Chase Manhattan Bank wrote a fairness opinion and was instrumental in bringing together the principals in Westinghouse Electric Corp.'s recently announced $3.9 billion acquisition of Infinity Broadcasting Corp.
The deal marks Chase's increased emphasis on providing merger advice since it hired Mark Davis, the former co-head of mergers and acquisitions at Salomon Brothers.
"This is a major, high-profile deal, and it certainly goes a long way toward establishing Chase as an adviser, especially in the broadcasting and media industries," said Raphael Soifer, a bank analyst at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
Salomon Brothers served as co-lead on Westinghouse's advisory team.
Fred Reynolds, the chief financial officer for Westinghouse, singled out the roles of Mr. Davis and James B. Lee Jr., the head of investment banking at Chase.
"Jimmy played a special role in getting (Infinity chairman) Mel Karmazin and me to meet in his office a few weeks ago," Mr. Reynolds said.
As for Mr. Davis, Mr. Reynolds said his expertise in working out the stock exchange ratio was "invaluable."
"We were extremely impressed with Mr. Davis," Mr. Reynolds said.
Mr. Reynolds added that Chase, as the lead bank for Westinghouse and Infinity, had a good working knowledge of both companies.
The former Chemical Bank, now a part of Chase, served as one of three advisers to Westinghouse in its $3 billion sale of its defense and electronics business to Northrop Grumman.
Earlier, Chemical joined J.P. Morgan & Co. in providing a $7.5 billion financing package for Westinghouse's $5 billion acquisition of CBS Inc.
Merrill Lynch & Co. provided the fairness opinion for Infinity.
"We're definitely starting to see more and more commercial banks landing advisory positions," said Jamie Lewis, an executive vice president in Fleet Financial Group's media lending business.
As for other Westinghouse acquisitions, Mr. Reynolds said that the company will wait to get through the regulatory process before considering further moves.
"Right now, we're concentrated in the top 10 or 12 markets," Mr. Reynolds said. The company might "decide to go to the top 20 in the future."