InvestmentsGlobal investment bank Houlihan Lokey to Acquire Oakley Advisory

Acquisition Expands Firm’s Coverage of Digital Infrastructure, Communications, and Cloud in Europe and Further Strengthens Global Technology Group
BusinessWire BusinessWireNovember 15, 20228 min

Houlihan Lokey (NYSE:HLI), the global investment bank, has agreed to acquire Oakley Advisory, an independent advisory firm that provides a range of services to clients across the digital infrastructure, communications services, and cloud landscape. This transaction adds substantially to Houlihan Lokey’s global coverage of the digital infrastructure sector and significantly augments the existing sector coverage in Europe.

Oakley Advisory was formed in 2015 by Managing Partners Chris Godsmark and Christian Maher, who for the previous eight years had built up the firm as Oakley Capital Corporate Finance. The Oakley Advisory team has an industry heritage of more than two decades and provides clients with a full suite of sector specialist services, including private and public company M&A, equity and debt fundraisings, and IPO advisory. To date, the team has completed more than 150 transactions with a combined deal value of over £35 billion and has a large international network of client relationships with corporates, listed companies, private equity funds, infrastructure funds, and family offices.

As part of this transaction, Chris Godsmark and Christian Maher join Houlihan Lokey as Managing Directors to spearhead the expansion of the firm’s market-leading digital infrastructure coverage into Europe.

“Chris and Christian have created the leading independent advisory firm in Europe focused on the telecoms and digital infrastructure sector and we are delighted to be welcoming their team to Houlihan Lokey. As we continue to expand our corporate finance business, we are seeking to add strength where we see client demand with individuals or teams that share our track record of success driven by outstanding sector knowledge, a strong corporate culture, and an unerring focus on superior client outcomes. Oakley Advisory is clearly driven by all of these traits and will be highly effective as part of our global team,” commented Scott Adelson, Houlihan Lokey’s Co-President and Co-Head of Corporate Finance.

As well as Chris Godsmark and Christian Maher, the acquisition will add a further 14 financial professionals focused on digital infrastructure within the Global Technology Group, bringing the size of the global Digital Infrastructure team to over 40, and the Global Technology team to more than 235 financial professionals across 14 offices.

“We are proud of what we have achieved over the past 15 years and the reputation that Oakley Advisory has established in the market. The opportunity to join Houlihan Lokey as it continues to underline its position as the global leader in technology advisory is truly compelling for us and gives us huge additional runway for future expansion,” commented Mr. Godsmark. “As part of the Houlihan team, we will be able to provide our clients with true global reach, access to outstanding capital markets expertise, and even more unrivalled private equity relationships, enabling them to benefit from being served by the leading mid-cap advisory firm across all of the major financial centers” added Mr. Maher.

“The next phase of digital rebuild across the UK and Europe is well underway as aging infrastructure is being upgraded and we expect to see plenty of activity in the sector, with anticipated growth over the next 3 to 5 years driving digital infrastructure and connectivity valuations, investor interest, and capital deployment. With the addition of the deep sector expertise and the broad range of solutions that the Oakley Advisory team brings, we will be best positioned to provide our European clients with access to different pools of global capital to achieve their strategic ambitions. We look forward to the valuable contribution that we are confident Chris, Christian, and the team will make,” commented Phil Adams, Global Head of Technology at Houlihan Lokey.

Houlihan Lokey is one of the most active advisors in the digital infrastructure and telecoms sector, with a proven track record of more than 20 years of deal flow. The practice covers numerous industry subsectors, including fiber, fixed wireless, cable, data centres, managed services, wireless infrastructure, wireless and spectrum, digital infrastructure services, and communications software.

With more than 235 financial professionals worldwide, Houlihan Lokey’s Technology Group has earned a global reputation for providing superior service and achieving outstanding results in M&A advisory, capital-raising, restructuring, and financial and valuation advisory services. Its clients range from early-stage businesses and midsized companies to large, publicly traded corporations. In 2021, Houlihan Lokey was ranked as the No. 1 investment bank for all global technology transactions, with 124 deals, according to Refinitiv.

The transaction is expected to be completed next quarter, assuming regulatory approval is given.

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