambles, SFE, Qantas, Telstra and Babcock & Brown. The firm remains unbeaten in this category.
Best Investment Bank û New Zealand
ABN AMRO performed consistently well across equity and M&A in 2006. The bank arranged four of the largest five IPOs and also worked on some key M&A transactions such as InfratilÆs bid for Alliant, Port of TaurangaÆs merger with Ports of Auckland, BacardiÆs takeover of 42 Below, and FoodstuffsÆ acquisition of a stake in Warehouse Group.
Issuer of the Year
The government made a gutsy decision to push ahead with the sale of its Telstra stake when sentiment for the company was at a low point. Critics were silenced when the company and its arrangers and advisors created an innovative offer structure that ultimately saw the placement double in size.
Best Equity House
With a market share of 23% of all equity transactions according to the league tables, UBS was a consistent and repeat arranger and underwriter of capital raisings in 2006. The bank was instrumental in designing the innovative offer structure of T3 but also led successful IPOs and placements for names like St George Bank, Sydney Roads Group and Rakon in New Zealand.
Best International Bond House
Citigroup has executed as many as nine cross-border transactions this year, raising about $17 billion for Australian entities. The bank has a strong financial institutions client list but also managed transactions for several large corporates in 2006 including Westfield, Coca-Cola Amatil, Qantas and Singapore Power. Its work with structured EMTNs is of particular note.
Best Local Bond House
The National Australia Bank franchise continues to dominate the local bond markets. nabCapital was active in bringing new names to market including American Express, China Light & Power, HSBC Finance and Northern Rock. The bank also arranged the countryÆs first Kangaroo index-linked bond issue with a A$250 million transaction for European Investment Bank.
Best Securitisation House
Deutsche Bank completed the largest ever Australian securitization deal in 2006, helping the Commonwealth Bank to raise A$5.5 billion in a tri-currency four-tranche deal that broke many records. The German bankÆs strong global distribution capacity makes it the securitisation house of choice for AustraliaÆs largest issuers.
Best M&A House
The sale of Qantas is the latest deal in a long list of M&A transactions advised by UBS in 2006. UBS has been at the pointy end of the leveraged buy-out craze gripping the country. The bank also crafted some of the best defences in 2006 including RinkerÆs defence of the A$16.8 billion hostile takeover by Cemex and AGLÆs defence of the A$6.45 billion merger with Alinta which included a cunning counter-offer tactic.
Best Brokerage House
In a category where volume matters, UBS still executes more trades on the Australian Stock Exchange than any other broker. The bankÆs relationship with offshore investors gives it a high market share in block trades and special trades, while its dedicated hedge fund sales desk is the cornerstone of its prime services business.
Best Equity Research
MacquarieÆs investment in its research capabilities is paying off with both domestic and international investors citing the bank as their preferred research firm. The independence and objectivity of its research has improved and so has its quality of service. The bank has 63 analysts covering a total of 271 Australian stocks and made several insightful outperformance calls in 2006.
Best Financial Law Firm
FreehillsÆ scorecard in 2006 is second to none. The law firm has been involved in most of the yearÆs landmark transactions including the T3 placement, PeabodyÆs purchase of Excel Coal, Seven NetworkÆs joint venture with KKR, Promina GroupÆs proposed merger with Suncorp Metway and, most recently, Fairfax MediaÆs merger with Rural Press.
Dyno Nobel, A$1.1 billion
Credit Suisse, Macquarie Bank
A large deal in an IPO market dominated by small-caps, Dyno Nobel priced its initial offering well above its indicative price range to raise A$1.1 billion. The deal was bought by 300 institutions and the stock traded up more than 13% on its first day of trading.
Best Secondary Offering
Telstra 3, A$15.5 billion
ABN AMRO Rothschild, Goldman Sachs JBWere, UBS
Nobody quite expected the success of the third public sale of Telstra shares, not least the government which added A$15.5 billion to its coffers when it only targeted A$8 billion. The deal was highly structured to ensure maximum investor participation and it worked, allowing the global co-ordinators and to pull off one of the largest global equity deals ever.
Best Equity-Linked Deal
Orica Step-up Preference Securities, A$500 million
Citigroup, Macquarie Bank
Taking advantage of new equity credit treatment by the ratings agencies, Orica re-opened the doors for other corporate issuers in the hybrid market. The deal priced at the tight end of the bookbuild range and the structure allowed Orica to raise funds at a lower cost than blended debt and equity while maintaining its important BBB+ rating status.
Best Securitisation Deal
Resonance Funding Series 2006-1, A$2.15 billion
ANZ Investment Bank, Barclays Capital
This deal had all the makings of a perfect asset-backed transaction û it was large, tapped global investors, was doubled in size and proved that collateralised loan obligations are a viable instrument for Australian issuers. The bundling together of 110 corporate loans by ANZ Bank gave investors a welcome diversification from traditional asset classes.
AGL/Alinta, A$12.6 billion merger and spin-out
Goldman Sachs JBWere, Macquarie Bank, UBS
In a transaction that spanned nearly the whole year, this A$12.6 billion deal saw Alinta make a bid for a company three-times its size, negotiate its way through a hostile defence and court cases, until finally agreeing to a merger and spin-out of various assets to please both sets of shareholders. A complex and clever transaction.
Best Local Bond Deal
AXA, A$600 million subordinated notes
ABN AMRO, Westpac
A contender for the Most Innovative Deal category, ABN AMRO and Westpac helped a new issuer to tap AustraliaÆs deeply subordinated note market to fund an offshore acquisition. The deal was upsized from A$300 million to A$600 million and priced at 140bp over BBSW, a highly competitive rate for a debut issuer.
Best International Bond Deal
FMG, $2.05 billion 144a/Reg S notes
Sole bookrunner Citigroup pulled off a large and controversial global high-yield bond placement for FMG Finance to fund a green-field iron ore project in Western Australia. The bank drew on its relationships to place the multi-tranche dual-currency issue with US hedge funds and other high-yield buyers.
Best Project Finance Deal
North South Bypass Tunnel, A$2.89 billion
ABN AMRO, ABN AMRO Rothschild, Calyon, HSBC, National Australia Bank, WestLB
The largest infrastructure project on the slate in 2006, the ABN AMRO-led consortium was awarded the North South Bypass Tunnel project in Brisbane in June. The hard-fought mandate saw the Dutch Bank arrange the equity, debt and hedging components of the transaction. The deal included an innovative base-case revenue sharing feature.
Most Innovative Deal
PBL Media Spin-off and LBO, A$5.5 billion
Credit Suisse, Macquarie Bank, UBS
Taking advantage of proposed new media ownership laws, James PackerÆs Publishing and Broadcasting Limited was quick to spin off its TV and magazine assets into a new company and sell 50% of that company to private equity firm CVC Asia-Pacific for A$4.5 billion. It was an audacious and rapid move that confirmed Australia was in the grip of a leveraged buy-out frenzy.
Best New Zealand Deal
Alliant Energy sale to Infratil, NZ$445 million
ABN AMRO, First NZ Capital, Morrison & Co
While not the largest deal in New Zealand in 2006, InfratilÆs purchase of Alliant EnergyÆs local power assets at a bargain price was a coup for the utilities investor. ABN AMRO and First NZ Capital were involved in advising Alliant prior to the sale but eventually the deal was crafted and executed by Lloyd Morrison himself, the shrewd and well connected chief executive of Infratil.