UPDATE 1-DEALTALK-Investment banks vie for slice of Rio action

viernes 9 de noviembre de 2007 08:26 CET

(Adds second source comment) (For more Reuters columns, click [DEALTALK/])

By Michael Smith

SYDNEY Nov 9 (Reuters) - Investment banks are scrambling for a slice of the action following BHP Billiton's (BHP.AX: Cotización) $140 billion approach to Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Cotización)(RIO.AX: Cotización), a deal that would secure those involved a top place on the advisory league tables.

However, bumper fees likely to exceed $1 billion from what would be the world's second-largest takeover -- after Vodafone's (VOD.L: Cotización) 2000 acquisition of Mannesmann -- would be spread among a large pool of advisers.

BHP had appointed Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Cotización) and Australian boutique advisory firm Gresham Partners to advise on its offer, sources said.

Rio, which has rejected the bid, has a raft of global banks working on its team, including Rothschild [ROT.UL], Credit Suisse CSGN.VX and JP Morgan (JPM.N: Cotización), sources said.

Australia's Macquarie Group (MQG.AX: Cotización) has an advisory role in the Rio camp. Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Cotización) was reportedly also in there.

"A lot of banks in town are getting a gig on it in some way," one investment banker said. "It's going to be busy for some time though, that's for sure."

It was still unclear what role BHP's broker Merrill Lynch was playing.   Continuación...