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Pitch Book

Guide to Understanding the Pitchbook in Investment Banking

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Pitch Book: Definition and Role in Investment Banking

In investment banking, pitch books function as marketing presentations meant to convince an existing client or potential client
to hire their firm for advising on the matter at hand.

For example, the pitch book could be used in a “bake-off” among various competing firms for the same client to provide M&A advisory services to a client interested in acquiring a competitor, or a private company seeking to raise capital in the public markets via an initial public offering (IPO).

The standard sections of a pitchbook in investment banking consist of a situational overview and the background of the firm, specifically the notable members of the group and any relevant deal experience that pertains the client, i.e. the purpose of these slides is to make the case that the firm is the most qualified to take on the client.

Beyond the background of the firm, the transaction merits are also discussed with the high-level analysis supporting their key findings, which sets the foundation on how the client would be advised if chosen (i.e. the estimated valuation of the client, list of potential buyers or sellers, commentary on the firm’s recommended strategy, risks and mitigating factors, etc.).

Learn More → Investment Banking Guide

Pitch Book: Real Investment Banking Examples

Below are several examples of real investment banking pitch books, from various investment banks.

In case you’re wondering, pitch books like these are generally not available to the public. These investment banking pitch books are rare examples of pitch books that have been filed with the SEC and have thus made it into the public domain.

Pitch Book Example Description
Goldman Sachs Pitchbook I This is a typical sell-side pitch book – Goldman is pitching to Airvana to become their sell-side advisor so the focus is on why Airvana should go with Goldman and some high level analysis of how the market views Airvana in case they do pursue a sale.
Goldman Sachs Pitchbook II Goldman, as they often do, won Airvana’s business (the company now gets a code name “Atlas”).  This deck is a Goldman presentation to Atlas’ (i.e. Airvana’s) Special Committee during the process. Since Goldman is now the advisor, they have much more detailed company projections and better understand Airvana’s situation. This deck thus include a detailed valuation analysis and an analysis of several strategic alternatives: Not selling, selling, or recapitalizing the business (a few weeks later Airvana got sold).
Deutsche Bank Pitchbook Deutsche Bank is pitching to AmTrust to become their sell-side advisor.
Citigroup Restructuring Deck  This is a “Process Update” deck for the potential restructuring of Tribune Publishing.  The deal co-advised by Citigroup and Merril Lynch.  Tribune was ultimately sold to Sam Zell.
Perella Pitchbook Perella is the sell-side advisor to retailer Rue21 and is evaluating a $1b buyout proposal by private equity firm Apax Partners. Complete LBO and valuation analysis included. The deal ultimately took place.
BMO Fairness Opinion Pitch (Scroll to p.75-126 of the document) Here is the BMO deck containing a comprehensive valuation analysis to support a proposed Go-Private deal for Patheon.

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Qatalyst M&A Pitch Book on Autonomy to Oracle (PDF)

We separated the following pitch book out since the context of this document is actually controversial.

Oracle made it available to the world claiming they received the deck when Qatalyst, acting as Autonomy’s advisor, pitched Autonomy to Oracle.

Qatalyst and Autonomy, however, dispute this claim, with Qatalyst saying they were acting not as Autonomy’s advisor but rather pitching ideas to Oracle to win a buy-side mandate. With that, here’s the deck.

The nature of the feud is interesting as it sheds light on how investment banking pitches are presented to clients, so I recommend everyone read the dealbreaker article below.

Frank Quattrone

Frank Quattrone

Frank Quattrone Probably Didn’t Want Everyone To See This Particular Pitchbook

“People who have real jobs are sometimes surprised to learn how much of investment banking consists of hopeless pitching. Your team puts together a forty-page slide deck with sixty pages of appendices, proofreads it repeatedly, updates numbers every day for two weeks, and prints a dozen glossy spiral-bound copies. Then you lug them halfway across the continent, slog through the first five pages with an increasingly bored potential client, are politely rebuffed, and then cleverly ask “hey do you want any extra copies of the presentation for your colleagues?” so you don’t have to carry them back on the plane. Glamorous work.”

Source: Dealbreaker

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November 10, 2018 10:25 am

Great article! For those interested in pitchbook examples, there’s this gallery as well:


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