2016 AI M&A awards

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An Interview With‌

Anthony G. Viscogliosi

Next on our Game Changers feature is Anthony G. Viscogliosi. Anthony has spent nearly the last 30 years immersed in the orthopaedic devices industry after being a patient himself to co-founding a family merchant banking business with his brothers based in New York that has helped create over 20 companies, and portfolio companies in which VB and its affiliates have invested. Eleven of their portfolio companies have sold for more than $1.5B in total exit value.





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Welcome to the 2016 M&A Awards

For the past five years, through good times and bad, the global M&A Awards have acted as an invaluable resource, highlighting the dedication, stellar results and top quality client service provided by many worldwide M&A industry leaders. Throughout this time, and despite many challenges, the M&A industry has remained strong where others have faltered, and, as the global economy continues to strengthen and with a sustained boom looking ever more likely, this year is no exception. Our prestigious M&A Awards celebrate the outstanding efforts and amazing achievements of all those involved in identifying, coordinating and completing the important deals which have the potential to change the fate of businesses, industries and even entire countries. This is a huge pressure and faced with increasing demands from clients many businesses have had to work tirelessly to achieve success. These awards are dedicated to showcasing the hard work, dedication and determination of firms throughout the business world, as voted for by their clients and industry peers.

Contents 6. Viscogliosi Bros. LLC (VB) has won Best VC Firm in the Global Orthopaedic Device Industry 10. AFRICA RE has won Best African Reinsurance Firm 2016 12. AIG has won Best Global In-House Legal Department – M&A 14. BDO Capital has won Top Investment Bank 2016 - Philippines & Best Banking Acquisition 2016: BDO / ONB 16. Corum Group Ltd has won Software M&A Firm of the Year - USA 18. DragonKnight Advisors has won Best European Corporate Finance Boutique 2016 20. Health Advances LLC has won Best Healthcare M&A Strategists - USA & Best BioPharma Services Deal: PAREXEL/Health Advances 22. Hunkemöller International B.V. has won Best European Mid-Market Transaction: The Carlyle Group/Hunkemoller 24. MoneySoft, Inc. has won Best M&A Planning Software - USA 26. Pensionlite has won Best Independent Pensions Adviser 2016 28. Pitcher Partners has won Best Mid-Market Financial Advisory Firm - Australia & Recognised Leader in Acquisition Growth Strategy - Australia 30. Proton Partners has won Best UK SME Lending Transaction: Proton Partners £30m Loan Facility & Most Promising New Business 2016 32. Richard Tyler has won Best Global Sales Management Consultants 2016 & Sustained Excellence in Sales Training 2016 34. SIA Cream Finance has won The AI Growth Fast Track Award 2016 & Award for Innovation in Smart-Data Lending 36. Solace Systems Inc has won Best Communications Technology Transaction: Bridge Growth Partners/Solace Systems 38. Verdant Capital has won Specialist Advisory Firm of the Year - Africa & Best African M&A transaction 2016 (Greenbelt Fertiliser sale) 40. Vertess Advisors, LLC has won Most Innovative M&A Consultancy Firm - USA & Client Choice Award: Best Healthcare M&A Intermediary Firm of the Year - USA 42. Yeo & Associates LLC has won Best Full-Service Family Law Firm - Singapore 44. 187 Fleet Street has won Best Criminal & Regulatory Barristers 2016 45. Active Business Brokers has won Award for Excellence in Business Sales Representation 46. ACXIT Capital Partners has won Mid-Market Corporate Finance Advisory Firm of the Year & Best Healthcare Financial Advisor - Germany 47. AKHH Lawyers has won Oil & Gas law Firm of the Year - Indonesia 48. Aldar Audit Bureau has won Best in Corporate Finance - Saudi Arabia & Recognised Leader in Risk Management Services - Saudi Arabia 49. Alfa Investment has won Best Boutique Asset Management Firm - Turkey 50. Arias Meurinne y Rodriguez has won International Tax Law Firm of the Year - Mexico 51. B.V.F.R. & Associates has won Best Financial Solutions Firm - Maryland & Award for Excellence in Growth Capital - USA 52. Barnett Waddingham has won Best for M&A Pension Due Diligence - UK 53. Bay Trust Belize has won Best Trustee Services Firm - Belize & Best in Trust Formations - Belize 54. Blacktrace B.V. has won Best Dutch M&A Advisory Firm 2016 & Dealmaker of the Year - the Netherlands 55. Brus Chambers has won Best Corporate Law Firm of the Year - India 56. Bureau van Dijk has won Best Global M&A Database: Zephyr & Award for Innovation in M&A Research 57. Camden Associates has won Best Multi-Sector Corporate Finance House - UK 58. Capital Horizons Ltd has won Best Offshore Corporate Finance Boutique - Mauritius & Award for Excellence in Company Formations - Mauritius 59. Caro & Asociados has won Best Criminal Law Boutique - Peru 60. CloudOrigin Limited has won Best for Technology Due Diligence - UK 61. Corsis LLC has won Best Due Diligence Provider - USA 62. CVS Health Corp has won Best US Pharmaceutical Services Deal: CVS Health / Omnicare 63. Demotech, Inc. has won Best Property/Casualty Insurance Agency Service Provider - USA 64. Dr. Ihlas GmbH has won Best Financial Lines Insurance Brokerage - Germany

65. Drooms has won Best M&A Software Provider 2016 66. Ecobank has won Best Corporate Banking Firm 2016 - Africa & Award for Excellence in Supply Chain Finance - Africa 67. EY has won Best Business Valuations Provider 2016 - Poland 68. Estudio Grispo has won Best Corporate Law Firm 2016 - Argentina & Award for Excellence in Insolvency Law - Argentina 69. EthosData has won M&A Dataroom of the Year – US, Virtual Data Room Provider of the Year – India, Virtual Data Room Provider of the Year – China, Virtual Data Room Provider of the Year - Spain 70. EXPEN has won Best Due Diligence Advisor 2016 - France & Recognised Leader in Company Valuations - France 71. fds Director Services has won Most Innovative UK Deal Negotiator 2016 & The AI One to Watch in Corporate Finance 72. Financiere de Courcelles has won Best Cross-Border Deal Team - France 73. fineHeart SA has won Award for Innovation in Cardiovascular Space & Most Anticipated Med-Tech Development: FineHeart 74. Firefly Partners has won Best for Management Due Diligence - UK 75. Franzen & Co. has won Swiss Cross Border M&A Advisor of the Year & Most Innovative Swiss M&A Advisor of the Year 76. GENI & KEBE has won Best M&A Law Firm 2016 - Senegal 77. Gilson Gray LLP has won Best M&A Law Firm - Scotland 78. Harmoney Limited has won Best Peer-to-Peer Money Lending Company - New Zealand 79. Hines Associates has won AI Corporate Strategist of the Year - UK & FinServ Dealmaker of the Year 2016 80. IIZI Firstbrokers Oy has won Best Insurance Brokerage - Finland & Recognised Leader in Financial Risk Strategy - Finland 81. Imprima (iRooms) has won Best European VDR Service Provider 2016 82. Intralinks has won Award for Excellence in Secure Document Sharing 2016 83. Jubilant Kenya Ltd has won Credit Lending Firm of the Year - Kenya & Best for Business Loans - Kenya 84. KBL European Private Bankers has won Best Private Banking Merger: KBL European Private Bankers/Insinger de Beaufort 85. KBS Corporate has won Best Company Sale & Brokerage Firm - UK 86. Kingston Smith has won Best Mid-Market Media M&A Adviser 2016 87. KPMG has won Best for Corporate Tax Advisory Services - Zambia & Award for Innovation in Transaction Services 88. Larking Gowen has won Best East Anglia Deal Makers 2016 89. Lautenschlager, Romeiro e Iwamizu has won Best for Acquisitions & Takeovers - Brazil & Best for Corporate Contracts - Brazil 90. Lee International IP & Law Group has won Best IP Law Firm - Korea & Cross-Border Litigator of the Year - Korea 91. M&A Advisory has won The AI Award for Buyer Intelligence 92. MilleniumAssociates AG has won Best International M&A Advisory Firm - Switzerland & Best in Corporate Finance 2016 - Switzerland 93. NASDAQ Inc has won Best Canadian Trading Acquisition: NASDAQ / Chi-X Canada 94. Patentni biro AF has won Best Patent Law Firm - Slovenia 95. Platinum Partners has won Best Corporate Finance Advisor - Germany & Sustained Excellence in Cross-Border M&A - Germany 96. Premier Corporate Finance has won Best Global Testing & Inspection Corporate Finance Firm 97. Premier Oil has won Best Exploration & Production Acquisition: Premier Oil / E.ON North Sea assets 98. Priyasakhi Mahila Sangh has won Best for Micro Finance - India 99. Quantera Global has won Best Independent Transfer Pricing Advisory Firm - Italy 100. Roodt Inc has won Best Corporate Law Firm - South Africa & Award for Excellence in Cross-Border Transactions - South Africa 102. Scancorp has won Best M&A Consultants 2016 - Asia Pacific 103. Scottish Widows has won Best UK Corporate Pension Provider 2016 104. Tavernier Tschanz has won M&A Law Firm of the Year - Switzerland & Dealmaker of the Year - Switzerland 105. dompatent von Kreisler Selting Werner has won Most-Established IP Law Firm of the Year - Germany & Best for China-Focused IP Matters - Germany 106. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff has won Best for Environmental Due Diligence 2016


