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Duff & Phelps Sold To Private Equity Titan For $1.75 Billion

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 3 November 2017


One of the world's top corporate advisory and valuation firms, which works in areas including wealth management, has been sold by a range of owners, including Pictet, the Swiss private bank.

(Repeat of item originally published on Family Wealth Report, the North American sister news service to this one. Given the global nature of Duff & Phelps' business, this story has clear relevance for readers around the world.) 

A company backed by funds from private equity giant Permira is to buy global corporate advisor and valuation firm Duff & Phelps for $1.75 billion.

Selling equity involved in the deal includes The Carlyle Group, Neuberger Berman, the University of California’s Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents and Swiss private bank Pictet & Cie, a statement from Permira said. 

The Duff & Phelps management team will maintain a “significant” equity stake in the firm and will continue to lead the company in their current roles. The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, the statement continued. 

The organisation advises clients in areas such as valuation, corporate finance, disputes and investigations, compliance and regulatory matters, and other governance-related issues. About 2,000 client service professionals work for it, located in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Duff & Phelps has, for example, taken a prominent role in charting threats from cyber-criminals, an issue high on the agenda for wealth management firms, private banks and family offices. 

“As we continue to execute on growth opportunities, we are confident that our clients and employees alike will benefit from this partnership with Permira – a firm with an outstanding track record of providing strategic support, as well as sector expertise, to its funds’ portfolio investments,” Noah Gottdiener, chief executive of Duff & Phelps, said. 

Carlyle’s equity for the investment came from Carlyle Global Financial Services Partners II, Carlyle’s dedicated financial services investment fund.

UBS Investment Bank acted as exclusive financial advisor to the Permira funds and provided committed financing; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal advisor. Evercore acted as the financial advisor to Duff & Phelps; Kirkland & Ellis and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius acted as legal advisors to that organization. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz acted as legal advisor to Carlyle, Neuberger Berman, University of California.


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