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Merchant Banking - Definition & Advantages of Merchant Banking | What is Merchant Banking?

How does merchant banking work?

Merchant banking is a specialized financial service that provides capital to companies, facilitates mergers and acquisitions, and offers a range of advisory services to corporate clients. Merchant banking operates in the realm of investment banking, but with a focus on providing financial assistance to large corporations, HNWI and mid size businesses. 

Merchant banks work in a unique way, different from other financial institutions. The primary function of a merchant bank is to provide capital to companies, in the form of equity, debt or both. The bank is usually involved in the company's operations and helps the company to raise funds through IPOs, private placements or other means.

Merchant banks also offer advisory services to companies on issues like mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, and capital-raising strategies. These banks may also take an active role in the management of the companies they invest in, helping to implement strategies, restructure management, or improve operations.

Objectives of Merchant Banking 

Merchant banking refers to a wide range of financial services that involve providing advice and capital to corporations and other large entities. The objectives of merchant banking can vary depending on the specific services provided, but some common objectives include:

  1. Underwriting services: Merchant banks may underwrite securities offerings, meaning they guarantee the purchase of a certain number of securities at a certain price. The objective of underwriting is to help corporations raise capital by ensuring the sale of their securities.

  2. Capital raising: Merchant banks may provide advice and assistance to corporations seeking to raise capital through a variety of methods, including private placements, public offerings, and debt financing. The objective of capital raising is to provide corporations with the funds they need to finance their operations or growth plans.

  3. Mergers and acquisitions: Merchant banks may advise corporations on mergers, acquisitions, and other strategic transactions. The objective of these services is to help corporations achieve their growth or diversification goals through strategic partnerships or acquisitions.

  4. Structured finance: Merchant banks may provide structured finance services, such as project finance or asset-backed securities. The objective of structured finance is to provide corporations with customized financing solutions that meet their specific needs.

  5. Advisory services: Merchant banks may provide a range of advisory services to corporations, such as financial planning, risk management, and strategic consulting. The objective of advisory services is to help corporations make informed financial decisions that support their long-term goals.

Overall, the objectives of merchant banking are to provide corporations with access to capital and specialized financial expertise, and to help them achieve their strategic objectives through customized financial solutions.

Functions of Merchant Banking

Merchant banking plays a crucial role in the financial ecosystem, helping businesses grow and expand. The key functions of merchant banking include:

  1. Capital Raising: One of the primary functions of merchant banking is to raise capital for companies. This can be done through equity or debt financing. Merchant banks work closely with companies to understand their financial needs and offer customized financing solutions that fit their specific requirements.

  2. Mergers and Acquisitions: Merchant banks play a critical role in facilitating mergers and acquisitions (M&A). They help companies identify potential targets for acquisition or merger, negotiate the terms of the deal, and arrange financing for the transaction.

  3. Corporate Advisory: Merchant banks provide companies with strategic advice on a range of issues, including capital-raising strategies, business restructuring, and management consulting. These banks bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, helping companies make informed decisions and achieve their strategic objectives.

  4. Project Financing: Merchant banks help companies secure financing for specific projects, such as infrastructure development, real estate development, or energy projects. They offer customized solutions that meet the unique needs of each project, and help companies navigate the complex financing landscape

Benefits of merchant Banking

Merchant banking provides various benefits to businesses and individuals seeking financial services. Some of the benefits of merchant banking are:

  • Make use of the financial surplus: Merchant banks help individuals and businesses with excess funds to find profitable investments, providing a variety of investment opportunities to choose from.

  • Coordinate the activities in a systematic manner: Merchant banks help clients to organize their financial activities by providing expert advice, guidance, and assistance in managing their investments, mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.

  • Compliance with laws and regulations: Merchant banks help clients to comply with various regulatory requirements, such as compliance with securities laws, anti-money laundering laws, and tax regulations.

  • Identifying potential investments: Merchant banks have access to information and expertise that enables them to identify profitable investment opportunities, which may be overlooked by other investors.

  • Evaluation of risk: Merchant banks evaluate the risk associated with investments and provide their clients with a thorough analysis of the risks and rewards of various investment opportunities.

  • Implementing activities: Merchant banks provide assistance in implementing complex financial transactions such as mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, including due diligence, valuation, and negotiations.

  • Supporting partners and management: Merchant banks provide support to partners and management in developing and executing strategic plans, as well as in identifying and mitigating potential risks associated with their investments.