When we saw that three boutique banks represented Google and Motorola Mobility in their deal, we were a little puzzled about why. Not that it’s unusual to hire Lazard, Centerview or Qatalyst, but after reading Felix Salmon‘s lament for the breathless pre-market M&A scoop we wondered if that supplied the explanation. Maybe Google and Motorola left out the big banks because they have kind of a deserved reputation for leaking deals, and because keeping news quiet is easier at a smaller shop than at a place with thousands of public-side employees? But on further inspection that theory kind of fell apart, as trading in MMI suggests that the deal may have leaked last week.
The New York Post has what seems to be the correct explanation: Motorola had actually spent a lot of time with full-service bulge bracket investment banks recently, and had come to the considered conclusion that they’re all a bunch of dicks.
When Motorola considered splitting itself in two, it hired JPMorgan and Goldman. Then the two banks fought.
“The banks didn’t work well together,” one source close to the deal said.
So Motorola brought in Centerview to arbitrate, the source with direct knowledge of the situation said.
Now, Motorola Mobility is making the bold move of not including either bulge-bracket bank on this sale. Goldman and JPMorgan, by not working on this deal, are each likely losing more than $20 million in fees.
But: That Jerk at Work May Get Paid More Than You [CNBC]