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Standard Bank Group scoops top three titles at DealMakers awards
1 March 2012

Standard Bank Group has won the three showstopper DealMakers awards: Top Adviser by Deal Value, Deal of the Year and Dealmaker of the Year. 

The award for Top Investment Adviser by Deal Value reflected Standard Bank Group's strong performance during 2011 when it closed R43.7-billion worth of corporate deals. 

The Deal of the Year award was for Standard Bank Group's advisory work on the R9-billion acquisition of Metorex by China's Jinchuan. 

Brad Webber, the joint head of Standard Bank Group's mergers and acquisitions team, was named joint Dealmaker of the Year with Christo Els, a partner at law firm Webber Wentzel. It was the first dealmaker award to be shared in the 11-year history of the event. 

DealMakers is a corporate finance journal focused on the South African market. 

William Blackie, head of Investment Banking at Standard Bank Group, says receiving the awards is particularly pleasing in the context of the challenging environment for most categories of investment banking over the past few years. 

"There was a period following the initial credit crunch when the appetite for corporate activity fell quite noticeably. We took the opportunity to strengthen Standard Bank's investment banking team, a move that delivered pleasing results in the past year," says Mr Blackie. 

The Jinchuan Metorex deal was the largest Chinese inward investment into Africa. It was also the largest Chinese mergers and acquisitions transaction in Africa for 2011 and the largest Chinese mining merger/aquisition transaction in Africa last year. 

Mr Webber says he believes the transaction won the Deal of the Year award because of its complexity, as it involved a counterbid from Brazil's Vale, which he also advised on. In addition, the deal advisors had to negotiate a number of regulatory hurdles in China, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa, where it encountered union opposition. 

On the year ahead, Mr Webber says the first half is looking good, while visibility for the second half is somewhat unclear. 

Webber notes that the strength of his team, which he co-heads with Jurgens Myburgh, is made up of a stable leadership core made up of six directors and senior managers as well as "phenomenally talented, creative youngsters". 

"There is still significant scope and appetite for deals of this size and nature. We expect at least a few more similar transactions to come up in the next two to three years," says Mr Webber.

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