THERE was a terrible rumpus last year after City A.M. unearthed and published documents showing that independent bank advisory group STJ Advisors had been accusing some of the larger investment banks of distorting investor feedback in the course of running IPO transactions. So sore were some of the big banks that they even considered squeezing STJ out of future deals altogether.
But yesterday STJ emerged as the independent adviser on the IPO of Ziggo for what is being hailed as the first major European IPO of the year. STJ’s name is not on the official Ziggo press release but it is the main adviser to Warburg Pincus and Cinven, the two private equity groups that are selling shares in the offering.
There’s a past relationship between Ziggo chairman Andrew Sukawaty and STJ’s John St John, which dates back to the 2004 flotation of Inmarsat, where Sukawaty was until recently chairman and chief executive.
Ahead of the flotation, St John, who was then at Dresdner Kleinwort, advised the satellite group on who its bankers should be to advise it on its £1bn flotation.
Some say this link could have been beneficial to STJ in winning its latest mandate.
But a spokesman for Inmarsat says that the STJ pitch to Ziggo and the private equity owners was won in a perfectly competitive manner and that there has been little, if any, contact, between Sukawaty and St John since the 2004 Inmarsat float.
JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are the joint global coordinators for the Ziggo offering, and joint bookrunners along with Deutsche Bank and UBS.
ABN Amro, HSBC, Nomura and Rabobank are acting as joint lead managers and ABN Amro and Rabobank are the joint retail bookrunners. Societe Generale is co-lead manager.