This session featured Dr Michael Drill (Lincoln Internation­al AG), Dr Andreas Fendel (Quadriga Capital Beteiligungs­beratung), Philipp Haindl (Serafin Group), Jan Mayerhöfer (Mayerhöfer & Co Corporate Finance Beratung), Tristan Nagler (Aurelius Investments) and Steve Roberts (PwC Germany), and was moderated by Dr Nikolaus von Jacobs (McDermott).

Diving into an evaluation of the current market, the panel found that the overall mood is good despite large amounts of money continuing to chase a limited number of opportu­nities, leading to a very active, if not crowded, market place. More strategic players are active in the market than in recent years, including many from the United States and Asia, and China in particular. A multitude of new market players, in­cluding newly established financial sponsors, direct-investing fund-of-funds, family offices and private trusts, are increasing competition. It remains to be seen, however, whether these new players will be able to act as professionally and efficiently as established market participants.

US players continue to be interested in investment in Europe, and overall the market is driven by large transactions from entities such as Bayer/Monsanto, which in turn trigger small­er deals.

Monetary policies continue to ensure high purchase prices. Financing banks are keen to secure their piece of the pie and are therefore prepared to provide leverage loans at consider­able debt multiples and at covenant-lite terms. Buyers are still cautious, however, having learned their lesson in the financial crisis. Price levels can drop quickly, making a fair return on an investment questionable, even if operationally it is a success.

Brexit is not regarded as having a significant impact on the transactional landscape.

Panellists tended to have differing views regarding the quality of assets. Whilst some found the market extremely challeng­ing under the circumstances, others found it very promising and pointed to a series of recent successful acquisitions. Giv­en the lack of primary targets, there is some concentration on secondary or tertiary transactions, which can be attractive because the groundwork has been done, giving new investors the freedom to concentrate on new strategies for a cleaned-up asset. Digitisation is a driver for transactions as well as a focus of operational development.

The panel also addressed the question of where investors can find the right assets to add value, given the competitive land­ scape. There is a sentiment that German Mittelstand is more open than private equity. The market experience might have shown owners that enterprises can have a bright future under investment by a financial sponsor. Additionally, management teams have experienced freedom to act under the ownership of a private equity fund.

The panellists observed that there is a tendency to change the structure of auction processes. Investors’ capacities are limited. Whilst in the past broad auctions took place, now an investor must be convinced to invest its capacities in the assessment of an asset, which leads to more focused processes and a considerable increase in one-to-one discussions among sellers and buyers.