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Viscogliosi Bros. LLC (VB)

Best VC Firm in the Global Orthopaedic Device Industry Company: Viscogliosi Bros. LLC (VB) Website: http://www.vbllc.com/

Viscogliosi Bros. LLC (VB) Established in 1999, Viscogliosi Bros. LLC (VB) was the first venture capital/ private equity and merchant banking firm dedicated to the musculoskeletal/ orthopaedics sector of the healthcare industry. Today, the firm is a leading independent firm, with a mission: to create, build, operate and finance companies founded on innovations, developed by surgeons, and uniquely focused on “life changing” musculoskeletal/ orthopaedic technologies. We invited Co-Founder Anthony Viscogliosi to talk us through how the firm has risen to become a market leader since inception.

The global market value of sales in orthopaedic devices last year reached about $50 billion or more than 20 percent higher than five years ago. It is dominated by five OEMs who represent 70% of the market. It is big business by anyone’s measure. For example, Zimmer paid $13.4-billion (4.2x revenues of $3.2 billion) for Biomet to create a company with $8 billion in revenues from sales of hip, knee, trauma and spine implants and other devices. Another deal done last year was the merger of Wright Medical Group with Tornier to create a company worth more than $3.3 billion.

“What was once a minor piece of the healthcare market has become an industry employing more than 300,000 people worldwide.” Musculoskeletal disorders are the primary cause of physical disability and lost productivity worldwide. I have been both a recipient of orthopaedic care in my youth and now a pioneer in recognizing trends in the healing potential of innovative joint replacement technologies. I have made it my life’s work to help surgeons who treat patients affected by arthritis, diabetes and other orthopaedic-related conditions by creating business entities concentrated on the development of life-changing technologies. My brothers John, Marc and I founded Viscogliosi Bros. LLC (VB) in New York City in 1999. After nearly a decade and a half in investment banking and securities analysis at several Wall Street firms, our experience in the health care field, especially orthopaedic technology, convinced us that we could create a valuable niche as the first venture capital/private equity and merchant banking firm

dedicated to orthopaedics. The potential for growth and geographic expansion was attractive because of the huge demand for effectively treating the world’s aging but increasingly active population facing arthritis and many other musculoskeletal/ orthopaedic complaints. This industry is increasing in size by almost 20 percent annually. Seventeen years since its formation, VB has become a leading independent firm based on its ability to create, build, operate and finance companies founded on innovations developed by the world’s leading orthopaedic surgeons. What was once a minor piece of the healthcare market has become an industry employing more than 300,000 people worldwide. Along the way VB has either initiated or participated in a variety of ground-breaking technologies that are helping patients regain joint functionality and eliminate pain. For example, in 2005, VB founded Small Bone Innovations, LLC. (SBI), a company focused exclusively on treatments for bones and joints in the shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers, also those bones and joints below the knee to the ankle and toes. This area of orthopaedics had been largely ignored by the jor manufacturers whose focus was on products for the knee, hip and spine. SBI was built upon a series of acquisitions that included an investment in the Scandinavian-developed STAR ankle replacement technology. We also added several other European and U.S. technologies that were devices and instrumentation for small bone treatments. VB’s foresight and diligence was rewarded when SBI was acquired by Stryker Corporation in August, 2014 for $375 million. The market value of small bone market sales had grown from under $1 billion to more than $3 billion today and is growing at a faster rate than products to treat the spine, hip and knee.

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“My brothers, John, the CEO of Centinel Spine Inc., and Marc, the CEO of Paradigm Spine LLC, are prime examples of strength and dedication in the areas of operational management and guiding products through the regulatory approval process.�

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Viscogliosi Bros. LLC (VB)

The seeds of this success were sown in 1999 when VB and the German firm Aesculap AG & Co. KG, jointly created Spine Solutions, Inc. to market the ProDisc® total artificial disc replacement system developed by a French orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Thierry Marnay. The technology was revolutionary at that time because it obviated the need to fuse the spine – then considered the gold standard treatment for treating disc degeneration. Aesculap contributed the patents and related intellectual property rights of ProDisc to Spine Solutions, Inc. and VB undertook to raise capital for extensive clinical testing to secure FDA approval to market the technology in the US. In 2003 this led to the acquisition for $350 mm of Spine Solutions Inc. by what is now the world’s biggest company in the field, J&J DuPuy Synthes.

ACL replacement as a substitute for allograft and autograft.

Following the success of this pioneering work in artificial total disc technology, we developed new opportunities for surgeons, patients and investors in “motion preservation and focused fusion technologies” technologies that treat various degenerative conditions. This work has yielded a series of products and procedures that are now either clinically proven or in advanced stages of development. This includes the coflex® interlaminar stabilization device currently marketed by Paradigm Spine, LLC, founded by VB in 2004. The coflex technology has been approved by the US FDA and has accumulated more than 20 years of clinical data from patients in 40 countries. This also includes the STALIF® family of cervical and lumbar standalone interbody fusion products with a 25-year clinical heritage and of which have been implanted in more than 40,000 patients worldwide.

As an integral part of the development of novel approaches to orthopaedic surgery, VB has over the years helped attract and unite thousands of surgeons behind new technology by forming several professional societies such as the Spine Arthroplasty Society (now the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery) that have gone on to build acceptance of non-fusion surgery that can better restore joint function than some forms of mechanical fusion.

These and other achievements can be attributed to our depth of experience in working with proven experts in banking, finance and industry management. We are a recognized force for growth and innovation in our field. The market and clinical knowledge gained from the development of more than 20 different companies and more than 75 different technologies has made us smart investors and partners with major manufacturers with substantial marketing and distribution resources. This includes leaders such as the aforementioned J&J DuPuy Synthes, Stryker, Abbott, Globus and Zimmer Biomet and hospitals specializing in orthopaedics such as the Hospital for Special Surgery. VB continues to work with industry leaders to help uncover unmet needs and new products to meet demand from surgeons and increasingly patients themselves. The central appeal of VB has long been its constantly growing portfolio of unique surgical technologies and procedures capable of keeping our aging population active and healthy, such as is currently being developed by Woven Orthopedic Technologies, LLC for orthogeriatric/ compromised bone repair and Aperion Biologics for

We are anxious to share our experiences with everyone attracted to ways of keeping people active and healthy longer and better. My brothers and I are frequent speakers at investment conferences and scientific development events and activities. As an extension of our presence in the State of Connecticut, for example, we recently dedicated the Viscogliosi Entrepreneurship Center at Manchester Community College. The center has helped to provide students, entrepreneurs and small business owners with opportunities to learn about “the Viscogliosi Way” based on our track record of taking businesses from start-up, through commercialization and expansion.

