In CBS-Viacom Merger, Boutique Investment Banks Will Share Up to $70 Million in Fees

CBS and Viacom primarily relied on boutique investment banks to help put together their long-awaited $11.7 billion merger.

Centerview Partners Holdings and Lazard are advising CBS. Viacom’s bankers are LionTree Advisors and Morgan Stanley while National Amusements—the controlling shareholder of both companies—is being advised by Evercore, according to the deal announcement.

CBS’ advisers could share a pot of $25 million to $30 million in fees, according to estimates from consulting firm Freeman & Co. The advisers for Viacom could roughly split between $30 million to $40 million.

Liontree and Morgan Stanley are “both first class institutions,” Viacom Chief Executive Officer Robert Bakish said in an interview. “I know the principals on the deal extremely well and they did a phenomenal job.”

Boutique investment banks have fewer business lines and primarily sell advice to clients. While full-service investment banks such as Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Goldman Sachs Group sell advice too, they are also more diversified. They help companies sell stocks and bonds, among other services.

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