Petrie joins Wall Street powerhouses on Exxon-Pioneer megadeal

By Anirban Sen and David French

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Petrie Partners, a boutique advisory firm known to few outside the energy industry, advised on Pioneer Natural Resources Co’s $60 billion sale to Exxon Mobil, this year’s biggest deal, alongside major investment banks.

Goldman Sachs Group and Citigroup Inc, which took the lead in advising Pioneer and Exxon, respectively, are expected to garner the biggest share of the fees from the transaction.

Centerview Partners also advised Exxon, while Morgan Stanley and Bank of America secured advisory roles with Pioneer.

A transaction of this size typically results in tens of millions of dollars worth of fees for advisory firms. For instance, earlier this year Centerview was paid about $88 million in fees for advising Seagen Inc on its $43 billion sale to Pfizer Inc, while buyside advisor Guggenheim Securities received roughly $49 million, according to data compiled by LSEG.

Megadeals such as the Pioneer transaction have been few and far between, due to increased regulatory scrutiny, high interest rates and market volatility that have dented the confidence of many corporate dealmakers.

Mergers and acquisitions have been sluggish this year globally. For the first nine months of 2023, M&A volumes stood at $2.1 trillion, the lowest level for the period in a decade, according to data from Dealogic.

Denver-based Petrie, which is focused on advising on M&A in the shale industry, traces its roots back to Petrie Parkman & Co, an energy-focused boutique bank founded in 1989 that was acquired by Merrill Lynch in 2006. The firm was carved out from Bank of America in 2011.

The chairman of the firm, Tom Petrie, was a co-founder of Petrie Parkman and served a vice chairman at Bank of America before the current Petrie was created. Tom Petrie has advised on more than $250 billion of energy-related deals during his career, as well as oil and gas initiatives for Saudi Arabia, the state of Alaska and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Petrie’s website lists just eight bankers, split evenly between Denver and an office in Houston. Three of those – Andrew Rapp and Mike Bock in Denver, as well as Jon Hughes in Houston – have been with the firm since its days as Petrie Parkman.

(Reporting by Anirban Sen and David French in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski)