Investment Banking Fees

January 6, 2006

My post praising the value of investment bankers led to a number of e-mails asking for the parameters for investment banking fees for M&A. Here is the retail M&A price list from a first tier investment bank:

Aggregate value of transaction – Aggregate fee as a % of the transaction

    $20 billion – 0.150%
    $15 billion – 0.180%
    $12.5 billion – 0.200%
    $10 billion – 0.230%
    $9 billion – 0.240%
    $8 billion – 0.250%
    $7.5 billion – 0.265%
    $7 billion – 0.275%
    $6 billion – 0.300%
    $5 billion – 0.320%
    $4 billion – 0.360%
    $3 billion – 0.400%
    $2 billion – 0.450%
    $1 billion – 0.600%
    $900 million – 0.625%
    $800 million – 0.650%
    $700 million – 0.700%
    $600 million – 0.700%
    $500 million – 0.800%
    $400 million – 0.900%
    $300 million – 1.000%
    $200 million – 1.200%
    $100 million – 1.500%
    $50 million – 2.000%

As I mentioned before, those are retail prices so you might be able to shave a bit from those. Also, at lower price points and/or in deals that are less likely to happen you likely to have a retainer (say $50k) and a minimum transaction fee (say $750k).

Sometimes, if I have a good understanding of the value of the company, I also structure deals giving bankers an upside for selling the company at a premium to my expected value. For instance if I think the company is worth $100 million, I might pay 1.5% on the first $100 million, but 2% on the next $50 million and 2.5% after that. You need to realize that the marginal value of the extra million is worth a lot more to the shareholders than to the bankers who would rather get the deal done.

I hope this provides good guidance!

Side note: IPO fees are very different. For IPOs where the market cap is below $400 million the bankers take 7% of the proceeds split between the book runner and the co-managers.

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