Drugs cure Morgan Stanley’s league table woes

March 9, 2009

ZetiaMorgan Stanley is bouncing back up in the global league tables for mergers advisory work after taking a hit to its rankings last year.

The investment bank has taken the No. 1 spot based on deal volume globally so far this year, according to latest Thomson Reuters data.

Morgan Stanley was one of the advisors, besides JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, in the latest blockbuster pharma deal – the $41 billion offer for Schering-Plough by Merck. That came on top of its role as the advisor — along with Evercore — to Wyeth in the drug company’s $68 billion takeover by rival Pfizer.

The reversal of fortunes shows how a few big deals can shape M&A advisor rankings.

In 2008, Morgan Stanley missed out on the year’s largest transaction — the $113 billion spinoff of Philip Morris International. It also did not get league table credit for the second-largest — Belgian brewer InBev’s $60.4 billion purchase of Anheuser-Busch Cos.

As a result it slipped to No. 5 in worldwide M&A last year from the No. 2 spot it had held since 2005 behind Goldman Sachs, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(Photo: Undated handout image of cholesterol drug Zetia. REUTERS/Courtesy of Merck/Handout)

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