Bankers in line for telecom and media fees windfall

By Anjuli Davies

LONDON (Reuters) - Bankers working on the sale of the bulk of Vivendi's <VIV.PA> stake in Activision Blizzard Inc <ATVI.O> to the video games maker and its management could earn advisory fees of up to $80 million, according to an industry estimate.

France's Vivendi <VIV.PA> announced the $8.2 billion sale on Friday, its second blockbuster deal in a week.

Bankers in the telecoms, media and technology sector are expecting fees from a flurry of deals, unlike their peers in other sectors where activity is subdued.

On Tuesday, Vivendi said it was in exclusive talks to sell its controlling stake in Maroc Telecom <IAM.CS> for 4.2 billion euros ($5.6 billion) to Etisalat <ETEL.AD>. And Dutch telecoms group KPN <KPN.AS> announced the sale of its German business E-Plus for 8.1 billion euros to Spain's Telefonica <TEF.MC> on the same day.

In the media and entertainment sector, global deal activity is up 32 percent with 1,380 transactions worth $84 billion so far this year, Thomson Reuters data at July 25 showed.

Activity in the telecommunications sector is up 36 percent, with 358 deals worth $60.9 billion.

But M&A activity overall is down 12 percent, with 19,388 deals worth $1,170 billion.

This has resulted in a 16 percent drop in fees in the first half of the year.

Vivendi hired Barclays <BARC.L> and Goldman Sachs <GS.N> to advise it on the Activision deal and those banks could potentially share a fee pot of $35 million to $45 million, Freeman Consulting, which tracks bankers' fees, estimated.

Activision hired JPMorgan <JPM.N>, which is set to receive $25 million to $35 million. Centerview advised Activision's independent directors.

On the sale of its stake in Maroc Telecom, Vivendi is being advised by Credit Agricole <CRAGO.UL> and Lazard <LAZ.N> and Etisalat by BNP Paribas <BNPP.PA> and Attijariwafabank.

Credit Agricole and Lazard will share between $27 million and $35 million for their work on the deal, while BNP Paribas is set to earn $20 million to $30 million.

Banks working on the Sale of KPN's German business to Telefonica were looking at a fee pot of up to $75 million, Freeman estimated.

(Editing by Erica Billingham and David Holmes)