My brothers, John, the CEO of Centinel Spine Inc., and Marc, the CEO of Paradigm Spine LLC, are prime examples of strength and dedication in the areas of operational management and guiding products through the regulatory approval process. These strengths are becoming increasingly valuable in not only product development but also gaining approval and acceptance at both the regulatory and health insurance levels. Without this assistance all products regardless of their efficacy cannot succeed commercially. Each of our current portfolio companies has been built upon a truly innovative and life-changing technology: the ProDisc®, STAR® ankle, coflex® and STALIF C® spine and small bone product ranges are designed to eliminate pain and restore form, function, and motion in the human anatomy. VB is therefore organized to face a market future that is both exciting and challenging. On one hand, you have an amalgam of truly effective treatments and talented surgical specialists but on the other hand, the barriers to market entry, acceptance and affordability mean that too many deserving patients may not be able to access the best available treatment. Ultimately we are here to change that for the better.

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“Part of our deepened-focus strategy involves knowing ourselves, knowing our markets, knowing our franchise, and knowing our environment.� 10 Acquisition International - M&A Awards 2016


Best African Reinsurance Firm 2016 Company: African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) Name: Corneille Karekezi Email: karekezi.corneille@ africa-re.com Web: www.africa-re.com Address: Plot 1679, Karimu Kotun Street, Victoria Island P.M.B. 12765, Lagos, Nigeria Telephone: +234-1-461 6820-8 / +234-1-280 0824-5

AFRICA RE Africa Re is the premier regional reinsurance institution dedicated to the African continent and open to selected markets in Asia, Brazil and the Middle East. We invited Corneille Karekezi to tell us more.

At the initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) was established by member States of the then Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union). The Agreement establishing the Corporation was signed on 24 February, 1976 in Yaounde, Cameroon. The Corporation was set up to reduce the outflow of scarce foreign exchange by way of reinsurance premiums from Africa. Africa Re conducts business in more than 60 countries and territories in this broad region, with a physical presence through operating offices in eight locations. The Corporation has developed expertise in offering financial protection through Non-Life and Life reinsurance products to its clients - insurance companies in this unique region. This expertise is offered directly and through its whollyowned subsidiaries (Africa Re South Africa, based in Johannesburg, and Africa Retakaful, based in Cairo). The bespoke reinsurance solutions of Africa Re are backed by a strong risk-adjusted capitalization and A ratings (full A with A.M. Best and A – with S&P). Corneille Karekezi outlines the firm’s newest deal and explains how this was successfully negotiated by the company. “During its 133rd meeting held in Nairobi on 17 November 2014, the Board, after a thorough process of identification and negotiation, approved the recommendations of its Ad-hoc Committee, namely to offer 7.15% of the Corporation’s capital to each of two potential acquirers (AXA and FAIRFAX)”; “AXA (leading global French insurer) and FAIRFAX (leading Canadian financial holding with investment in numerous insurance and reinsurance companies across the world) carried out the usual due diligence and intensive negotiations were held on the proposed terms and conditions of the transaction”. Finally, transaction agreements were signed in Paris in February 2015 with AXA and in March 2015 with FAIRFAX. After signing the agreements, press releases were issued by both parties in various press outlets”.

Commenting on the success of the M&A, Corneille Karekezi mentioned that “Negotiations with AXA and FAIRFAX were successfully concluded by the Board and Management, without the use of investment bankers. Considering the reputation (global insurers), corporate governance and technical capacity of the new shareholders, the potential synergies in business exchange and technical expertise, as well as the significant capital injection of US$127.6 million, the M&A operation was a big success.” Moving forward, Corneille Karekezi expressed excitement at the future as the firm aspires to grow into new markets, improve its service delivery and work with new clients. “With the increasing focus on emerging markets, competition from non-African players is intensifying on the continent. As such, the time has come to reinvent ourselves. Having achieved top-level performance, the question now is how to sustain it, and, should that effort fail, how to regain it? Therefore, Africa Re Management has decided to diagnose the possible “fault lines”: customer needs, industry position, performance metrics, business model and talents and capabilities. Part of our deepened-focus strategy involves knowing ourselves, knowing our markets, knowing our franchise, and knowing our environment. This will help us to better support our clients, both existing and new. Fundamentally Africa Re has designed a forwardlooking business development strategy aimed at utilizing its deep insights and unique position on the continent to sustain its eminent status as a regional player. New service delivery initiatives and products are being launched on the back of skills improvement programmes implemented for staff. Appropriate systems are also being implemented to strengthen governance, risk management and compliance structures across the Corporation, led by a full-scale compliance with the Solvency Assessment and Management (SAM) regime in South Africa and the Solvency II equivalence elsewhere.”

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Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com 12 Acquisition International - M&A Awards 2016


Best Global In-House Legal Department – M&A

AIG American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organization. We profile this innovative and dynamic company and explore the secrets behind its success.

Thomas Russo, Executive Vice President and General Counsel Company: American International Group, Inc. Web Address: www.aig.com

Founded in 1919, today AIG provides a wide range of property casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement products and other financial services to customers in more than 100 countries and jurisdictions. AIG’s diverse offerings include products and services that help businesses and individuals protect their assets, manage risks and provide for retirement security. AIG’s Global Legal, Compliance, Regulatory and Government Affairs (GLCR) department is led by Thomas Russo, Executive Vice President and General Counsel. AIG’s Mergers & Acquisitions Legal Group (AIG M&A Legal) within GLCR is led by P. Nicholas Kourides, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Head of Global Regulatory/Federal Reserve Supervision and Mergers & Acquisitions. AIG M&A Legal provides legal counsel to AIG’s senior management, Corporate Development group and other internal business sponsors in connection with group-wide mergers and acquisitions, strategic investment, divestitures and restructuring transactions. Specifically, with regards to M&A, AIG’s legal team provides business-focused legal advice with respect to transactional, corporate governance, regulatory and securities law issues. Transactional matters include IPOs, private acquisitions, minority venture investments, divestitures and restructurings, primarily in the insurance, asset management and financial services industries.

interface. Additionally, the joint venture is intended to develop innovative and integrated solutions to the complex optimization problems related to the assets, liabilities and capital of an insurance company. AIG’s recent strategic divestitures include AIG’s multi-year, multi-step divestiture of International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) through a sale of ILFC to AerCap Holdings N.V. (AerCap) and the subsequent sale of shares of AerCap which AIG received as consideration for ILFC. This series of transactions represent the type of complex structuring and execution of which AIG and GLCR are capable of in pursuing AIG’s strategic goals. Because AerCap was approximately 1/3 the size of ILFC at the time of [the agreement], this transaction required innovative structuring to permit the financing and execution of the initial transaction, as well as AIG’s ultimate exit from its investment in ILFC. In a series of complex related transactions during 2014 and 2015 this transaction raised approximately $7.7 billion in proceeds for AIG while narrowing AIG’s focus by divesting a non-core asset. In addition, AIG M&A Legal is currently supporting the pending sale of United Guaranty (UGC), the leading private mortgage insurance company in the United States. AIG determined that mortgage insurance is a non-core business and on August 15, 2016 entered into an agreement to sell UGC to Arch Capital Group Ltd. for $3.4 billion.

AIG M&A Legal has been instrumental in AIG’s restructuring since the 2008 financial crisis. In recent years, AIG M&A Legal has managed the dual task of executing strategic innovative investments for AIG’s future, while continuing a complex, unparalleled, multiyear restructuring and divestiture program to narrow AIG’s focus, improve its financial performance and return capital to shareholders.

Finally, AIG M&A Legal assisted with the sale of Advisor Group, which is among the largest networks of independent broker-dealers in the United States. AIG determined that Advisor Group is a non-core business and sold Advisor Group to investment funds affiliated with Lightyear Capital and PSP Investments.

AIG’s recent strategic innovation investment initiatives include a proposed joint venture with Hamilton Insurance and affiliates of Two Sigma Investments. This pending joint venture seeks to revolutionize the approximately $76 billion Small and Medium Enterprise Insurance (SME) market through technology that creates a more tailored and compelling value proposition for clients in this critical segment. AIG’s collaboration with Hamilton and Two Sigma is intended to provide a more convenient and systematic insurance experience for small and medium businesses by delivering pricing and servicing using predictive analytics and an easy-to-use customer

Moving forward, AIG is pursuing a number of initiatives to maximize shareholder value while remaining committed to serving clients. On January 26, 2016, AIG announced several actions designed to create a leaner, more profitable and focused insurer. These actions included a plan to reorganize AIG’s operating model into “modular”, more selfcontained business units to enhance transparency, accountability and flexibility. Additionally, AIG introduced a Legacy Portfolio of non-core assets in order to provide greater transparency and highlight progress on improving the return on equity (ROE) of the company’s Operating Portfolio.

