May 27, 2019 / 3:17 PM / a year ago

Boutique bank run by Macron donor could help tackle hurdles to Fiat/Renault deal

FILE PHOTO: A Fiat car on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - The ties between French banker Benoit d’Angelin and President Emmanuel Macron could prove useful as d’Angelin’s boutique firm joins Goldman Sachs and Nomura to help arrange Fiat’s proposed merger with Renault.

Italian-American Fiat Chrysler (FCA) on Monday pitched a finely balanced merger of equals to France’s Renault and said boutique investment bank d’Angelin & Co was advising it alongside the American and Japanese firms.

The bank’s 57-year old eponymous founder was among London-based French bankers who contributed to Macron’s 2017 presidential campaign, a link that could prove key with the French government owning 15% of Renault.

“The presence of d’Angelin & Co alongside Fiat Chrysler is interesting as it could facilitate discussions with the French government, which is Renault’s main shareholder,” said Gregoire Laverne, fund manager at Roche Brune Asset Management.

Laverne added that a merger of the two automakers was “very “seductive” as it could generate large cost savings.

The Fiat mandate also highlights the steady progress of d’Angelin & Co in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) league tables.

D’Angelin set up the bank in 2016, following spells at Credit Lyonnais, UBS, BNP Paribas and Lehman Brothers.

Large-scale M&A mandates recently won by d’Angelin & Co include advising luxury goods group Kering on its spin-off of Puma, and tech company Atos’ spin-off of Worldline.

According to a filing with the UK’s Companies House, the d’Angelin & Co investment bank had 2017 revenues of 10.2 million pounds ($12.9 million), with a net profit of 3.7 million.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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