GRESHAM Advisory Partners appears to have a privileged position in the corporate advisory market.Its major shareholder is Wesfarmers, one of the more acquisitive companies in Australia, and Gresham almost in-variably acts as Wesfarmers’ corporate adviser.However, Wesfarmers’ managing director Michael Chaney maintains that Gresham wins its work on merit.“We insist on using the best available, and they are just an outstanding group of people,” Mr Chaney said.“INSTO magazine named them M&A House of the Year. That confirms their credentials.”INSTO said Gresham was involved in 11 completed transactions last year.Perth directors Michael Ashforth and Jenny Seabrook were involved in two of the biggest and most acclaimed transactions – advising Billiton on its $57 billion merger with BHP and Wesfarmers on its $3.1 billion takeover of Howard Smith. Gresham also advised Wesfarmers on the acquisition of Westrail’s freight business and the sale of its Bunnings forestry interests.Mr Chaney said Wesfarmers was prepared to use other corporate advisers if they came up with ideas or offered better service.He said Wesfarmers and Gresham often started working together at an early stage of many projects.“Others bring ideas but we are usually working on them already,” Mr Chaney said.Apart from its Wesfarmers work, recent highlights for Gresham’s Perth office include advising:p Iluka Resources on the $40 million sale of Koba Tin;p Croesus Mining on its $65 million merger with Central Norseman;p Perth Radiology Centre on its $65 million sale; andp Aurora Gold on its takeover defence. Performance the meter by which advisers are gauged
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