Legal Business Corporate and M&A Summit 2024

Legal Business Corporate and M&A Summit 2024

More than 150 of the City’s leading M&A partners, in-house counsel and representatives from corporates and financial institutions came together in mid-March to discuss the latest trends in M&A at the 2024 Legal Business Corporate and M&A Summit.

The event, held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster and sponsored by Gibson Dunn, Datasite, Gate One, Jones Day, Moneypenny, Shieldpay, Stevens & Bolton and Slaughter and May, saw delegates talk through the life cycle of an M&A deal over the course of a single day.

Continue reading “Legal Business Corporate and M&A Summit 2024”

M&A stages tentative comeback but dealmakers remain hamstrung by uncertainty

M&A stages tentative comeback but dealmakers remain hamstrung by uncertainty

‘The biggest issue for the market is uncertainty’, says Richard Youle, who has headed Skadden’s London office since July. ‘Whether that’s in relation to the current geopolitical landscape, higher interest rates, inflation, or navigating tougher stances by regulators – we’re seeing people take longer to think about transactions and execute them. There’s also a mismatch of expectations – sellers are looking for 2022 prices, while buyers are looking for a reduction.’

Indeed, this view is borne out by the data. According to Refinitiv, worldwide M&A activity for the first three quarters of 2023 is down 27% compared to the same period last year, to a ten-year low of $2trn. There are some positive signs. Q3 2023 saw activity dip 16% on Q2. But four of Refinitiv’s top ten highest-value global deals were announced between June and September, and the months since then have seen further high-value activity. Still, these points notwithstanding, Q3 2023 remains the slowest Q3 since 2012. Continue reading “M&A stages tentative comeback but dealmakers remain hamstrung by uncertainty”

Sponsored briefing: The influence of diversity in M&A

Sponsored briefing: The influence of diversity in M&A

Emma Danks, partner and co-head of Taylor Wessing’s international corporate group shares her experience on how the M&A industry has evolved, the greater awareness of diversity and inclusion in private equity and the rising profile of female founders in the venture capital world

The three areas of M&A, private equity and venture capital are typically perceived as being among the toughest working cultures and one of the most competitive industries in the business world. With the client base being historically predominantly male, there was a perception that it was more difficult for new talent, and more diverse talent, to break through. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: The influence of diversity in M&A”

Sponsored briefing: Simons Muirhead Burton: M&A capabilities

Sponsored briefing: Simons Muirhead Burton: M&A capabilities

From its civil liberties roots, Simons Muirhead Burton (SMB) has grown over the last 50 years into a full-service law firm based in London’s West End. The firm is renowned for its leadership in many areas, with our corporate M&A team making a significant impact when it comes to advising sellers/buyers across diverse sectors ranging from media and technology, to creative agencies, the hospitality, manufacturing, retail and professional services industries.

We are unique in that we act for both entrepreneurs and start-ups, mature businesses seeking funding, growth and sale, and for family offices, private equity investors and multinational companies. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Simons Muirhead Burton: M&A capabilities”

Sponsored Q&A: Michal Berkner, senior M&A partner at Cooley in London

Sponsored Q&A: Michal Berkner, senior M&A partner at Cooley in London

Michal Berkner is one of the most distinguished M&A lawyers in Europe, advising on some of the region’s most complex and strategic cross-border transactions in life sciences and tech. She joined Cooley’s London office in 2018 from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where she had practised in M&A for more than 20 years.

Michal’s clients include strategic buyers and sellers and investors in public and private companies ranging in value from multiple millions to billions of dollars. Continue reading “Sponsored Q&A: Michal Berkner, senior M&A partner at Cooley in London”

DWF in talks to delist as private equity buyer circles

DWF in talks to delist as private equity buyer circles

The board of DWF Group Plc has confirmed market speculation that it is in negotiations with mid-market private equity firm Inflexion over a potential buyout.

The UK’s largest listed law firm, DWF, released a statement on the London Stock Exchange, detailing that DWF shareholders will be eligible to receive a total consideration of 100 pence per share, including a cash consideration of 97 pence per share and a three pence per share dividend for the six-month period ended 30 April 2023, reliant on the sale going through. Continue reading “DWF in talks to delist as private equity buyer circles”

‘The wind was taken out of everyone’s sails’ – the M&A report 2023

‘The wind was taken out of everyone’s sails’ – the M&A report 2023

2021 was always going to be a tough year to follow. Quite how tough, few could have foreseen at the start of 2022.

With global annual deal values totalling almost $6trn – a jump of more than 60% on 2020 – 2021 was roundly described in breathless superlatives. Following a year of pent-up demand during the pandemic, soaring levels of M&A activity were fuelled by the vaulting ambition of private equity (PE) houses, a surge in tech and pharmaceutical sector deals, and a boom in activity from special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). Continue reading “‘The wind was taken out of everyone’s sails’ – the M&A report 2023”

M&A veterans: Got the T-shirt – M&A Hall of Famers on closing deals in a crisis

M&A veterans: Got the T-shirt – M&A Hall of Famers on closing deals in a crisis

A global pandemic, the war in Ukraine, soaring energy prices and inflation, as well as interest rate hikes significantly pushing up the cost of debt – it is no wonder M&A markets are struggling right now. Against this backdrop of instability, arguably the bigger questions are how activity levels managed to hold up for as long as they have, and how they have not crashed further.

But, while City M&A partners are keen to stress that things could be far worse, and point to pipelines of deals in place for when markets pick up (see feature), the differences between now and this time last year are stark. Continue reading “M&A veterans: Got the T-shirt – M&A Hall of Famers on closing deals in a crisis”

What Next? Eversheds and Shoosmiths act as high street giant acquires beleaguered Cath Kidston

What Next? Eversheds and Shoosmiths act as high street giant acquires beleaguered Cath Kidston

Next has bought Cath Kidston for £8.5m after the embattled fashion brand filed for bankruptcy. The vintage-inspired lifestyle and homeware brand, founded in 1993, first collapsed in 2020, resulting in the loss of 1,000 jobs and the closure of the majority of its UK stores.

Cath Kidston has now entered administration for the second time after struggling under the ownership of Baring Private Equity Asia, which sold the business last summer to distressed investor Hilco Capital. Continue reading “What Next? Eversheds and Shoosmiths act as high street giant acquires beleaguered Cath Kidston”