Japan’s Mizuho to acquire Greenhill in $550m deal

Greenhill's private capital advisory unit, which advises on LP and GP-led secondaries transactions, will be included in the acquisition.

Mizuho Financial Group has agreed to acquire Greenhill in a $550 million transaction that includes the latter’s secondaries business.

The Tokyo-headquartered investment bank has agreed to buy publicly listed Greenhill for $15 per share, according to a statement.

Greenhill will become the M&A and restructuring advisory business of Mizuho – maintaining the Greenhill brand – with its 370 employees joining the bank, the statement said. The business will sit within Mizuho’s banking division, which is led by Michal Katz, head of banking in the Americas.

Greenhill’s private capital advisory team, which has over 30 professionals, will be included in the acquisition, according to a spokesperson for the bank. The unit, which advises GPs and LPs across asset-, fund-, and GP-level deals, topped the Secondaries Investor Advisory Survey every year from 2015 to 2019. When it responded to the survey in 2020 for 2019 activity, it advised on $17 billion-worth of secondaries transactions.

Since 2001, PCA has advised investors and managers on over $400 billion of private equity secondaries transactions, according to its full-year 2022 Global Secondary Market Review published in February. The bank entered the secondaries market when it bought Cogent Partners in 2015.

Greenhill’s leadership team will remain in place with its chairman and chief executive Scott Bok becoming chairman of the M&A and restructuring advisory business. Greenhill co-presidents Kevin Costantino and David Wyles will become co-heads of the business.

President and chief executive of Mizuho Securities USA Jerry Rizzieri said the bank is “committed to the expansion of its investment banking platform” with Greenhill’s team and brand becoming “a core pillar of this strategy”.

“Our banking division today serves over 1,300 clients in the Americas and 900 in Europe, as well as over 70 percent of all listed companies in Japan,” Masahiro Kihara, president and group chief executive of Mizuho Financial Group, and Shuji Matsuura, chairman and CEO of Mizuho Americas, said in a joint statement. “We look forward to making Greenhill’s M&A and restructuring capabilities available to our clients, and to offering our full range of solutions to Greenhill’s clients.”

Greenhill’s Bok said that as markets have evolved, he believed that Greenhill’s clients and employees would benefit from it becoming part of a “larger, more diversified financial institution”.

His statement added that the firm’s clients will “benefit from access to the wide range of financing, capital markets and other products offered by Mizuho”.