This little bank is cleaning up in 2015's hottest sector for M&A

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Takeovers of drugmakers have reached record volumes in 2015, and Centerview Partners has been cashing in big.

The boutique, started in 2006 by Blair Effron has racked up $US270 million or so in deal fees relating to pharmaceuticals and healthcare, according to consulting firm Freeman & Co.

That only accounts for deals that have closed. Centerview added another $US20 million to $US25 million to that haul on Monday, by advising US biotech Dyax on its sale to Shire.

As a result, the bank is making a run on the biggest advisors in the industry.

“In the US Healthcare M&A league tables, we actually have Centerview ranked #3, behind only Goldman and JPMorgan,” says Jeffrey Nassof, vice president with Freeman & Co.

Centerview ranked third, last year, according to Freeman & Co. and fourth in 2013.

Nassof went on to say that, counting deals like Dyax, Centerview’s total haul just for healthcare and pharma advisory for the year will likely surpass the $US300 million mark.

Here is a quick sampling of Centerview’s biggest deals in the sector, according to Freeman & Co. estimates:

  • In August, Celgene’s $US7.2 billion deal to buy out biotech firm Receptos netted Centerview a payday of about $US55 million — this, thanks to its being the exclusive advisor on the deal.
  • Centerview split the advisory role (and, fees) with JPMorgan when Valeant spent $US16 billion to buy Salix Pharmaceuticals. It was worth $US48 million to the boutique bank.
  • Centerview and JPMorgan again split the role advising Pharmacyclics in its $US20 billion sale to Abbvie. That deal generated about $US41 million in fees for Centerview.

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