Update on the M&A and Corporate Finance Focus Group

Dr Barbara Fasoli Braccini

This Focus Group’s main objective is to create a ‘community’ of XLNC members who are experts in the field of M&A and/or Corporate Finance to exchange knowledge and experiences, business referrals and best practices. We believe the most important element of a successful cooperation is personal contact. Therefore we want to build a strong network of XLNC M&A experts, who get to know each other very well during our Group meetings. We offer much more than just ‘small talk’, but during intense working sessions, where we find out how our colleagues think, work and handle situations, we can build strong personal ties. We understand that referring business between members is a matter of trust and reliability. Developing individual and personal contacts is always essential, even in today’s modern and globalised world.

Meeting international M&A experts from XLNC member firms and actively exchanging news on latest developments from our area of practice will be very valuable for all of us and offers huge potential for creating a solid basis on which to build working relationships based on mutual trust and confidence. Knowing each other and maintaining a sustainable communication always makes the difference, because you realise that a network is a good way to learn to speak the same language throughout the world for us and our clients. The aim of the M&A and other related corporate finance activities Focus Group that I chair is to share information regarding M&A and Deal opportunities within the XLNC community and beyond.

The importance of a ’social approach’ in a merger and acquisition process has been investigated by several studies that have highlighted the influence of relationships (‘information brokers’) in the acquisition decision-making process. Deloitte’s 2018 M&A trends report states that ‘Companies are sending strong signals that they intend to aim for bigger M&A targets in 2018; sizable majorities of corporate respondents and private equity investors anticipate brisker activity over the next 12 months.

If the legislative environment yields substantive changes, that could also lead to additional deal activity. This could help get the M&A train back on track – both in terms of deal volume and aggregate deal size. Corporations did maintain their appetite for deals in 2017, as the overall volume of transactions increased, though the aggregate value of deals was smaller.’ During the Focus Group discussion in Madrid, we agreed that the first step could be the creation of a database of different investment opportunities that we have in our respective countries (as companies, distressed assets, etc.) that could help and support our client’s growth.

The database could start using an easy ‘software’ like Dropbox where each member of the Focus Group could prepare a ‘library’ of clients who may be looking to expand internationally within certain sectors and collation of financial parameters relating to each interested client in terms of deal, size, etc. We also want to create and maintain a real interest which means that we would like to share knowledge through XLNC members. Mergers and acquisitions involve a number of issues that are very much specific, according to the country where they take place. Typical regional factors with a direct impact on mergers and acquisitions include:

  • company law;
  • employment law;
  • community law;
  • regulations and regulatory powers;
  • community codes of practice and standards;
  • custom and embedded practices;
  • protectionism.

The opportunity that we have is to cover this knowledge gap and share the ‘different points of view’ thereby enriching ourselves. This could be done by organising specific training courses or writing a guide including a chapter for every country or area. Any XLNC member interested in actively participating in our Focus Group is welcome to contact Dr Barbara Fasoli Braccini directly. We look forward to having a well-visited Focus Group meeting during the XLNC Spring Conference in Vienna.


XLNC MAGAZINE | No. 02 | November 2018

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