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M&A advisers: Smaller advisers win big on telecoms deal

The $67 billion AT&T/BellSouth merger catapults Evercore and Rohatyn up the league tables.

With BellSouth out of the picture, there are few large acquisition targets left in the US telecoms sector

The $67 billion merger of US telecommunications firms AT&T and BellSouth is the latest in a long line of jumbo telecoms link-ups in recent years. The deal itself is spectacular primarily because of its size. But one tantalizing detail in the long-running story lies in just who was advising buyer AT&T. BellSouth, unsurprisingly, chose global institutions Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. AT&T also chose a global M&A powerhouse: Lehman Brothers. In addition, though, the firm used the advisory services of much-smaller boutiques Evercore Partners and Rohatyn to help guide it through the complicated structuring of the merger.

The deal has catapulted Evercore and Rohatyn to fourth and fifth place respectively in the US adviser rankings for this year to date, according to Dealogic.

For some in the market this was not a surprise. Evercore is home to some of the most renowned names in banking from the past two decades. And Felix Rohatyn is a financier extraordinaire. But it does raise the question of when jumbo deals present the opportunity for smaller boutiques to get in on the action.

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