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Top Investment Bank 2016 - Philippines & Best Banking Acquisition 2016: BDO / ONB Company: BDO Capital & Investment Corporation Name: Eduardo V. Francisco, President, and L. Jerome C. Guevarra, Senior Vice President and Head of Advisory and Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Web: www.bdo.com.ph Address: BDO Corporate Center, 7899 Makati Avenue, Makati City, Philippines 0726

BDO Capital BDO Capital & Investment Corporation or BDO Capital is the whollyowned investment banking arm of BDO Unibank, Inc., the largest bank by assets in the Philippines. We invited BDO Capital President Eduardo V. Francisco to talk us through the firm and its award winning transaction.

In the Philippines, BDO Capital conducts its business as a full service investment bank with the following functions: equity and debt underwriting, loan syndication, financial advisory, M&A advisory, project finance, private placements, securities trading, direct equity investments, and securitization. In addition, BDO Capital owns 100% of BDO Securities Corporation, one of the major players in the stock brokerage industry in the country.

the local capital markets or through arranging direct funding in the form of bank loans. We support our clients in every stage of the M&A process, and we take it a step further by providing financing options.

The investment bank’s clientele covers practically all major Philippine corporations and conglomerates including their subsidiaries which operate in key industries, the Philippine National Government and its Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), various foreign and local institutional investors, financial institutions, high net worth individuals, and many medium-sized companies and start-ups. Ed talks us through the services the firm provides in the M&A space.

A significant M&A deal where BDO Capital acted as BDO Unibank’s financial advisor is the latter’s acquisition of One Network Bank, Inc. (ONB), which was completed in July 2015. The acquisition of ONB, the largest rural bank in the Philippines, has provided BDO Unibank with a greater presence in Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines. The ONB transaction widens the regional presence of BDO Unibank in the country, particularly in a fast-expanding market where its competitors have yet to make substantial progress. ONB is expected to be a vital contributor to BDO Unibank’s top and bottom lines over the long-term. Through its solid distribution network of 108 branches and counting, ONB effectively allows BDO Unibank to extend its services to the underserved and underbanked population in the Philippines.

“As the Philippines continues to grow and outperform, we remain positive on BDO Capital’s prospects moving forward.” “Under the Advisory and M&A Practice of BDO Capital, we provide expert advice to our clients who want to accelerate the growth of their businesses through mergers, acquisitions, direct investments, joint ventures, and strategic alliances. Our overarching goal is to help clients maximize value by executing the best possible M&A strategy that suits their business profile. “Specifically, BDO Capital provides the following services under its M&A advisory franchise: origination, financial due diligence, valuation and financial modeling, deal structuring, negotiation, and execution. As a full service investment bank, we also facilitate acquisition financing for prospective acquirers through debt or equity capital raised at

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“We also act as financial advisor to our parent bank (BDO Unibank) for all of its M&A initiatives. We have helped our parent bank grow by leaps and bounds over the years through our proven track record in M&A advisory and execution.”

Eventually, ONB is envisioned to expand its coverage to the other major parts of the country – the Luzon and Visayas regions, where there are also huge opportunities in the underserved market segments. BDO Unibank’s acquisition of ONB is in line with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (the Philippine central bank) efforts to consolidate the banking industry in the Philippines - encouraging smaller banks to merge or consolidate with the larger ones to strengthen the country’s banking system. In this buy side transaction, BDO Capital offered its unmatched expertise in performing financial due diligence, valuing financial institutions, structuring the deal, negotiating for key terms, and executing the transaction in a timely manner. The ONB growth story does not stop there. Last June 2016, BDO Unibank agreed to sell its 40% stake in ONB to TPG Growth, the middle market

BDO Capital

Eduardo V. Francisco, President (right), and L. Jerome C. Guevarra, Senior Vice President (left)

and growth capital investment platform of private equity giant TPG. Once the transaction is closed, BDO Unibank will still own around 60% of ONB. Essentially, BDO Unibank wanted to bring in a partner with extensive knowledge and experience in microfinance in developing markets in Asia. This partnership is expected to fast-track ONB’s growth and to introduce new products to the underserved population in the Philippines. TPG has extensive experience in Asia - it has partnered with more than 15 financial services firms in the continent. One of its noteworthy investments is in Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional (BTPN) of Indonesia where it helped the latter set up more than 550 new branches and establish a microloan franchise that allowed BTPN to grow its client base significantly. In this sell side transaction, BDO Capital was again mandated as the exclusive financial advisor of BDO Unibank. Looking ahead, Ed made it clear that the firm has a number of exciting opportunities for growth and participation in additional M&A activity. “As the Philippines continues to grow and outperform, we remain positive on BDO Capital’s prospects moving forward. We expect sustained M&A deal flow in the country where corporations have solid war chests, banks are ready to finance acquisitions, and the economy is fundamentally sound. We are looking forward to the current administration’s promise to increase infrastructure spending and streamline public-private partnership programs. We believe that there are significant M&A and capital markets opportunities as the Philippines ramps us its infrastructure program. In addition, the Philippine central bank’s thrust to strengthen the banking industry by encouraging mergers of smaller banks with the larger ones brings further opportunities for BDO Capital to expand its M&A franchise. “We are also enthusiastic about the full-blown implementation of the ASEAN Financial Integration where BDO Unibank can venture outside the Philippines to complement its existing portfolio. BDO Capital will be the primary financial advisor of BDO Unibank for all potential cross-border deals, should they materialize.”

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Software M&A Firm of the Year - USA Company: Corum Group, LTD Name: Bruce Milne, CEO Email: brucem@corumgroup.com Web: www.corumgroup.com Address: 19805 North Creek Pkwy Ste 300, Bothell, WA 98011 Telephone: +1 425 455 8281

Corum Group Ltd Corum Group is the leading seller of privately-held software and related technology companies globally. We invited Chief Executive Officer Bruce Milne to tell us more about the firm and the services it offers.

Corum is a global firm with dealmakers across North America and Europe, with advisors, research centers and transactions spread even more broadly across the globe. The group is entirely focused on full sell side M&A processes for its clients, performing a global search for potential buyers, both strategic and financial. Over three decades, Corum has honed the “optimal outcome” process, creating an auction environment among multiple bidders, to ensure our companies receive the best possible deal in terms of price and structure, and the firm has invested $25M in an unparalleled buyer knowledgebase, constantly refreshed with strategic and details from events, engagements and research. “Every new client of Corum stands on the shoulders of every transaction we have been involved with, full of confidential buyer information; a decided advantage in getting to the right people with their partnering message”, states CEO Bruce Milne.

“Corum is expanding aggressively worldwide, with a half-dozen new dealmakers brought on in just the last six months.” In addition, Bruce is eager to emphasise the firm’s dedication to supporting clients and helping train them so that they can learn the techniques which make M&A deals a success. “Corum is the leading tech M&A educator globally, with thousands of technology company owners, CEOs, investors and corporate development officers attending the hundreds of educational events we hold each year, including webcasts and in-person events. These events provide us a unique perspective on the technology industry, and that vantage point has turned us into a thought leader in the technology industry. Our annual “Top 10 Disruptive Technology Trends” report, a look at the trends driving deals in the technology sector, has been recognized by companies like Microsoft, SAP and Salesforce as being an important resource for technology company CEOs.”

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To offer the very highest quality of support and advice, Corum places a high value on collegiality and cooperation. “Each transaction we are involved with adds value to each other transaction, and even though our dealmakers are spread out across North America, Europe and beyond, we place special emphasis on ensuring that we work together as a cohesive team” adds Bruce. Corum is entirely focused on selling technology companies, and this focus, combined with the firm’s unique position as educators and thought leaders, gives it unparalleled buyer access and relationships. Discussing both his staff and his clients, Bruce states: “Within Corum we place a great value on our people, both staff and clients. All of our dealmakers are themselves former technology CEOs, having built and sold companies. They understand the technology space, and they are passionate about bringing together strategic partnerships that create significant value to everyone involved. No one has sold as many technology firms as Corum, and our dealmakers are the most experienced in the business—all of them former technology CEOs themselves, who have built and sold businesses. “Our clients are successful technology investors, entrepreneurs and executives. They are innovative, intelligent and demanding, and canny enough to know that their most important job is to continue to run their business successfully, rather than becoming entirely distracted by the M&A process.” Looking ahead, Corum is expanding aggressively worldwide, with a half-dozen new dealmakers brought on in just the last six months, and many more on the way in the future. Within the wider market, Bruce believes that “the current strong public markets helping drive M&A will not last forever, but when they slow down, the other two key drivers of technology M&A; disruptive technology trends and major buyer cash reserves, will continue creating significant opportunities for the innovative firms we work with.” These exciting new opportunities will allow the firm to continue to offer the very highest standard of service to its clients for many years to come.

