A small boutique landed a lucrative lead role on the $8.7 billion Novartis-AveXis deal

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  • Dyal Co., a small M&A boutique, landed a lead role on the the $US8.7 billion Novartis-AveXis deal.
  • The firm has roughly 15 employees and is led by ex-Goldman Sachs rainmaker Gordon Dyal.
  • Dyal was the former co-chairman of investment banking at Goldman, where he spent years leading M&A deals in Europe.
  • He’s leveraged that experience to land advisory roles with multinational companies since starting his own firm.

Novartis on Monday announced its $US8.7 billion acquisition of gene-therapy firm AveXis, which could add billions in new revenue for the Swiss drugmaker.

The deal is expected to close in the middle of this year, and if it does, it will result in a hefty payday for Dyal Co., a small mergers-and-acquisitions advisory firm that landed the lucrative job of serving as Novartis’ banker on the deal. Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners advised AveXis.

Deal fees for large biotech transactions run into the tens of millions, which isn’t chump change for any M&A-advisory firm, let alone a boutique like Dyal, which has roughly 15 employees.

The mandate is yet another coup for Gordon Dyal, the ex-Goldman Sachs rainmaker for whom the small M&A shop is named.

So who is Dyal?

Gordon Dyal was a partner at Goldman Sachs for 16 years, rising to the role of co-chairman of the investment banking division in 2011 before retiring from the firm to set off on his own in 2015. He spent much of his time at Goldman doing M&A in Europe, serving as co-head of European M&A and investment banking before taking the role of global head M&A in 2004.

He’s also reportedly a big-game hunting enthusiast and serves as the treasurer of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Since leaving Goldman he’s leveraged his European contacts and experience to hunt down advisory roles for multinational corporate clients.

In addition to advising Swiss behemoth Novartis, a nearly $US215 billion company, Dyal Co. landed a lead role on the $US43 billion sale of Swiss agriculture and chemicals giant Syngenta to ChemChina that closed last year. It also advised ABB, a $US60 billion Swiss power and automation firm, on its acquisition of GE’s industrial solutions business in September.

Dyal Co. advised LyondellBasell, a $US40 global billion plastics and chemicals firm, on a $US2.3 billion acquisition earlier this year.

Since landing the Syngenta role, Dyal has expand his roster of talent. He has brought in Tim Quandt and Paresh Lala from Goldman Sachs, as well Grant Curry and Howard Sun, formerly of UBS and JPMorgan, respectively.

Jill Dyal, Gordon’s wife who also worked at Goldman Sachs for a decade and left as a VP in M&A in 2009, is the COO, CFO, and managing partner at Dyal Co, according to LinkedIn.

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