Thursday 26 April 2018

Dealmaker Geoghegan continues his climb as PJT IPOs

Basil Geoghegan opposed the bank guarantee
Basil Geoghegan opposed the bank guarantee
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Basil Geoghegan, one of the world's top dealmakers of Irish descent, is at the centre of the next Wall Street investment bank to go public.

His boutique investment firm PJT Partners will IPO in October, following a merger with the advisory business of private equity behemoth Blackstone. The deal will allow Blackstone to spin-off its advisory arm, giving access to clients who were off limits for conflict-of-interest reasons.

Trinity College Dublin graduate Geoghegan is one of about 45 partners at PJT Partners, which was founded last year by Wall Street veteran Paul Taubman. It is one of a new breed of smaller firms that are increasingly taking the reigns of huge international deals. Geoghegan was one of its first recruits, headhunted this year from Citigroup.

Taubman has recruited some of the biggest names in investment banking. Other partners include Rakesh Patel, previously of JP Morgan Chase, and Simon Lyons of UBS. Their move is evidence of a wider trend whereby top dealmakers leave investment banks for smaller advisory firms as M&A activity surges around the world.

No money is being raised as part of the IPO process. Blackstone shareholders will own about 65pc of the newly formed company, while the remaining 35pc will be split between the 45 partners of PJT - including Geoghegan - and the employees of Blackstone's advisory unit.

Pre-IPO, the company has already advised US telecommunications business Verizon on the sale of assets to Frontier Communication for $10.5bn, and Netherlands-based Altice on its $9.1bn acquisition of the US cable operator Suddenlink.

Geoghegan is one of Ireland's most successful ever financial services professionals. His previous roles include managing director positions at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, as well as Citigroup. He started his career as a solicitor at top-tier London law firm Slaughter and May.

He is also a non-executive director at the Irish Aviation Authority.

He advised on some of the biggest Irish deals of the last decade, including the €1.6bn Avolon IPO, the €1bn sale of Bord Gais Energy to Centrica, the Aer Lingus flotation, the Valentia takeover of Eircom and the €1bn battle to take Jurys Doyle private.

He also advised Irish Nationwide on its strategic options in advance of the bank guarantee and advised the British government when there was a run on deposits at Northern Rock.

Mr Geoghegan has since spoken out against the guarantee of Ireland's banks, calling the decision "unwise" and "unwarranted".

Sunday Indo Business

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