CBS-Viacom Merger Will Deliver a Big Payday for Boutique Banks

(Bloomberg) -- CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. primarily relied on boutique investment banks to help put together their long-awaited $11.7 billion merger.

Centerview Partners Holdings and Lazard Ltd. are advising CBS. Viacom’s bankers are LionTree Advisors LLC and Morgan Stanley while National Amusements Inc. -- the controlling shareholder of both companies -- is being advised by Evercore Inc., according to the deal announcement.

CBS’ advisers could share a pot of $25 million to $30 million in fees, according to estimates from consulting firm Freeman & Co. The advisers for Viacom could roughly split between $30 million to $40 million.

CBS-Viacom Merger Will Deliver a Big Payday for Boutique Banks

Liontree and Morgan Stanley are "both first class institutions," Viacom Chief Executive Officer Robert Bakish said in an interview. "I know the principals on the deal extremely well and they did a phenomenal job."

Boutique investment banks have fewer business lines and primarily sell advice to clients. While full-service investment banks such as Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sell advice too, they are also more diversified. They help companies sell stocks and bonds, among other services.

For legal counsel, CBS is using Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP; Viacom is using Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP; and NAI is using Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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