31 January 2016

BDO is once again number 1 in the Thomson Reuters M&A ranking in the Benelux

This is the second year in a row that the annual Thomson Reuters ranking, the reference for investment banking and corporate finance advisory, has placed BDO - as a financial advisor with approximately 80 transactions - in first place for the small and mid-market M&A ranking in the Benelux. At European level, BDO ranked a more than respectable fifth place in the small market segment and sixth place in the mid-market segment. BDO was instrumental in the successful completion of over 800 deals worldwide in 2015. On top of this, Experian has now, for the first time, awarded BDO the number one spot in its ranking in the Benelux, and the number two spot in its European ranking. Experian is renowned for its international expert insights into the M&A market.

A merger or acquisition (M&A) is a key strategic impulse that offers a company numerous possibilities and is a method frequently deployed to achieve geographical expansion, develop new commercial activities, increase the customer base, arm yourself against your competitors - or simply take them over. 2015 was once again a year with a tremendous amount of M&A activity. It is expected that many companies will be changing hands in the next few years, and by no means will family succession be the only driver. 

The prospects for 2016 remain positive. Cash is relatively cheap on account of the low interest rates.  Moreover, Unizo’s recent SME report shows that SMEs are ready to use the contents of their war chests for new investments. It can be concluded from this study that the profitability of SMEs is increasing and their solvency is actually higher than before the economic crisis. Both factors are known to have a positive impact on both the buying and the selling side of the M&A market. Despite a number of macro-economic uncertainties, this trend is confirmed by the BDO Global Barometer. A 17.8% increase with regard to companies considering a sale in the sector can be derived from this, meaning that 8,000 companies all across the globe are currently on the verge of initiating an M&A transaction. 

Thomson Reuters compiles a ranking of the key players in the field of M&A every year based on the number of successfully completed transactions.The ranking distinguishes between “small caps” transactions of up to 50 million US dollars and “medium caps” deals of up to 500 million US dollars. BDO was instrumental in the successful conclusion of over 800 deals worldwide in 2015. At European level, BDO ranked fifth in the small caps category and sixth in the market’s mid segment. In the Benelux countries, BDO retains its first place in both the mid market and the small cap segment with approximately 80 deals.

Corporate Finance Partner Johan Vandenbroeck explains: “The recent Thomson Reuters ranking has placed us in pole position for the Benelux on the M&A small and mid caps market for the second year in a row. This position has now been confirmed by Experian, which awarded us first place in the Benelux.  This shows that the approach of our Corporate Finance division in the past few years is indeed bearing fruit. The Belgian Corporate Finance division has been highly productive since its founding five years ago, demonstrating an average annual growth factor of approximately 15%. Additionally, the division’s staff has been expanded with some 30 professionals. We guarantee our clients, regardless of their size, the proper and proactive delivery of our four lines of services: Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Due Diligence (Transaction Services), Valuation, Financing Advisory & Modelling. Apart from our clients in the SME sector, a growing number of professional market parties and leading Belgian and international companies have also been entrusting us with sensitive transactions, which is reflected in our outstanding reputation in the market.”

The Thomson Reuters charts below provide an overview of the segmentation by sector of the past year’s M&A activities in the small and mid market segments respectively.

Source: Thomson Reuters

Source: Thomson Reuters

The Experian chart below provides insight into the European volume in the M&A market in 2015