Friday’s Headlines: Banks Lapping Up New Business from Patents

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Widgets and wazits are a boon for investment banks. This is according to a Businessweek story that reports that patent advising has generated solid business for the likes of Lazard, Evercore and Barclays. In fact, patent deals have jumped to $18.8 billion for the past 12 months from a wee $450 million. Global M&A, meanwhile, is down 24 percent so far this year.

While still considered a niche specialty, tech and social media companies are eager to find new ways to profit from their technology and “banks are contributing to make the patent market more liquid by attracting more potential buyers,” one expert told the magazine.

At Evercore, patent work has grown to 20 percent of its technology business, up from 5 percent last year. The bank advised on the AOL-Microsoft deal in April. Said one Evercore banker: “The success of the Nortel and AOL patent sales has added to a growing awareness among large patent holders of the value trapped in their portfolio of inventions. It’s traditional M&A with a few important tweaks and some esoteric aspects.”


Other News:

The totals are out: Deutsche, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup prepare to shed 5,350 jobs. [Financial Times]

GE’s financial services unit grew by 31 percent in Q2. [Financial Times]

Former Goldman exec Donald Mullen is trying to raise $500 million for a fund that will buy foreclosed homes and turn them into rentals. [NY Times]

PE firm TPG is considering partnering a bid for Australian Nine Entertainment in what could be a $3.1 billion deal. [Reuters]

Mike Lynch, software entrepreneur whose Autonomy was sold to HP for $10.3 billion, is to start a technology investment fund in the UK. [Telegraph]

Top UBS executive Robert Wolf left the bank to form his own advisory shop. [DealBook]

China's Citic Securities is close to buying Hong Kong-based brokerage CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets from France's Crédit Agricole. [WSJ]

Bain Capital announced the launch of StartUp Academy for students. [Press Release]

Insider trading sentences get longer. [Bloomberg]

John Stewart explains the Libor. [DealBook]

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