World’s Best Investment Banks 2021: Deals Of The Year

Global Finance picks the world’s best investment banking deals of 2021.

Last year was a good one for IPOs generally, and especially for SPAC IPOs, which raised a combined $82.4 billion in the US, a sixfold increase from the previous year, according to Dealogic. Both traditional IPOs and SPACs were represented in Global Finance’s picks for the best—judged for both interest and success in raising capital— investment banking deals of the year.’s IPO, with an implied capitalization at $6.5 billion, was the London Stock Exchange’s largest by market cap in 2020. The deal should help the fintech firm expand beyond its native Kazakhstan into the larger Central Asian and Caucasus region. It wins Equity Deal of the Year.

It was a different story just a year earlier, when the Almaty-based firm—which controls the third-biggest bank in Kazakhstan—initially planned for its London offering. Then, Kaspi was valued at only $5 billion and Kaspi’s owners, believing it was worth more, retracted the offering. But then came the Covid-19 crisis, and Kaspi, whose mobile app combines financial services, shopping and payments, found itself in in higher demand from institutional investors intent on acquiring fintechs while the world was awash with pandemic-related stimulus money.

Total Mozambique LNG raised almost $16 billion in financing to develop liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Mozambique, winning our Debt Deal of the Year. The deal included direct and covered loans from an unusually wide group of creditors, including eight export credit agencies (ECAs), among them Export-Import Bank of the United States and Japan Bank for International Cooporation. It also included 19 commercial bank facilities, and $400 million in senior loans from the African Development Bank.This project is Mozambique’s first onshore LNG development, and initially struggled to find financing.


By essentially buying up Italian parent Enel Green Power’s (EGP) nonconventional renewable energy-generation assets in Central and South America, Chile-based Enel Americas cemented its regional leadership role in renewable energy generation, and thereby takes Infrastructure Deal of the Year.

The transaction, valued at $6 billion, will boost Enel Americas’ installed capacity for nonconventional renewable energy to 7.8 gigawatts (GW) by 2024, at which point renewables, including hydroelectric power, should account for 73% of the company’s total capacity, up from 56% today, according to Fitch Ratings.  

When the merger is completed in the first half of 2021, Enel Americas will take over EGP’s nonconventional renewable energy operations in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and Peru—though not in Chile. Overall, the deal adds 5 GW of capacity to Enel Americas’ current 11.3 GW. The merger boosts Enel’s generation capacity almost 50%. 

“This merger will allow Enel Americas to have access to new growth opportunities in renewables generation, diversifying its business, and thus strengthening its regional leadership in the energy transition,” said Maurizio Bezzeccheri, CEO of Enel Americas, in a statement.

Special Acquisitions

As noted, special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, were popular in 2020, so it isn’t surprising that Global Finance’s M&A Deal of the Year was United Wholesale Mortgage’s (UWM) merger with Gores Holding IV.

Sometimes called blank-check companies, SPACs are basically publicly traded shell companies formed to make acquisitions. In this case, the SPAC, Gores Holding IV, formed by The Gores Group, acquired Michigan-based UWM. The deal closed in January with the company renamed UWM Holdings on the New York Stock Exchange.

Technology firms, including fintechs, were especially popular targets for SPACs in 2020, and along these lines, UWM, while not a fintech, launched technologies designed to make independent mortgage brokers more efficient, including UWM InTouch, a mobile app that brokers can use to monitor a range activity, from underwriting to closing.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ (CIP) $3 billion financing deal to build offshore wind farms in Taiwan—ESG Deal of the Year—will add 589 megawatts (MW) of energy to Taiwan’s power grid. The deal involved a combination of equity and senior loans provided by a syndicate of 21 banks, and is reportedly the largest debt package raised in the Taiwanese offshore wind market ever.

Asia Pacific is currently one of the world’s most dynamic regions for renewable energy, and this project follows a string of recent syndicated deals in Taiwan’s offshore wind sector, including Formosa 1 and 2. But the reality is that domestic institutions often “lack the necessary technology, capital and licensed experts for maintenance” to do it themselves, said a state official.

CIP, a fund management company that specializes in energy infrastructure including offshore wind, acquired the Changfang and Xidao project in 2017. With two Taiwan insurance companies as minority owners, CIP entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with the state-owned Taiwan Power Company in 2019. “This project, besides being a remarkable project in Taiwan where it marks the continuation of the offshore wind build-out, is part of leading the way for the complete APAC region going into offshore wind,” says CIP APAC Chairman Anders Eldrup.


Equity Deal of the Year

IPO of – Europe

Financial Advisers: Morgan Stanley and Citigroup were joint global coordinators of the deal and also joint bookrunners along with Renaissance Capital.

The offering, valued at $6.5 billion, was the London Stock Exchange’s largest IPO by market cap in 2020 and should help the fintech firm—with its banking, payments and e-commerce interests—to expand beyond its native Kazakhstan into the larger Central Asian and Caucasus region.

M&A Deal of the Year

United Wholesale Mortgage’s merger with Gores Holding IV – North America

Financial Advisers: Deutsche Bank Securities and Morgan Stanley acted as lead financial advisers, lead capital market advisers and exclusive private placement agents to Gores Holdings IV, with Moelis & Company acting as financial adviser. Goldman Sachs acted as financial adviser to UWM. Gores’ acquisition of UWM, in a $16 billion deal using a special purpose acquisition company, was the largest SPAC deal of 2020.

Infrastructure Deal of the Year

Merger of Enel Americas and Enel Green Power (EGP) Americas – South America

Financial Advisers: BTG Pactual and Morgan Stanley were financial advisers to Enel Americas. Chilean Enel Americas incorporated the business and the nonconventional renewable-energy generation assets that Italian-owned EGP developed and owned in Central and South America (except Chile). With the transaction, valued at $6 billion, Enel Americas’ installed capacity for nonconventional renewable energy should reach 7.8 GW by 2024. It also expands the firm’s reach in Brazil, Peru and Panama.

Debt Deal of the Year

Total Mozambique LNG – Africa

Financial Advisers: Societe Generale

Total Mozambique LNG raised almost $16 billion in financing to develop liquefied natural gas in Mozambique in the largest private debt-raising in African history. The effort raised $600 million more than planned—despite the pandemic and uncertainty in oil markets.

ESG Deal of the Year

Changfang and Xidao Wind Farm (Taiwan) – Asia

Financial Advisers: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, with Taiwan’s CTBC Bank as local financial advisor.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ $3 billion financing deal to build offshore wind farms will play a key role in helping Taiwan achieve its five-year goal to draw 20% of energy production from renewable sources.