Corum Group Ltd

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DragonKnight Advisors

Best European Corporate Finance Boutique 2016 Company: DragonKnight Advisors Name: Stephan Gaude Email: stephan.gaude@ dragonknightadvisors.com Web Address: www.dragonknightadvisors.com Address: Portland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5RS Telephone: 0207 036 9440

DragonKnight Advisors DragonKnight is an independent corporate finance advisory firm with an impressive track record. We invited managing partner, Stephan Gaude, to tell us more about the firm and its work in the M&A space.

As a boutique business with offices in London and Paris, DragonKnight provides clients with a range of services – from corporate advisory to sophisticated debt restructuring and M&A. Working with predominantly European mid-sized companies, its wide-ranging expertise incorporates the food and beverage, gaming and gambling, media and technology sectors. Here, Stephan describes the traits which set the firm apart in the M&A space and render it such a powerful partner for clients. “At DragonKnight we build bridges and assist local clients in trans-border acquisitions. For example, we recently helped several French companies complete successful acquisitions in Spain and Germany, and assisted a Swiss group making two acquisitions in France. “What truly sets our firm apart is our discretion. We never advertise our transactions unless they’re already in the public domain – or a client chooses to recognise publicly our role in their success. Indeed, our clients have complete confidence that we won’t discuss ongoing or past transactions with outsiders.

“Fundamentally, we are nimble and highly reactive, which will serve us well as we continue to navigate the evolving market.” “Our boutique structure also lends us critical flexibility. This enables us to stay ahead of market developments and anticipate new trends. Moreover, our industry specialisation and close client relationships mean we can incorporate new developments into our advisory work. So we’re always evolving our expertise.”

“Existing clients are the best marketers in the world,” says Stephan. “Our new clients are usually introduced by existing clients. Or else they discover us during transactional work we undertake for existing clients. These referrals reflect our skill and the dedication we put into every project.” To deliver the best level of service, the firm provides each client with a dedicated project team, to ensure their needs are consistently met. Technology also plays a key role in DragonKnight’s client service. As a flexible boutique, it is easy to embrace emerging technologies, as Stephan explains. “We use modern technology and a Cloud-based environment to keep our team united. Clients also have assurance that, wherever we are, we can deliver what they need.” As a thriving business, the future for DragonKnight looks promising. Stephan reveals the firm’s intention to remain at the forefront of the industry through impressive growth. “We’re currently looking at expansion into the US. Our clients are as global as the economy and our European clients have asked repeatedly for our support in the US. This move would create a myriad of exciting opportunities for growth and expansion. “Fundamentally, we are nimble and highly reactive, which will serve us well as we continue to navigate the evolving market. We believe the introduction of new technologies will change the financial industry dramatically in the next five years. As a boutique, we’re in a position to adapt rapidly and we look forward to this evolution. For us, it offers a unique opportunity to expand our knowledge, experience and reach.”

Its close relationship with clients is something DragonKnight cherishes, for good reason. Stephan explains that the firm is dedicated to supporting clients, whose endorsements create far better advertisements than any it could purchase itself.

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Best Healthcare M&A Strategists - USA & Best BioPharma Services Deal: PAREXEL/Health Advances

Health Advances LLC Health Advances partners with senior executives on their high-stakes decisions helping them optimize their R&D, commercialization, and M&A plans to grow revenues and ultimately improve the quality and costeffectiveness of healthcare. We explore the firm’s work in the M&A space and invite its co-founders to tell us more about the firm.

Although you have never seen a transaction tombstone published with its logo, Health Advances is often discreetly behind the scenes of dozens of the largest and most innovative M&A deals in the healthcare industry each year. In fact, over its 24year history, it has provided strategic advisory on over $75 billion of transactions for both strategic and financial buyers and sellers.

Company: Health Advances LLC Website: healthadvances.com

As Co-Founder Paula Ness Speers explains: “We are foremost business strategists. We do not have a bias to do deals as we are not commissioned as brokers or investment bankers. However, we often see M&A – both buying and selling businesses – as an excellent tool to catalyze and/or accelerate strategic moves.” Health Advances supports M&A strategies throughout the lifecycle of deals:

“Health Advances is often discreetly behind the scenes of dozens of the largest and most innovative M&A deals in the healthcare industry each year.” • • • •

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M&A Strategy: Determining which businesses should be bought and sold to support a strategy Target Identification: Prioritizing lists of prospective investments against clear criteria Commercial Diligence: Quickly evaluating the realistic revenue potential of specific targets Valuation: Developing DCF models, often with Monte Carlo simulations, to develop fact-based valuations 100-Day Plans: Based on a firm understanding of the strategic rationale of a deal, articulating a clear and concise action plan for management in the first critical 100 days of ownership Sales and Marketing Realignment: After consummating a deal, realigning sales and marketing resources and organizational structures to facilitate the strategic intent Preparing for Sale: When a business is slated for an IPO, spin-out or sale, developing the

compelling description of its future, including customized pitches to specific suitors/new investors. The healthcare industry demands the insights of a specialist strategic consulting firm. Health Advances is comprised of over 140 professionals – 60% with advanced degrees such as MDs, PhDs and MBAs – in three offices (Boston, San Francisco, Zug) to keep a pulse on the rapidly changing industry. The firm not only understands the complexities of pioneering science and clinical issues, but it has a command of the nuances of regulations, referral patterns, and complex reimbursement formulas. And the firm has invested its entire history in an industry-leading Knowledge Management system to ensure all data sources are at the fingertips of its consultants when clients need assistance on high stakes decisions urgently. “One of the most exciting changes in healthcare M&A is that transactions are being consummated by ‘unlikely’ buyers these days,” says Mark Speers, Co-Founder. He makes the point that, 5 years ago, transactions were far more predictable as companies pursued traditional product gap-filling deals. With all the changes in the reimbursement systems of the developed markets, he sees four major trends driving more sophisticated M&A strategies: • More Complete Solutions: It is no longer enough for product companies to supply their products to clinicians or patients. Payers and providers desire more complete solutions that can demonstrate their economic value and/or support risk-based contracts. As a result, for example, Health Advances’ HIT and Medtech Practices are helping biopharma clients buy ITenabled monitoring and drug delivery devices to ensure greater patient dosage compliance. • Vertical Integration: As end customers demand better value, clients are striving to reduce the costs of the somewhat antiquated distribution channels in the industry. Health Advances is more often evaluating the risks and rewards of vertical integration – in effect, deciding whether clients should go into direct competition with their traditional channel partners.

Health Advances LLC

Fewer Dedicated Salesforces: Clients are realizing that the salesforce-heavy approaches of the past cannot be supported by the future economics of healthcare delivery. As a result, many clients are asking Health Advances to find complementary products and services their existing salesforces can sell to amortize the expense. Similarly, entrants with new products and services, rather than immediately building new salesforces, are asking whether there are existing companies with the necessary infrastructures that can be acquired or partnered. Crossing Traditional Boundaries: Health Advances and many of its clients see the synergies between its traditional practices in biopharma, medtech, diagnostics, HIT, and for-profit services. As a result, the firm is currently helping a diagnostic client evaluate a drug acquisition to leverage its salesforce. Similarly, the firm is helping two medtech companies evaluate HIT and service business acquisitions.

The Health Advances senior management team practices what it preaches. In February, Health Advances sold to PAREXEL International Corporation (NASDAQ: PRXL). Rather than focusing on the economics of alternative bids, the team evaluated suitors on the basis of their strategic fit. Recognizing the driving logic, Acquisition International annointed this transaction its “Best BioPharma Services Deal” of the year. For Health Advances, PAREXEL brings an in-depth knowledge of the risks and costs of drug development that can be infused into its portfolio prioritization projects, diligence projects, and company and asset valuations. As Health Advances is also eager to more rapidly expand internationally, PAREXEL’s offices in 51 countries were particularly attractive. The two organizations are frequently collaborating in order to deliver even higher value and coordinated assistance to their clients.

