Bankers in line for telecom and media fees windfall

LONDON Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:56pm EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - Bankers working on the sale of the bulk of Vivendi's (VIV.PA) stake in Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI.O) to the video games maker and its management could earn advisory fees of up to $80 million, according to an industry estimate.

France's Vivendi (VIV.PA) announced the $8.2 billion sale on Friday, its second blockbuster deal in a week.

Bankers in the telecoms, media and technology sector are expecting fees from a flurry of deals, unlike their peers in other sectors where activity is subdued.

On Tuesday, Vivendi said it was in exclusive talks to sell its controlling stake in Maroc Telecom (IAM.CS) for 4.2 billion euros ($5.6 billion) to Etisalat ETEL.AD. And Dutch telecoms group KPN (KPN.AS) announced the sale of its German business E-Plus for 8.1 billion euros to Spain's Telefonica (TEF.MC) on the same day.

In the media and entertainment sector, global deal activity is up 32 percent with 1,380 transactions worth $84 billion so far this year, Thomson Reuters data at July 25 showed.

Activity in the telecommunications sector is up 36 percent, with 358 deals worth $60.9 billion.

But M&A activity overall is down 12 percent, with 19,388 deals worth $1,170 billion.

This has resulted in a 16 percent drop in fees in the first half of the year.

Vivendi hired Barclays (BARC.L) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to advise it on the Activision deal and those banks could potentially share a fee pot of $35 million to $45 million, Freeman Consulting, which tracks bankers' fees, estimated.

Activision hired JPMorgan (JPM.N), which is set to receive $25 million to $35 million. Centerview advised Activision's independent directors.

On the sale of its stake in Maroc Telecom, Vivendi is being advised by Credit Agricole CRAGO.UL and Lazard (LAZ.N) and Etisalat by BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) and Attijariwafabank.

Credit Agricole and Lazard will share between $27 million and $35 million for their work on the deal, while BNP Paribas is set to earn $20 million to $30 million.

Banks working on the Sale of KPN's German business to Telefonica were looking at a fee pot of up to $75 million, Freeman estimated.

(Editing by Erica Billingham and David Holmes)

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