Amid the whirlwind of mergers and structural changes in the broadcasting and entertainment fields, Bank of Boston Corp. is forging closer ties between its corporate finance department and lenders in its media and communications group.
David A. Goldberg, director of marketing in the bank's global capital markets group, said the approximately 30 officers handling relationships with media and communications companies and 10 corporate finance officers specializing in those sectors will work together in an effort to integrate financing and advisory services.
The services include loans, mergers and acquisitions advice, asset securitization, private debt and equity placements, and risk management, Mr. Goldberg said.
Bank of Boston is looking to increase its market share in an already crowded field where it competes against numerous other banks, investment banks, and boutiques.
However, Bank of Boston officials said they begin with an already substantial media and communications portfolio, as well as relationships and expertise from the bank's broadcasting industry specialty that dates back to the 1930s.
So far this year, the $45 billion-asset banking company has helped raise more than $2 billion in capital for media and communications companies through loan syndications or private placements. And it has outstanding commitments of around $5 billion to those industries.
"Changes in the technological landscape are causing a lot of merger activity, and people are expecting regulation to get relaxed further," said Gregory Sneddon, director of mergers and acquisitions in the bank's corporate finance unit.
"We see the (media and communications) environment as one of consolidation, where a lot of technology is converging and new technologies are being developed that will require both capital and advisory work," he added.
"This is a strategic initiative combining our long-term experience as lenders with capital markets/corporate finance capabilities," said Lisa Gallagher, managing director in the media and communications group.
John Giannuzzi, managing director of corporate finance, stressed that Bank of Boston provides "more than just financing; we create solutions" that encompass corporate banking, capital markets, and advisory services.
The bank is "uniquely qualified to assist broadcasters in developing capital-raising and acquisition/divestiture strategies," Ms. Gallagher said.
The effort to expand these activities extends overseas, including Latin America, where Bank of Boston has a sizable office network and perceives significant opportunities.
In one recent deal, Bank of Boston arranged a one-year $200 million loan facility for Compania Inversora Multicanal SA, the cable television unit of Argentina's Clarin media group.
Bank of Boston, Banco Rio, and Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires were lead managers, committing $43.3 million each. Banco Frances, Banco Roberts, ABN Amro Bank, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, and Societe Generale provided the remainder.
Stephen DeSalvo, managing director and head of capital markets in Bank of Boston's emerging markets sales, trading, and research group, said the bank is working on several additional transactions. He declined to say on behalf of whom.
"Media and communications will grow rapidly (in Latin America), and the cable industry in particular will experience tremendous growth in Brazil and Chile," Mr. DeSalvo said.
He added that deregulation will also increase opportunities to advise on and finance transactions in other communications-related industries in Latin America.