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Best European Mid-Market Transaction: The Carlyle Group/Hunkemoller

Company: Hunkemöller International B.V. Web: www.Hunkemoller.com Address: Liebergerweg 28, 1221 JS Hilversum, The Netherlands Telephone: +31-35-6465222

Hunkemöller International B.V. Hunkemöller is the fastest growing lingerie chain in Europe with nearly 800 stores across 23 countries. Philip Mountford, the firm’s CEO, talks us through the company and we explore the deal that helped the firm to grow into the success it is today.

At the end of 2015 Global Alternative Asset Manager the Carlyle Group and PAI Partners reached a conditional agreement for the sale and purchase of a controlling interest in Hunkemöller. The renowned lingerie brand has been held by three different owners over the last seven years; KKR, then PAI and finally The Carlyle Group. These deals highlight the firm’s desirability as an acquisition. Philip explains the secrets behind the Hunkemöller brand’s success. “Hunkemöller is a design-led lingerie brand that prides itself on taking catwalk influences and translating them into intimate apparel fashion trends. Our advanced social media strategy has allowed us to recruit and attain over 3.6 million active member card holders who shop three times a year and spend over €100 each. This is above the European average and demonstrates our CRM program is driving profitable customer retention.

“Hunkemöller is a design-led lingerie brand that prides itself on taking catwalk influences and translating them into intimate apparel fashion trends.” “As a firm Hunkemöller prides itself on its clear vision and focus on its core consumer. Whole brand strategy and expansion takes into consideration our consumers demands and wishes and drives us through customer experience, store layout and a complete Omni-channel integration. “Additionally, the company has one of the fastest downloaded retail apps which allows us to track our customer through geo-pushing and I-beacons. This advanced technology and complete understanding of our customer shopping behaviour has allowed us to ensure that we have the product, technology and

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retail theatre to attract and retain our customers. Using a very sophisticated data-mining tool this allows us to analyse our consumer shopping behaviour and ensure that she receives appropriate and relevant customer contact, either through emails, geo-pushing, app pushing and I-beacon.” In order to continue this legacy of success, Phillip explains the firm’s rigorous approach to hiring new staff, which ensures that every employee is devoted to the company’s overall aims and objectives. “At Hunkemöller, we pride ourselves on hiring for attitude and training for skill. Our global HR Director is one of the best of breed and has implemented video recruitment across all of our countries and an employee app which allows us to continually communicate with our staff and for them to communicate with us. This app has a training tool, a news feed, our social tool, our company promotional calendar, our product video’s, an idea box, our jobsite and ‘Our HR’ which allows all staff to look at their complete HR file. In addition to this we have an on-boarding app which enables a new recruit to receive their contract and introduction program plus their training schedule which is all done with a buddy and the app has a measure of your success.” Looking to the future, Phillip explains the firm’s strategy for further growth and increased success in the coming months. “Within the wider M&A market we foresee more movement in the future, and there will of course be further consolidation and reformatting of mature retail formats. This turbulent market allows for us to grow aggressively in Europe. “As such, Hunkemöller has a clear business strategy to open an additional 656 stores and to grow it’s E-com platform to in excess of €120 million over the next 4 years. By the time we come to exit in 2019-2020 the business will have consumer sales of close to €900 million and an EBITDA well in excess of €100 million.”

Hunkemรถller International B.V.

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Best M&A Planning Software - USA Contact Details Company: MoneySoft, Inc. Name: Robert B. Machiz Email: machiz@moneysoft.com Web Address: MoneySoft.com/dealsense Address: 1 East Washington Street, Suite 500, Phoenix, AZ 85004 Telephone: 602-266-7710

MoneySoft, Inc. MoneySoft publishes software productivity tools in the areas of business valuation, mergers and acquisitions, financial analysis and fixed asset accounting and control. We spoke to Robert Machiz to learn more about the firm and the solutions it provides.

Established in 1991, MoneySoft serves a wide variety of clients. In the M&A space, the firm’s clients tend to be middle-market business buyers and their advisors along with sell-side M&A specialists and intermediaries. Robert outlines how the firm works to support these clients through the solutions it offers. “In the M&A arena, shorter deal cycles increase the chances of a positive outcome. Preparation for bringing a company to market and the due diligence process are time-intensive. DealSense helps sellside I-Bankers and Buyers alike by shortening the due diligence cycle and helping to pinpoint problem areas so they can be proactively addressed, thereby lowering the risk of the deal being derailed due to surprises.”

“DealSense provides a better way, going well beyond valuation, and provides a reliable alternative (or supplement) to timeconsuming spreadsheets.” “Our sell-side clients have observed or learned first-hand that surprises are great for birthdays, but are unwelcome guests during due diligence. DealSense helps the M&A specialist prepare to take a company to market, develop Pitch Books and generally approach the deal with a due diligence mindset by analyzing a deal through the eyes of a prospective buyer.” “For our buy-side clients, a deal is not successful until the business has been acquired and the anticipated future economic benefits have been realized— without taking on any unwelcome baggage.” “Negotiating an acquisition is a dynamic process. There is a system of relationships between price, deal terms, financing and future operating assumptions that all impact risk and return. DealSense provides a real-time feedback loop to evaluate the bottom line and financial implications of deal terms and key assumptions during the back-and-forth of

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negotiations. This shortens the time needed to respond and provides a backdrop for more informed decision making by the buyer’s team.” The firm’s clients also face time constraints. MoneySoft’s solutions help them increase their productivity and effectiveness by providing a software system that frees them from the “activity trap” of spreadsheets. This way they can focus their time and energy on strategy and valuecreation instead of spreadsheet manipulation. Currently, the Global and US M&A markets are facing incredible uncertainty. Robert explains what this means, both for the firm and its clients. “Within the M&A market currently, one might expect uncertainty to inhibit deal making activity. However, as long as capital is available, sellers will be looking to shed risk and buyers will be driven by a need to exploit the opportunities that come with uncertainty and risk of the times. “A bigger concern to the market in the long run is the decrease in the rate at which new businesses have been starting. This does not immediately impact M&A deal stats, which are slowing but remain near historical highs. However, it may well impact the rate of future deal growth. A certain percentage of new businesses formed today are going to grow into tomorrow’s middle-market deals and even industry Titans. Our concern is that there will be fewer good companies in the future pool and this can dampen deal flow and opportunity.” Despite these challenges, Robert is optimistic about the firm’s success and eager to explain the attributes which he believes are vital to a successful business in the M&A market. “Ideally, the best attribute for a firm in our sector is to listen and understand the people who your software is supposed to help. Industry knowledge and preferably experience are keys.” MoneySoft’s team has experience in the valuation and M&A market and Robert Machiz, the firm’s founder and President brings over 30 years of practical deal experience on both sides of the table and as an advisor.

MoneySoft, Inc.

“We know buyers and sell-side advisors approach the same information from different perspectives. Buyers want to evaluate risk and return of capital invested on a standalone and/or consolidated basis. The benefits of the deal are in the future. For sell-side advisors and intermediaries, success is measured by being able to effectively handle a higher number of engagements, removing as many barriers to closing as possible and closing the highest possible percentage of engagements. For sellers, financial success is measured by the purchase price package and eventually being paid without future offsets or claims.”

“However, when it comes to pricing, structuring and evaluating a deal opportunity, M&A practitioners are left with tools for performing valuations only or writing and managing their own spreadsheets. DealSense provides a better way, going well beyond valuation, and provides a reliable alternative (or supplement) to time-consuming spreadsheets.”

“In short, buyers want to make money on their investment and sell-side advisors want to make money by closing the deal. DealSense can help both by providing an efficient way to get a 360-degree view of financial data, robust analytics and modeling. This saves time and encourages a value-creation mind set.” As a concluding comment, Robert is keen to showcase the attributes which set his firm’s innovative solution apart. “When it comes to M&A software tools, the most common one is the deal room, which is an online repository and management system for deal-related documents. Secure deal rooms can streamline the dissemination of documents, eliminating delivery and printing costs, and greatly reducing time.”

