A decision by Goldman Sachs last year to move an investment banking veteran to Seattle, as well as Evercore Partners hiring of a top banker defending companies against activist investors, has paid off handsomely.
Reuters reports that Goldman advised Amazon and Evercore advised Whole Foods Markets on Amazon's $13.7 billion (10.72 billion pounds) acquisition of Whole Foods that will see the U.S. organic grocery chain become part of the world's largest internet retailer.
The deal was Amazon's first valued at more than $1 billion, making it a coveted trophy for investment bankers in search of fees and glory.
Goldman had laid the ground for this moment. Last year, it dispatched senior bankers to several North American cities where big companies are based, including Atlanta, Toronto and Seattle.
One of those bankers, David Eisman, moved from San Francisco to Seattle to help lead a small team tasked with strengthening ties with the city's biggest companies, including Amazon, Microsoft and Starbucks.
When Amazon decided to approach Whole Foods last month, it picked Goldman for advice. Eisman advised the company alongside fellow Goldman bankers Colin Ryan, who focuses on technology mergers, and Cosmo Roe, who focuses on consumer and retail companies.
Evercore itself clinched a role in the deal with the help of a Goldman alumnus. Last year, Evercore poached Goldman's head of activism defence Bill Anderson, who for more than 12 years had advised more than 175 companies on how to tackle activist investors and hostile bids.
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