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M&A advice: Consultancies are ready for big-ticket deals

As KPMG wins a $5.4 billion advisory mandate, are consultants stealing big deals from investment banks?

The sale by UK state-owned British Nuclear Fuels of US power-plant maker Westinghouse to Japan’s Toshiba for $5.4 billion last month was an important deal. And not just because it was by Japanese standards a large acquisition, or because after a competitive auction Westinghouse was sold for nearly five times more than BNF paid for it in 1999. What made it slightly more unusual was the fact that consultancy KPMG was sole adviser to Toshiba.

The size of the average M&A mandate at consultancy firms is growing:

Announced global M&A average deal size by year

KPMG corporate finance
Ernst & Young
Source: Dealogic

Traditionally, the corporate finance teams at the biggest accounting and consultancy firms have been associated with smaller and mid-cap mergers and acquisitions. Before now, M&A deals worth more than $5 billion would typically have been the preserve of one, or perhaps two, investment banks advising on each side of the transaction.

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