J.P. Morgan Securities LLC was the top M&A adviser in the utility sector in 2021, recording $11.85 billion of annual deal credit through five transactions.
J.P. Morgan sealed its top ranking after working with FirstEnergy Corp. during the fourth quarter of 2021 on its $2.38 billion sale of a 19.9% stake in FirstEnergy Transmission LLC to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2022.
Data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence for 2021 also showed that Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC came in second among utility advisers, with $11.49 billion of deal credit for the year, and Barclays Capital Inc. in third with $10.17 billion.
Although M&A activity in the sector remained subdued in the fourth quarter of 2021, Goldman and Barclays landed advisory roles on American Electric Power Co. Inc.'s sale of its Kentucky operations to Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. subsidiary Liberty Utilities Co. in a $2.85 billion transaction. The firms tied at second place for deal volume at three transactions each.
Among legal advisers, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates ranked first in total transaction value at $9.70 billion. The firm shared the top spot with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Baker Botts LLP by number of transactions at three.