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Mizuho Quickens US Expansion with Greenhill Deal

Mizuho Quickens US Expansion with Greenhill Deal

(22 May 2023 – United States) Mizuho has agreed to buy boutique investment bank Greenhill & Co in a $550mn deal, betting that the struggling group can help kick-start its ambitions in the US. 

The acquisition is the latest move by Mizuho to make good on its investment banking ambitions in the fiercely competitive US market.

Mizuho said Greenhill would sit within its existing banking division and be led by Michal Katz, its current head of banking in the Americas. The Japanese group intends to retain Greenhill’s brand and management.

“Our firm was a pioneer in the concept of the publicly traded independent investment bank, and that format served us well for many years,” said Scott Bok, the chair and chief executive of Greenhill. 

“Now, given the evolution of markets, we believe our clients and employees will benefit from our team becoming part of a larger, more diversified financial institution.”

Investment bankers in Tokyo have said they expect deteriorating relations between the US and China to provide an impetus for Japanese companies to strike more overseas deals. Some Japanese companies have already begun redrawing their supply chains to avoid China, a trend that bankers believe will prompt them to make more foreign acquisitions.

The deal continues a pattern of Japan’s three largest lenders — Mizuho, MUFG and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group — fortifying their investment banking capabilities. MUFG has a 15-year old alliance with Morgan Stanley, while in April SMFG said it planned to triple its stake in the US investment bank Jefferies, expanding a partnership that began in 2021.

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