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Goldman Sachs misses out on WhatsApp, 2014's top deals so far

Published on Feb 21, 2014 4:28 AM

(REUTERS) - WhatsApp? Not Goldman Sachs. The world's top deal adviser for nine of the past 10 years, Goldman Sachs Group Inc has been notably absent on 2014's largest mergers and acquisitions, including Facebook's US$19 billion (S$23.9 billion) deal to purchase mobile messaging service WhatsApp.

Normally the go-to-banker for big deals, Goldman has missed out on the top five transactions in the young year, according to Thomson Reuters data. Facebook Inc relied on boutique investment firm Allen & Co to help with its offer to buy startup WhatsApp, which in turn chose Morgan Stanley.

The deal, announced on Wednesday, will earn the two banks up to US$85 million in estimated fees, according to Freeman & Co LLC, a mergers and acquisitions advisory firm which researches the financial services industry.

Typically, Goldman Sachs starts out slowly and still land at the top of the league tables by the end of the year. One big transaction can heavily sway bankers' rankings.

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