Goldman Sacked (So Too CSFB), Bear Up

The Times reports that UK food retailer J Sainsbury has 'dumped' Goldman as its M&A adviser.

Nothing sinister here, just that Sainsbury appears to be a bit unnerved at just how close Goldman is to Philip Green, the man who tried to get hold of rival Marks & Spencer with Goldman's help. The food retailer has confirmed that it will still use Goldman on other projects, but has engaged Morgan Stanley to help with any bid approaches. Ouch. That will hurt Goldman more than losing the business.

But it's not all bad news over at Goldman. The firm has just been retained, along with Deutsche Bank, as corporate broker to BSkyB. CSFB is said to have been ditched, after the company reduced its corporate broking relationships from 3 to 2.

Meanwhile the news over at Bear Stearns looks a little more positive. Bear refused to roll over and settle investor claims that it was liable because, it was alleged, the Wall Street firm was aware of WorldCom's financial difficulties when it sold certain bonds on behalf of a company unit. Bear has always denied the allegations, saying that it made public everything it knew and that it, too, was also a victim of the WorldCom bankruptcy.

The case came before an Alabama jury last week. Deadlock ensued, a mistrial was declared and new proceedings are set for early January. Bear lives to fight another day.

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