Corporate Finance : Goldman Sachs Leads Equity Underwriters


Goldman Sachs was the leading managing underwriter for global equity and equity-related deals in the first half of 2006, with more than $40 billion in proceeds, an increase of 111% from the same period a year earlier, according to Thomson Financial.

Citigroup was in second place at the half-year mark, with $30 billion in equity underwriting, up from sixth place at mid-year 2005. Morgan Stanley was third in this years first half, with $26 billion in underwriting in the equity capital markets.

Despite volatile stock markets, the second quarter of 2006 was the most active quarter for equity underwriting since the first quarter of 2000, Thomson Financial says. Global equity and equity-related volume increased 45.7% in the first six months of 2006 to $322 billion.

The biggest initial public offering in the second quarter was an $11.1 billion issue by Bank of China. Goldman Sachs, Bank of China International (Asia) and UBS Investment Bank were the lead managers of the IPO.

Goldman Sachs, along with Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, managed a $5 billion issue by KKR Private Equity Investors, a subsidiary of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Based on methodology from Freeman & Company, Thomson Financial estimates that global equity and equity-related underwriting fees exceeded $8.9 billion in the first half of 2006, up from about $6 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Goldman Sachs said its earnings more than doubled to $2.3 billion in its second fiscal quarter ended May 26, reflecting strong investment banking and trading operations. CFO David Viniar said in a conference call with analysts in June that the decline in equity markets at the time had not been mirrored in many other markets, and that credit markets and corporate activity remained strong.

Citigroup was the leading managing underwriter of global debt and equity offerings combined in the first half of 2006, with more than $336 billion in proceeds, according to Thomson Financial. JPMorgan was in second place for the first six months, with $263 billion in underwriting proceeds for debt and equity issues combined.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is the strongest performing IPO of the year to date, with a share price increase of more than 176% in the first half. The Denver-based company was spun off from McDonalds in January and had a first-day share price rise of 100%, marking the first time an IPO has done so in five years.

The US equity and equity-related market was active in the first half, with the $112 billion of capital raised representing an increase of 63% from the first half of 2005. More than $24 billion of that total was in the form of IPOs, the highest since the second half of 2004, Thomson Financial says.

Latin American equity capital market volume this year totaled $11.8 billion as of August 18, up 194% from the same period a year earlier, according to Dealogic. The year-to-date total for the region was higher than any full year on record. Brazilian issuers accounted for $8.9 billion of this years total, which is already the highest Brazilian equity capital market volume on record. That gave Brazil a 75% market share for Latin American equity issues, followed by Mexico, with 14% of the total for the year to date.

Witwatersrand Consolidated Gold Resources, a Johannesburg-based gold exploration company, established a Level I American depositary receipt program in the US over-the-counter market in August. The Bank of New York is the depositary for the sponsored ADR program.

Witwatersrand says it is seeking a larger market for its shares and increased liquidity. The company owns prospecting rights in eight areas adjacent to existing mining operations in South Africa.


Gordon Platt