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Lazard sticks with its own advice

With the business models of many of the largest financial firms destroyed by rapid deleveraging, it suddenly looks smart to be a purveyor of independent advice. The biggest, Lazard, finds corporations, governments and other banks desperate for help in repairing their balance sheets. Peter Lee reports.

Links to sections in this article:

Just one product offered: Advice
One banker describes Lazard as “a mile wide and an inch deep, with just one product: advice.”

Counter-cyclical business: M&A
Lazard is known as a leading adviser on big-ticket M&A deals. But companies need advice today for more than just M&A.

Debt advisory and Lazard
Why would any company turn to Lazard for debt advice, when it has never been a debt provider?

Restructuring: Stern tests ahead
It is no longer just a handful of banks and equity owners involved in negotiations.

Tough negotiations
There will be tough negotiations ahead. Lazard will take its seat at quite a few.

LAST MONTH, SIG, a specialist supplier of insulation and other materials to the UK and continental European building and construction industries, announced a £325 million ($469 million) placement of equity to existing and new shareholders to strengthen its balance sheet for the worrying and highly uncertain times ahead.

The Sheffield-headquartered company, which grew rapidly from 2003 to 2007 partly through acquisition, employs 13,300 people operating from 800 sites. It spent 2008 hunkering down as trading deteriorated.

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