Fairness opinion provider rankings for 2019

BVWire–UKIssue #11-1
February 4, 2020

M&A valuations
mergers and acquisitions (M&A), private equity, fairness opinion

The ‘Global Mergers & Acquisitions Review: Full Year 2019/Financial Advisors’ from Refinitiv (now a subsidiary of the LSEG) was released last week. It contains M&A statistics—and also rankings for worldwide providers of fairness opinions.

M&A activity is so integral to the global economy that analysts shouldn’t worry if they’re unimpressed by the sheer volume of transactions. Eight investment banks completed more than 200 transactions each last year: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Citi, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Lazard, Rothschild, and Houlihan Lokey.

Despite all the dark clouds, Brexit did little to dim deal volume in the UK, so this sector remains an important market for business valuation services.

Fairness opinions generate a lot of revenues (and some risks) for the larger valuation firms. The top fairness opinion providers in the EMEA region last year were:

1. KPMG (18 opinions);

1. JP Morgan (18);

3. Duff & Phelps (12);

4. Houlihan Lokey (10);

5. Rothschild (9);

5. Evercore (9);

5. BDO (9);

5. Lazard (9);

5. Morgan Stanley (9);

10.Centerview (7); and

10.Credit Suisse (7).

Here are the top five providers (based on the number of transactions) of announced fairness opinions globally:

1. Duff & Phelps (2018 rank: 1);

2. J.P. Morgan (2018 rank: tied for 3);

3. (tie) Houlihan Lokey (2018 rank: 5);

3. (tie) Stout (2018 rank: 6); and

5. CITIC Group (2018 rank: 2).

Please let us know if you have any comments about this article or enhancements you would like to see.