It’s an energy-fueled transactional heyday for the large Texas firms that were on the short list of the nation’s busiest deal-making firms in 2011.
A total of eight Texas firms appear on charts in The American Lawyer ‘s Corporate Scorecard 2012, which ranks firms on the volume and value of transactional work in 2011. That’s the same number of Texas firms on the scorecard charts as last year. Most of the BigTex firms are making repeat appearances on the scorecard charts.
The Texas firms that appear in Corporate Scorecard 2012 are Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Haynes and Boone, and McCall, Parkhurst & Horton, all of Dallas; and Houston firms Andrews Kurth, Baker Botts, Bracewell & Giuliani, Fulbright & Jaworski and Vinson & Elkins. All are making repeat appearances except for Haynes and Boone; Susman Godfrey of Houston appeared on the scorecard last year for bankruptcy work. [See "Fewer BigTex Firms Earn Spots on Deals Lists," In-House Texas, May 9, 2011, page 1.]
The Corporate Scorecard 2012 includes firms that handled the most or highest value of deals or issues in eight areas of corporate transactions in 2011: IPOs and equities; mergers and acquisitions; private equity; project finance; corporate debt; securities; municipal bonds; and real estate investment trusts (REITs.) The report also includes lists of the 10 largest bankruptcies filed in 2011 and the 10 largest bankruptcy emergences in 2011. The complete corporate scorecard is available on The American Lawyer’ s website.
Among Texas firms, V&E appeared on the most Corporate Scorecard 2012 charts, as it did last year. The firm appeared a total of nine times on charts for a variety of kinds of corporate work, while Andrews Kurth was next with six spots on the charts. [See chart.]
“Certainly on the transactional side, it was a good year for us. The energy markets are still strong. They are capital intensive,” says Mark Kelly, chairman of V&E, who has a transactional practice.
“If you say you are at the top of the charts in various categories, you could say it’s energy-related work. There’s mining, coal, midstream, oilfield services, it’s kind of a broad spectrum. Because of the new technologies and stuff, fracking and everything else, there’s a huge amount of activity in shales, a lot of investment in that,” he says.
Texas firms were on Corporate Scorecard 2012 charts in several areas, including IPOs and equities, private equity, municipal bonds, mergers and acquisitions, corporate debt and bankruptcies. Texas firms were not on lists for project finance, securities and REITs.
Here’s some detail on information in the scorecard:
The U.S. IPO market was flat in 2011, compared to 2010. There were 262 IPOs issued in 2011, compared to 259 in 2010, according to statistics compiled by Renaissance Capital, of Greenwich, Conn. The value of those IPOs totaled $36.3 billion in 2011, compared to $38.7 billion in 2010, a 6.2 percent decline.
As in past years, Texas firms captured a good chunk of the nation’s IPO work, with V&E ranked fourth on the scorecard chart for U.S. IPOs representing issuer’s counsel by volume, and Akin Gump and Andrews Kurth tied for fifth on that chart. Bracewell ranked fifth for representing issuers by value. Among other spots on the charts, Andrews Kurth ranked first by value for representing underwriters in U.S. IPOs.
A number of Texas firms worked on the 10 largest Texas IPOs issued in 2011. Those firms include Bracewell and V&E, representing issuers, and Andrews Kurth, V&E and Baker Botts representing underwriters. [See the chart.]
Municipal bonds is a hot area for Texas firms, with Andrews Kurth, Fulbright, McCall, Parkhurst and V&E each appearing on charts for municipal bond work. Fulbright, in fact, was ranked first, by volume, for representing underwriters on 230 bond issues in 2011, with Andrews Kurth ranked third in that category with 156 issues.
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
The value of domestic mergers and acquisitions hit $820.6 billion in 2011, up 14.4 percent from $717.2 billion in 2010, according to an M&A roundup for year-end 2011 compiled by mergermarket, an independent mergers and acquisition reporting company. Significantly to the energy hotbed of Texas, The American Lawyer reports that the broad category of energy, mining and utility deals made up about 25 percent of 2011 global M&A activity, or about $564 billion.
In fact, the biggest M&A deal of 2011 was in Texas — Kinder Morgan Inc.’s pending acquisition of El Paso Corp. for about $36.2 billion, including assumed debt. Kinder Morgan’s longtime outside firm, Bracewell & Giuliani, was among a number of major transactional firms working on the huge deal, which is expected to close this month. Both Kinder Morgan and El Paso are headquartered in Houston.
Another huge deal with a Texas connection — Australian company BHP Billiton PLC’s acquisition of Houston-based Petrohawk Energy Corp. — is also on mergermarket’s list of the 10 largest global M&A transactions in 2011. The deal, in cash and assumed debt, was valued at about $15.6 billion, including assumed debt, and closed in August 2011. [See the deals chart.]
Two Texas firms — Baker Botts and V&E — are among the firms on the scorecard’s charts for mergers and acquisitions. Baker Botts was 15th by volume for representing investment counsel, and V&E came in at ninth by volume for representing principals and 12th by value for representing investment counsel.
Little of the big bankruptcy work in 2011 was located in Texas, although clearly Texas lawyers from firms based inside or outside of Texas worked on bankruptcies filed outside of Texas. According to the scorecard, none of the 10 largest bankruptcies filed in 2011 were filed in Texas bankruptcy courts. Only one of the 10 largest bankruptcy emergences of 2011 was in Texas. That was the Guaranty Financial Group Inc. bankruptcy, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Haynes and Boone represented Guaranty Financial Group.