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Viacom-CBS merger drives US media M&A financial adviser ranking for 2019

The merger of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. drove several financial advisers to the top of media M&A rankings by deal credit for 2019, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC ranked first with $42.41 billion in total deal credit from nine transactions. J.P. Morgan advised CBS Corp. on its merger with sister company Viacom Inc. in an all-stock deal valued at $12.22 billion at the time of its announcement in August 2019. After the transaction closed in December 2019, the newly merged company rebranded as ViacomCBS Inc.

J.P. Morgan also worked with The Walt Disney Co. on its sale of 21 regional sports networks and FOX College Sports (US) to Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. for a total purchase price of $9.6 billion in cash. The deal valued the sports portfolio at $10.6 billion including debt.

Moelis & Co. LLC, another CBS Corp. merger adviser, ranked second, with $37.91 billion in deal credit from 14 transactions. Moelis advised Sinclair on its purchase of the Disney RSNs.

Viacom's advisers on the merger filled out the remaining slots in the top five: LionTree Advisors LLC ranked third with $29.27 billion in deal credit from eight transactions, Morgan Stanley came in fourth with $29.09 billion in deal credit from seven transactions, and Evercore Inc. ranked fifth with $25.15 billion in deal credit from two transactions.

Kalil & Co. Inc. once again advised on the most media transactions, working on 29 deals for total deal credit of $146.9 million.

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