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Stock windfall for Greenhill bosses

25 Jan 2013 THE AGE - ERIC JOHNSTON


SIMON Mordant and Ron Malek, the joint heads of the boutique corporate advisory firm Greenhill Australia, are set to share a nearly $40 million stock windfall as part of their delayed and final payment for the sale of their Caliburn Partnership business to the Wall Street firm nearly three years ago.

The bankers on Thursday were named joint vice-chairmen of the New York-based parent company, Greenhill & Co.

Greenhill, which secured its foothold in the Australian market through the acquisition of Caliburn, this week said fourth-quarter profit fell 6.1 per cent to $US15.1 million as returns from investments deteriorated. Profit for the full year was $US42.1 million, down from $US44.6 million in 2011.

New York-based chief executive Scott Bok told analysts that revenue from Australia was "down meaningfully", consistent with a weak domestic merger and acquisition market.

However, he noted this followed "a very strong couple of years" from the Australian business.

Mr Bok also revealed Mr Mordant and Mr Malek are set to receive 659,000 shares in Wall Street-listed Greenhill as part of an earn out agreement. This equates to $US38.8 million based on Greenhill's last closing price. The shares are being paid after the Australian business hit cumulative revenue targets over the first three years.

This rounds off on the upfront share payment the two and the Caliburn chairman Peter Hunt received for the sale.

Among deals Greenhill has been involved in over the past 12 months has been the defence of GrainCorp following its $2.68 billion takeover approach from Archer Daniels Midland. Greenhill was also Alesco's defence adviser during Dulux's $188 million acquisition.

In a joint statement, Mr Mordant and Mr Malek said their new role positions the Australian arm of the advisory firm for "continued global growth".