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“Pensionlite’s aim is to continue to provide quality tailored pension advice in a convenient, efficient and cost effective way which fills the gap between guidance, robot advice and face to face advice.” 26 Acquisition International - M&A Awards 2016

Advicelite Ltd

Best Independent Pensions Adviser 2016 Company: Pensionlite Name: Andy Hawthorne Email: support@pensionlite.co.uk Web Address: www.pensionlite.co.uk Address: Halesfield 2, Telford, Shropshire. TF7 4QH Telephone: 01952 279 379

Pensionlite First formed in 2004, Pensionlite is a UK based Financial Adviser firm based in Telford, Shropshire offering free and independent financial advice via telephone, email and text. Andy Hawthorne tells us more.

As a chartered financial planning firm, Pensionlite aims to support financial advice disciplines to improve standards of knowledge and behaviour and, in turn, to raise levels of professionalism, capability and ethical practice. Being a chartered firm shows a commitment to an overall standard of excellence when dealing with clients, partners and employees. The service Pensionlite offers is simple, straightforward and is suitable for reviewing any personal plans or pensions from past employment as well as getting the best from your pensions when the time comes to take benefits. Pensionlite’s process, as opposed to traditional face to face advice, is more cost effective, less intrusive, less stressful and far more convenient without any loss of quality. Owing to the fact that we have provided this service for over 10 years, we know that both our initial and on-going charges are less than traditional face to face advice, whilst also providing a more efficient and effective service. Personalised recommendations are posted to the client in the form of an easy to read and understand report, drawing comparisons with what they have and taking into account key factors like charges, performance, attitude to investment risk, features, benefits and of course penalties, for them to consider in their own time before making any decisions. Andy outlines the firm’s service offering and how this helps the firm to achieve its overall aims. Pensionlite specialise in pensions of all types from an individual’s perspective. Over the working life of an individual, they may well have taken out personal pensions or been members of former employer schemes. Unless these are reviewed and managed professionally, and possibly moved into a different place, it is highly likely that they will carry high charges and have poor investment performance.”

What sets the firm apart, according to Andy, is its dedication to saving client’s money. By acting impartially the firm is able to better support clients and ensure they truly get the very best deal possible. “Our firm’s advice and recommendations are targeted to help reduce costs, improve pension performance and reduce risk. This facility is equally as important during your working life when accumulating pension funds, as it is when you want to take benefits, and ensure you get best value for money. “Pensionlite’s advice and recommendations are designed to show an individual how things could be improved from a position of knowledge. If the client does not accept our advice and recommendations there is nothing to pay, indeed the clients we serve only pay for the advice they accept. If they accept our advice, they do so with a clear understanding of our charges and the potential benefits that are specific to their existing arrangements, personal needs and aspirations. “In most cases, the cost of advice can be deducted from the pension funds and because Pensionlite’s services are designed to reduce costs, lower risk and improve investment performance it is likely that the cost will be recovered in a matter of months. How we are paid, if applicable, is always agreed with each client.” As a final comment Andy explains the firm’s plans for the future in this dynamic and changing market. “Moving forward our focus will be on continuing to fill the supposed advice gap simply and cost effectively in a none intrusive and convenient way. “Certain Pension Freedom issues are being addressed by the regulators and the big challenge is to create confidence in members of the public. Looking ahead to the future, Pensionlite’s aim is to continue to provide quality tailored pension advice in a convenient, efficient and cost effective way which fills the gap between guidance, robot advice and face to face advice.”

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Best Mid-Market Financial Advisory Firm - Australia & Recognised Leader in Acquisition Growth Strategy - Australia

Pitcher Partners Pitcher Partners is a full service accounting and business advisory firm with a strong reputation for providing quality advice to privately-owned, corporate and public organisations across a wide array of industries. We invited Michael Sonego to provide us with an overview of the company and its service offering. Company: Pitcher Partners Name: Michael Sonego, Melbourne Email: Michael.sonego@ pitcher.com.au Web: www.pitcher.com.au Address: L19, 15 William Street, Melbourne Vic 3000 Australia Telephone: +61 38610 5000

Pitcher Partners is also an independent member of Baker Tilly International– the eighth largest network in the world by fee income. The firm’s strong relationship with other Baker Tilly International member firms, particularly in Asia Pacific, has allowed it to open many doors across borders for its clients. Michael explains how the firm’s collaborative approach ensures that clients receive the very best quality service at all times. “As a leading mid-market firm in Australia, we have member firms in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Newcastle. We collaboratively leverage from each other’s networks and draw on the skills and expertise of 1,200+ staff, in order to service our clients.” Mid-market companies are the backbone of M&A activity in Australia. As acquisition targets, they represent nimble businesses with the size and scope to add significant value to their acquirers and allow targeted strategic growth with robust results. As acquirers, they are the epitome of entrepreneurial activity and possess the ability to operate on a global scale, often proving more efficient and effective than larger corporations. Michael explains how Pitcher Partners fits into this market and provides his thoughts on how it will progress in the future.

“At Pitcher Partners we always strive to continuously improve, evolving to meet the needs of our partners, staff and clients.” “While recent reports state that the first quarter of 2016 has shown sluggish activity, at Pitcher Partners we are experiencing relatively strong activity levels for our mid-market clients. “2015 reinforced the need for businesses to become ‘sale ready’ – with three out of five businesses needing to transition over the next decade or so,

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either from one generation to the next, or as part of a sale process. However, many business owners are ignoring this message, evidenced by the increasing number of firms entering the market focused on acquiring unprepared businesses at discounted prices. “In general, as investment targets, mid-market companies offer an attractive value proposition. Compared to the bulge bracket firms that are usually targeted by industry giants looking to absorb the competition, mid-market firms often fly under the radar, while offering more room for faster growth and a higher degree of malleability. “Additionally, compared to start-ups, mid-market firms are more likely to have established and stable business models. They offer a more observable market position from which the sustainability of their business models can be projected, while remaining flexible enough and with enough drive to carry through game-changing business elements like disruptive innovation. “Technology is a significant challenge for the industry, particularly in relation to how the disruption that will occur as a result of that. While technology will replace some of the process driven mundane tasks, advisors who have an opinion and share an opinion, and can provide value added advice to clients will always have a role. The challenge will be the structure in which they are remunerated for that compared to traditional models.” In order to remain at the forefront of emerging developments in this dynamic industry, Michael explains how Pitcher Partners aims to always offer the very highest quality service. “At Pitcher Partners we always strive to continuously improve, evolving to meet the needs of our partners, staff and clients. We have an open door policy for our staff, and ensure we respond to client queries in a timely manner. From the very top of our organisational structure, we ensure we lead by example. We have a strong commitment to client service and have won numerous awards

FiledIMAGE / Shutterstock.com

Pitcher Partners

in recognition of the high levels of customer satisfaction. By adopting a ‘all in this together’ mentality, we ensure that clients are treated as ‘the’ client, and not just ‘a’ client. “As part of our client service focus, we opened two ‘satellite’ offices, in Melbourne’s fast growing south east region, and Geelong in the west, so that clients in these areas could access the same services and expertise as any other client, but in a location that was convenient to them. “Not only does this make accessing our services easier, it provides tangible benefits to the client in reduced travel times and being able to attend more of the value add networking events, seminars, training programs and functions we hold and host for their benefit.”

Looking ahead, Michael provided a fascinating overview of the firm’s plans for the future. “To help mid-market Australia better prepare and be sale-ready, Pitcher Partners will work towards steering clients in the direction of planning appropriately, so that a more positive outcome can be achieved. “We also have a focus on widening our knowledgesharing focus to thought leadership articles and undertaking more research and evidence-based activities to support our knowledge base.”

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Proton Partners International Ltd

Best UK SME Lending Transaction: Proton Partners £30m Loan Facility & Most Promising New Business 2016 Company: Proton Partners International Name: Mike Moran Email: Mike.Moran@ proton-int.com Web: www.proton-int.com Address: Head Office: Life Sciences Hub Wales, 3 Assembly Square, Cardiff, CF10 4PL London Office: 21 Dorset Square, London, NW1 6QG Newport Cancer Centre: Celtic Springs Business Park, Newport, NP10 8FZ Telephone: (0) 1633 810661

Proton Partners Proton Partners International is a company formed by UK based and international cancer and healthcare specialists. We invited Mike Moran to talk us through the firm and how it came to achieve these two prestigious accolades.

