WALL STREET PAYDAY: 4 banks made a killing from Monday's $20 billion in biotech deals

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Two major biotech acquisitions dropped on Monday: French drugmaker Sanofi spent $US11.6 billion to buy US hemophilia firm Bioverativ, and Celgene spent $US9 billion on cancer specialist Juno Therapeutics.

The more than $US20 billion in pharma mergers and acquisitions means a windfall of as much as $US185 million in fees for four investment banks, with JPMorgan raking in the most from the deals.

JPMorgan will split $US45 million to $US55 million in fees with Guggenheim Partners for advising Bioverativ, while Lazard will take in $US30 million to $US40 million for advising Sanofi, according to Jeffrey Nassof, the director of the consulting firm Freeman & Co.

JPMorgan also advised on the Celgene-Juno tieup, earning $US25 million to $US35 million in fees for advising Celgene. Morgan Stanley stands to make $US45 million to $US55 million for advising Juno.

M&A activity is off to a blistering start for the sector in 2018 – Celgene earlier this month also spent as much as $US7 billion to buy Impact Biomedicines – and Monday’s deals could be a “sign that large-cap Pharma’s getting more aggressive again with dealmaking,” according to Nassof.

There were only nine US pharma acquisitions of $US5 billion or more announced in 2017, compared with 14 in 2016 and 23 in 2015, Nassof said.

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