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Pandora sale announcement shakes up media M&A adviser ranking in Q3

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Pandora sale announcement shakes up media M&A adviser ranking in Q3

Editor's note: S&P Global Market Intelligence has reclassified industries according to the Global Industry Classification Standard. The league tables data dispatches are now based on the new industry classification and are not comparable with 2017 and prior league table data dispatches.

While Wells Fargo Securities LLC maintained its position as the top-ranked media M&A adviser year-to-date through the third quarter, Sirius XM Holdings Inc.'s pending acquisition of Pandora Media Inc. propelled Allen & Co. to a relatively close second place, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Wells Fargo scored $3.78 billion in deal credit from its work on five transactions during the first nine months of the year. Much of that credit came from a single transaction: Gray Television Inc.'s pending $3.65 billion acquisition of Raycom Media Inc., a blockbuster broadcast deal announced in June. The Gray-Raycom Media combination would bring together two of the largest TV station groups in the U.S.

While Wells Fargo's media M&A deal credit remained relatively unchanged from June 30 to Sept. 30, Allen & Co. and Morgan Stanley racked up large credits from the pending sale of Pandora Media, an all-stock deal valued at about $3.5 billion at its September announcement. The two financial advisers were ranked No. 2 and No. 3 among media M&A advisers for deals announced year-to-date as of Sept. 30. Allen & Co. had $3.65 billion in aggregate deal credit from three transactions announced during the measured period, including Pandora. Morgan Stanley received $3.59 billion in deal credit; it also worked on three media transactions.

The Pandora sale could still provide more rankings upset later in the year: a go-shop provision allows Pandora's board to solicit competing offers, and some analysts believe Sirius' initial offer of 1.44 shares of its stock for each Pandora share is likely to be rejected by the music streaming company's shareholders. If the Pandora acquisition goes forward, Liberty Media Corp. which owns about 71% of Sirius XM's shares as of Feb. 28, would also benefit from any upside for Sirius.

S&P Global Market Intelligence counted a total of 949 deal announcements in the media sector for the year-to-date as of Sept. 30, with an aggregate transaction value of $19.04 billion. That total includes 310 deals announced in the third quarter, with an aggregate transaction value of $8.26 billion.

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