NEW YORK (Reuters) - Michael Klein, the former Citigroup Inc investment banking chief, landed a leading role advising Dow Chemical Co on its $130 billion merger with DuPont as a result of the relationship he carefully developed with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris.
Liveris spent six years on Citigroup’s board of directors, a tenure that ended in 2011. There he got to work with Klein, a member of Citigroup’s management committee. When Klein left Citigroup in 2008, he continued to cultivate Liveris.
Now Klein’s investment banking advisory firm, Klein and Company, stands to split with Lazard Ltd and Morgan Stanley the $80 million to $100 million in estimated investment banking fees that Dow will pay for financial advice on the merger.
It is Klein’s biggest ever deal, topping the $41 billion merger of commodity and mining firms Glencore Plc and Xstrata, where Klein secured a rare role of advising both companies. Klein also advised Dow in its acquisition of smaller peer Rohm & Haas Co for $15 billion in 2009. Klein’s office declined to comment on its operations or any matter relating to the merger.
Klein and Company boasts only a handful of employees on LinkedIn. The profile of Peter Seibold, formerly of boutique investment bank Evercore Partners Inc, shows he has been a managing director at the group for the past nine months. The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says on its website that David Friedman, formerly of Citigroup, is also working at Klein’s shop.
Klein worked at Salomon Brothers Inc beginning in 1998 before it was acquired by Citigroup that same year. In 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis and aged only 44, Klein left Citigroup and later put out his own shingle on New York’s 5th Avenue, just north of Rockefeller Center.
The deal between Midland, Michigan-based Dow and Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont combines two of the biggest and oldest U.S. chemical producers and is a prelude to an eventual split of the combined company into three discrete businesses, Dow and DuPont said on Friday.
Reporting by Mike Stone in New York; Editing by Bill Rigby
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