Christoph Brandenberger (Healthios Capital Markets), Dr Irina Staatz-Granzer (Staatz BD & Strategy), Dr Sven Oleownik (Gimv Germany), Dr Erich Tauber (Themis Bioscience), Charlie Troup (Duke Street) and Kristian A. Werling (McDermott) discussed licensing and structured M&A transactions. Emmanuelle Trombe (McDermott) mod­erated the panel, which focused in particular on the conver­gence of M&A and licensing, structured transactions in pri­vately held companies versus public M&A, and litigation risks related to due diligence obligations. In discussing the convergence of collaboration/licensing and M&A, the panel pointed out that an increasing number of collaborations between start-ups and industrials include an equity component. Alternatively, such collaborations, with or ...
Callum Mitchell-Thomson, head of investment banking for Germany, Austria and Switzerland for J.P. Morgan, led the MuMAC audience through the expected consequenc­es of Britain’s exit from the European Union (Brexit). Mr Mitchell-Thomson pointed out that whilst the immediate reactions to the vote were quite dramatic, within a week they had quieted substantially. Similarly, at first it appeared that the outlook for economic growth in 2017 for the Europe­an Union, the United States and, in particular, the United Kingdom itself would be worsened materially. Within three months of the referendum, however, the equity capital mar­kets had recovered. On average, cross-border M&A makes up 30 per cent of the overall M&A market. Within Europe, the United Kingdom historically has represented 30...
This panel featured the insights of Melville Mummert (Raymond James), Torsten Krumm (HQ Equita GmbH), Dr Jan-Mathias Kuhr (Kion Group AG), Samuel Wales (McDermott), Patrick Schaich (Riverside Europe Partners GmbH) and Dr Burkhard Weber (Lincoln International LLC). Mr Mummert opened the discussion with questions revolving around the major themes of the 2016 conference, including digitisation, globalisation and disruption: What role will Brexit play in cross-border M&A? What are the implications of digitisation/digital trends for M&A processes? How will disruptive macroeconomic, geopolitical, capital markets and banking trends affect cross-border M&A? Are Europe and the United States currently buyers’ or sellers’ markets? What were the valuation trends of 2016? Each organisatio...
Florian Kähler (ECM Equity Capital Management), Dirk Liedtke (Raymond James), Martin Schwarzer (PwC), Alexan­der Sixt (Sixt), and Fabian Wasmus and Thomas von Werner (Penta Investments) discussed the impact of digitalisation on the automotive sector. Dr Joachim Koch (IMAP M&A Con­sultants) moderated the panel. The automotive industry is changing like never before as a result of digitalisation. In an environment where volume growth will decrease in the next decade, digital leadership in the automotive industry is expected to translate into growth. The panel first discussed the impact of digitalisation on small and medium-sized automotive suppliers. By implementing a homogenous and connected IT system within a company and between companies along the value chain (industry 4.0), companies ...

Bilal Sayyed, McDermott Will & Emery, moderated a thrilling panel of acitivist shareholders from three juristdictions: Roy Katzovic of Saddle Point Group, United States, Till Hufnagel, Petrus Advisers, London and Dr Olaf Marx of MCGM, Munich. They were joined by A&M Managing Director Germany, Thomas Kolaya. Mr Kolaya advises companys how to avoid to become a target of activist shareholders. The panel was a fabulous finale of the conference.

Raed Fakhri, vice president of investments at Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), presented the company’s investment strategy and showcased some of its re­cent international investments. Mumtalakat, the investment arm of the Kingdom of Bahrain, is focused on growing and diversifying its portfolio through commercially sound and sustainable investments across multiple industries and geog­raphies. Its key sectors of focus are logistics, technology, me­dia and telecommunications; real estate and tourism; health care; consumer; industrials and manufacturing; and financial and general services. In the past two years, Mumtalakat completed nine interna­tional investments, including the acquisition of a stake in PRO Unlimited, a leading provider of software and services in the United S...
This session addressed the growing M&A activities of Asian investors in Europe, with a focus on Germany. Wei Wang (PwC Germany) led the panel, which included Dr Mei Wu (Joyson Holdings Europe GmbH), Jacob Hoyeon Won (Locus Capital Partner, the ally of Global M&A Partners), Dr Qing Ding (Shentou Capital) and David Dai (MWE China Law Offices). All panellists agreed that the current trend of Asian investors conducting transactions in Europe will be long-term. This is particularly true of Chinese investors, which have been con­sistently reaching new heights in terms of deal intensity and volume during the years following the last global economic crisis. The panellists also shared the view that, contrary to the overwhelming public consensus in Europe, the governments of both Korea and C...
Tobias Huzarski (KKR Kohlberg Kravis Roberts), Frank Müller (Corpus Sireo), David Poremba (Eastdil Secured) and Dr Jens Ortmanns (McDermott) hosted MuMAC’s first real estate panel and discussed current trends in the European real estate private equity market. As panel head, Dr Ortmanns started the discussion by high­lighting the diversity of real estate as an asset class and the broad range of market participants in Europe, including pri­vate equity funds, hedge funds, pension funds, insurers, and other national and international institutional investors (re­cently including many Asian buyers), as well as family offic­es, developers and high-net-worth individuals. Mr Huzarski initiated a lively discussion about the role real estate plays for private equity funds as part of their overall inv...