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Houlihan Lokey
Type Subsidiary of ORIX USA
Founded Flag of the United States.svg Los Angeles, CA (1970)
Headquarters Flag of the United States.svg Los Angeles, CA
Industry Investment services
Products Financial Services
Investment Banking

Houlihan Lokey is an international investment bank that advises middle-market and large public and private companies. Its main service lines include mergers and acquisitions, financial restructuring, financial opinions, and valuations.[1]


Houlihan Lokey was founded in 1970 to offer general business advisory services initially to privately held companies. The 1974 passage of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act launched the firm’s valuation business by creating demand for independent valuations of private businesses, particularly those that had formed employee stock ownership programs.[2]

In the mid-1980s, Houlihan Lokey established an investment banking division to provide other corporate finance products, including M&A advisory services and financing. By 1987, management concluded that many of the leveraged transactions completed earlier in the decade were potentially overleveraged and that a market was developing for bankruptcy and distressed M&A advice. At that time, Houlihan Lokey began assembling its financial restructuring group, which advises distressed companies and creditors in bankruptcy/Chapter 11 and out-of-court options that are bankruptcy alternatives.[3]

Houlihan Lokey opened eight offices across the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s as it expanded. In 2001, Houlihan Lokey launched its first non-U.S. office by expanding into London. The firm opened a Paris office in 2005 and a Frankfurt office in 2006. It also expanded its industry group platform and private equity coverage program in keeping with investment banking trends.[4]

Buyouts Magazine named Houlihan Lokey the 2005 Middle-Market Investment Bank of the Year, recognizing the firm’s "combination of organic growth initiatives and a merger-style partnership".[4]

In 2006, Houlihan Lokey agreed to merge with ORIX USA, the U.S. corporate lending operations of ORIX Corp. of Japan, to address the growing international demand for middle-market investment banking services. Houlihan Lokey opened offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo in 2007.[2] The firm's 14th office opened in Beijing in 2008.

Houlihan Lokey consistently ranks among the top 10 U.S. M&A advisors, as tracked by research firm Thomson Financial. The firm has led Mergers & Acquisitions Journal’s annual M&A fairness opinion advisory rankings for the past seven years. Houlihan Lokey was named International Financing Review's European Restructuring House in 2006 and has advised the creditors’ committees in four of the largest U.S. bankruptciesLehman Brothers, Enron Corp., WorldCom Inc. and Conseco Inc.[2]

The firm was among the biggest winners at a 2008 Middle-Market Financing Awards competition, garnering five categories, including Investment Banking Firm of the Year, Debt Financing Deal-Maker of the Year, and the top category of Middle-Market M&A Financing Deal of the Year for a Healthcare industry deal.[5]

Houlihan Lokey industry group bankers focus on sectors that include: Aerospace, Defense and Government Services; Industrials (Automotive, Chemicals, Industrial & Environmental Technologies, Plastics & Packaging, Metals); Business Services; Consumer Products, Retail & Food; Energy; Infrastructure Services & Materials (Engineering, Construction, Building Products); Financial Institutions; Healthcare; Media, Sports & Entertainment; Real Estate, Lodging & Leisure; Technology; Telecommunications; and Transportation & Logistics.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Selvin, Molly (October 31, 2005). “Houlihan Lokey to Be Acquired by Japan’s Orix” (hosted by, Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ a b c Berry, Kit (November 7, 2005). “Houlihan Officers Sell Shares as Part of Orix Takeover” (hosted by, Los Angeles Business Journal
  3. ^ Kronzek, Lynn (1998). Los Angeles: Place of Possibilities. Heritage Media Corporation, 228-229. ISBN 1-886483-13-2
  4. ^ a b Nathanson, Ari (March 20, 2006). “Houlihan Lokey: A Mid-Market Firm with Bulge-Bracket Style” (hosted by, Buyouts 19 (6)
  5. ^ The M&A Advisor (June 9, 2008). “[1]” (hosted by, The M&A Advisor

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