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SVB Financial Group To Buy MoffettNathanson

MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett
(Image credit: JohnStaleyPhoto.com)

Commercial banking company SVB Financial Group has agreed to acquire MoffettNathanson, the influential media research firm founded by analysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson, for an undisclosed sum.

News that a deal between the two companies was brewing was first reported by Bloomberg News last month.

SVB Financial Group is a holding company that includes commercial lender Silicon Valley Bank, investment banker SVB Leerink and private banking and wealth management with SVB Private Bank, and funds management and investment with SVB Capital. SVB Leerink primarily serves the healthcare industry but has recently expanded to include technology investment banking.     

“The MoffettNathanson team has built an incredible reputation as a leader in equity research,” SVB Financial president and CEO Greg Becker said in a press release. “The addition of technology equity research is another important step in further solidifying our place as the essential partner to innovation economy clients. I’m proud to welcome the MoffettNathanson team to SVB and continue to strengthen the capabilities of our investment banking practice.”

In an email message, Moffett called the deal a “perfect strategic fit,” adding that SVB’s relationships in Silicon Valley will help MoffettNathanson develop new opportunities for clients while expanding the research firm’s understanding of the sectors and companies it already covers today. SVB Leerink’s expansion into technology investment banking, led by Jason Auerbach, also is a big plus. 

“The opportunity to combine SVB’s unique ‘top of the funnel’ relationships with entrepreneurs, and the world-class capabilities in capital markets and investment banking brought by Jason and his team, with the research capabilities of MoffettNathanson, is incredibly compelling,” Moffett said in the email. “We believe we can build what will be the leading investment bank for the innovation economy.” 

Since its founding in 2013, MoffettNathanson has quickly established a reputation for insightful analysis in the media, communications and internet sectors and in 2018 expanded into the payments and processing space led by former Bernstein analyst and MoffettNathanson partner Lisa Ellis.

“I am incredibly proud of the firm’s success and momentum, which has enabled us to accelerate the addition of tech equity research and to attract the highly regarded MoffettNathanson team,” SVB Leerink CEO Jeff Leerink said in a press release “We are entering an exciting chapter in our firm’s history and we look forward to growing and evolving to meet our clients’ needs.” ■ 

Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.