Advisers’ big gig

Jul 16, 2001  •  Post A Comment

The Quadrangle Group stands shoulder to shoulder with Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and JPMorganChase as a Wall Street adviser to Comcast Corp. in its $54 billion bid for AT&T Broadband.
It’s the biggest gig yet for the year-old private equity investment firm led by former Lazard Freres employees Steve Rattner and Peter Ezersky, who were leading investment bankers in a number of major media deals over the past 18 years. Their other partners, also former members of Lazard Freres’ media and telecommunications team, are David Tanner and Joshua Steiner.
“[The Comcast-AT&T deal] is the largest thing we’ve been involved with by a long shot because we’re really not in the advisory business,” Mr. Ezersky said. “But there are a handful of people for whom we would do this.”
Comcast Corp. President Brian Roberts is on Quadrangle’s six-member board and has been a longtime business acquaintance.
“What they are getting from us is the judgment of a couple of senior investment bankers who they have known and trusted for many years. What they are getting from the other investment banks is that and full service, like lots and lots of analysis and legwork,” Mr. Ezersky said.
About one-tenth of Quadrangle’s $1 billion fund has been assigned in three separate deals, representing between $20 million and $150 million in individual content and distribution investments.
Quadrangle has invested in Access Spectrum, which provides equipment to commercial wireless users; Pathfire, a digital media management platform; and the Publishing Group of America, producer of small-newspaper inserts.
Mr. Rattner advised Mr. Roberts on Comcast’s 1999 bid for MediaOne Group before the latter was snatched up by AT&T Corp. Amos Hostetter, who sold his Continental Cable to MediaOne, is a member of the AT&T board and chairman of the company’s broadband and Web unit, is on the Quadrangle board.