JPMorgan Taking Tech Bank Lead

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The initial public offering of LinkedIn and the $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype by Microsoft ( MSFT) are just be the beginning of a number a large deals in the social media and technology space, says Noah Wintroub, global head of Internet and Digital Media of JPMorgan Chase ( JPM).
Noah Wintroub, JPMorgan global head of Internet and digital media Wintroub worked on LinkedIn's IPO and the Microsoft deal for Skype.

"We are anticipating a very busy summer. The capital markets appear open and eager to see companies in our sector," says Wintroub. "There is a bunch of cash built up out there looking to be deployed, whether that is at the fund level or on company's balance sheets."

Wintroub and his team have been on a technology tear lately, structuring the $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype by Microsoft, Nordstrom's ( JWN), $270 million deal for HauteLook, the Pandora ( PND) IPO, along with the LinkedIn IPO. Some of the bankers that have worked along side Wintroub include Mark Fiteny, Joe Pollaro, Anne Berry and Amit Mukherjee.

JPMorgan's Internet and digital media team of eight has worked on four M&A deals and five IPOs so far this year, with several more on their backlog. Wintroub says that LinkedIn's offering could be a further catalyst will spark even more investor interest.

"I think there will be two waves of IPO activity," says Wintroub. "The class of 2011 is off to a great start, and the class of 2012 includes a very robust pipeline of companies that are seasoning in the private market."

Over the past five years companies in the Internet sector accumulated a market cap of nearly $500 billion, while the multiples investors are paying in aggregate are down, says Wintroub. One of the companies that have been prompting investor excitement has been Facebook. While Wintroub would not comment on Facebook, many experts have speculated that secondary market investments by Goldman Sachs ( GS)and other companies will not delay its IPO, which is expected in next year.

Whether a technology company can exit in the public markets or in a private sale depends on a number of circumstances, Wintroub says. He has worked with Skype since 2009 as an advisor and financer when a consortium led by SilverLake, Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board acquired the company for $1.9 billion.

"I think SilverLake took a fairly substantial risk at a time when most people were shying away. They jumped in head first into the sector," said Wintroub. "I think Skype was at a strategic crossroads when Microsoft decided they wanted to own it. I think Skype could have very successfully gone public, but it would have ended up in a different place. As a passionate Skype user, I have great expectations for the company."

With corporations holding around $2 trillion in cash, expect more strategic deals in internet sector, says Wintroub. The demand has prompted JPMorgan to double the size of bankers in its Internet and digital media group over the past few years as well as its technology group in the U.S. Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Recently the bank poached Drago Rajkovic as Managing Director, Head of Technology Mergers & Acquisitions from Barclays Capital ( BCS), as well as Faisal Chugtai and Sarah Anderson from RBC Capital Markets ( RY).

"We will probably hire one or two professionals in our team and more in the tech group," said Wintroub. "We have become more selective on the mandates we take on given how much activity there is today and we anticipate more to come in the future."

--Written by Maria Woehr in New York.

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