DEALS OF THE YEAR
Lloyds Banking Group’s $22.5 billion rights issue
Lead underwriters: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, UBS Investment Bank, Citi, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and
J.P. Morgan Cazenove
In November 2009 UK-based Lloyds Banking Group’s record $22.5 billion rights issue was taken up by 95% of the bank’s investors, far more than expected. The issue was part of a $35 billion recapitalization that enabled Lloyds to avoid taking part in the government’s costly toxic-asset protection scheme. The fact that the bank was able to raise such a large amount in the private sector helped to restore confidence in the banking sector. The rights issue was combined with the first-ever underwritten exchange offer. Bank of America Merrill Lynch designed a new form of contingent capital securities, known as enhanced capital notes, which provided Lloyds with capital when it needed it most.
$7 billion Qatar bond
Lead managers: Credit Suisse, QNB Capital, Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan
Qatar’s $7 billion bond offering in November 2009 was the biggest debt issue last year from an emerging markets borrower. Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, used the proceeds to provide contingency funding for state-owned firms, to pay for infrastructure projects and to invest in the oil and gas industry worldwide. Qatar sold $3.5 billion of five-year bonds yielding 185 basis points over US treasuries, and $2.5 billion of 10-year bonds at 195 basis points more than treasuries. The country also sold $1 billion of 30-year bonds at a spread of 215 basis points.
Berkshire Hathaway / Burlington Northern Santa Fe
Advising target: Goldman Sachs
Berkshire Hathaway’s $26.3 billion cash-and-stock acquisition of the remaining 77% of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, America’s largest rail transporter of coal and grain, was an all-in wager on the future of the US economy, billionaire investor Warren Buffett said in making the biggest bet of his career. “Our country’s future prosperity depends on having an efficient and well-maintained rail system,” Buffett said. The purchase, which was announced early last November, signaled to the market that the Oracle of Omaha was confident that the US recovery was on the right track.