Goldman may win top spot as dealmaker

GOLDMAN Sachs is on track to steal the top spot in a league table of global M&A advisers in 2009 with $624bn (£388bn) worth of deals. Morgan Stanley in line for second place.

Figures to be released by Dealogic tomorrow are thought to show Goldman Sachs has advised on 266 deals this year, giving it a 26.8 per cent market share of global M&A advisory work. Morgan Stanley has so far worked on 285 deals worth $602bn.

JPMorgan and Citigroup are expected to come in third and fourth place respectively. JPMorgan advised on 307 deals worth £582bn, Dealogic data to 21 December shows, while Citi has worked on 204 deals worth $437bn.

The news comes at the end of a torrid year in PR terms for Goldman Sachs, which was famously pilloried as a money-sucking “vampire squid” by Rolling Stone magazine after it made huge gains betting against the sub-prime crisis. The bank was involved in some of the biggest transactions of the year, however, including pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s $68.3bn takeover of Wyeth and Warren Buffet’s $26.3bn purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

The race to pole position for global dealmaking will be close-run. Yesterday Mergermarket released figures suggesting Goldman Sachs might be pipped to it by Morgan Stanley. Mergermarket said the fourth quarter was on track to be the best since the third quarter of 2008 in terms of deal volumes.