Proton Partners International are building three proton beam therapy cancer treatment centres across the UK. The firm is currently going through an acquisition of an existing oncology business in the Middle East in order to enhance its services. Mike explains what the firm is trying to achieve. “Proton Partners are building three proton beam therapy cancer treatment centres across the UK. As part of our growth strategy to support this we are pleased to announce that construction of two centres in Newport, Wales and Bomarsund, Northumberland is underway and a third in west London is in the development phase. At each of these centres, Proton Partners International aims to be able to treat 500 patients annually.

“To achieve this ambitious rate of growth we have signed contracts with IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A), the world’s leading provider of proton therapy solutions for the treatment of cancer, to install a Proteus®ONE compact single-room proton therapy system in all three clinics. Our contract with IBA also includes next generation Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS) and Cone Beam CT (CBCT) capabilities. “Philips has been appointed to deliver software and technology tools including Philips’ Pinnacle Treatment Planning which delivers an intuitive planning environment that simplifies workflow. Philips will also provide big bore CT scanners at each centre.

“We are at the forefront of bringing proton beam therapy to the UK and are working with classleading providers (such as Ion Beam Applications, Elekta and Philips) which will equip the new centres to the highest specifications.”

“Our Newport centre, which will be the first to be opened, will also be installed with Philips’ Vereos PET CT, the world’s first and only digital PET CT system. Currently there is only one PET CT scanner in Wales, but it’s not digital. Philips’ Vereos PET CT is the first commercially-available scanner that is truly digital, and it will be the first of its kind in the UK.

“We are at the forefront of bringing proton beam therapy to the UK and are working with class-leading providers which will equip the new centres to the highest specifications.”

“At the heart of Vereos is a state-of-the-art detector that converts detected photons directly into digital information. It is designed to improve clinical practice, as well as broaden the range of imaging techniques that are currently limited by the performance of conventional analogue PET CT systems. This breakthrough innovation combines exceptional quality and accuracy in imaging at low dose rates.

Proton Partners is committed to working with renowned international companies in order to bring the best and most innovative technology to cancer patients across the UK and make a notable mark within the life sciences community. This will be the focus of the firm’s future strategies, according to Mike. “Over the next few years we hope to see our three centres open and begin to treat cancer patients. We also intend to grow the business organically, building new centres and through acquisition, buying existing oncology centres and bolting on proton beam therapy. We have plans to build 7 UK centres and up to 5 international centres making us the world’s largest operator of proton beam therapy.

“The accuracy of this new PET CT system means that we will produce much clearer imagery to support early diagnosis and determine which patients are responding better to treatment with follow up scans. As such, our patients will receive a better, and more sophisticated, level of care that is not currently available. “Finally we have also partnered with Elekta, a leading provider of state-of-the-art radiotherapy solutions. We will acquire Elekta Versa HD™ systems, the most modern linear accelerator on the market, as well as Elekta MOSAIQ offering a fully integrated Oncology Information System (OIS) consisting of MOSAIQ® radiation oncology MOSAIQ® medical oncology and MOSAIQ proton therapy. The Versa HD systems and MOSAIQ software will be installed at the three Proton Partners’ centres.”

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Best Global Sales Management Consultants 2016 & Sustained Excellence in Sales Training 2016 Company: Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Name: Richard Tyler Address: 5773 Woodway Dr., Suite 860, Houston, TX 77057-1501, USA Phone: (+1) 713.974.7214 Websites: RichardTyler.com SalesImmersion.com ExcellenceEdge.com RichardTylerTechnologies.com


Richard Tyler Richard Tyler International, Inc.® is one of the world’s top sales training and management consulting firms which has gained international recognition thanks to its 27 years of excellent service and results. We profile the firm and its dynamic CEO, Richard Tyler, to gain an insight into the secrets behind the firm’s success.

Richard Tyler International, Inc.® has earned a worldwide reputation for delivering powerful sales education programs and management consulting services. The firm teaches success philosophies and techniques in such areas as Sales, Leadership, Management, Entrepreneurship, Revenue Generation, Customer Service, Quality Improvement and Profitable Growth. At the heart of the company is a group of proven professionals with extensive experience ranging from Global 100 companies to business start-ups. The head of this dynamic organisation is, Richard Tyler, who runs the company as well as a diversified family of highly successful additional businesses and services. Two such examples are Richard Tyler International Technologies®, a world leader in web based technology solutions for Small and Medium sized businesses and Excellence Edge, Ltd., a motivational product company.

“Remember, your success tomorrow is in direct proportion to your ‘Commitment to Excellence®’ today™.” Richard Tyler, “America’s Corporate and Entrepreneurial Business Expert.”™ is recognized as the world’s top sales trainer and management consultant. Richard Tyler is a two-time Best Selling Author, an Expy® Award Winner, a two-time Quilly® Award Winner, a two-time Editor’s Choice Award Winner and a C-Suite Book Club featured best selling author. Richard is a highly acclaimed Professional Speaker and Trainer. Richard Tyler has been inducted into the National Academy of Best Selling Authors® and the National Association of Experts, Writers and Speakers™. Richard was

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selected as one of America’s PremierExperts™ and his philosophies have been featured in Forbes magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, The Business Journals, Sales and Marketing Management magazine, Wealth & Finance International magazine, Acquisition International magazine, Corporate America magazine, the Houston Chronicle as well as in hundreds of articles and interviews. Richard has been seen on FOX, CBS, NBC and ABC television affiliates, CNBC.com, Morningstar.com, BostonGlobe.com, Moneywatch. com, MiamiHerald.com, Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch.com, YahooFinance.com, CNN.com, BBC.com as well as other major media outlets. Richard Tyler has earned a worldwide reputation for his powerful educational methods, motivational techniques and success training. His background in sales, leadership, management, customer service and quality improvement has allowed him to become one of the world’s most sought-after consultants, keynote speakers and trainers. Richard shares his success and Excellence philosophies with millions of individuals each year through keynote presentations, writing, radio, television, seminars, books, CDs and web-based programs. Richard has authored or co-authored fifteen books with top experts such as: Brian Tracy, Mark Victor Hansen, Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, Denis Waitley, Dr. Warren Bennis, General Alexander Haig, Alan Keyes, Dr. John Gray, Ty Boyd, Dr. Robert Schuller, Jack Barry and many others. Richard’s recognition and awards include: Top Sales Trainer In The World Award, Game Changer Of The Year Award, Distinguished Speaker Award, Who’s Who Worldwide of Global Business Leaders, American Biographical Institute “Man Of The Year Award”, Who’s Who in American Education, Outstanding Young Men of America Award, to name a few. “Keeping America Strong” a special 30-minute addition of “Heartbeat of America”, a national television program hosted by William Shatner and Rear Admiral Kevin F. Delaney (ret.) featured

Richard Tyler International, Inc.

Richard Tyler and Richard Tyler International, Inc.®. Richard Tyler received the coveted “Keeping America Strong” Award for outstanding contributions to the strength and growth of American Business. This dedication includes serving as Master Trainer to students at The Center for Entrepreneurship at Houston Community College and as a council member and Secretary of the Mayor’s Office of Trade and International Affairs for the City of Houston. He also serves on the Advisory Board and is past Chairman of Be an Angel Fund, a charity that helps children with multiple disabilities and profoundly deaf children to have a better life, highlighting his focus on bettering the lives of everyone in his community. Richard Tyler underwrites the Be An Angel American Sign Language Program taught by Sheila Johnstone in Houston, Texas. The program consists of three separate courses from beginner to advanced. The underwriting allows the course to be free to any individual wanting to learn ASL so that they can communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing. Richard Tyler’s two immensely popular training programs, “Commitment to Excellence”® Sales Immersion® Program” and “Commitment to Excellence”® Leadership Mastery™ Program”, are influencing businesspeople from all rungs of the corporate ladder. Richard Tyler and Richard Tyler International’s, “Commitment to Excellence”® Sales Immersion Program®” were recently recognized as the “Top Sales Trainer” and “Top Sales Training Program” in the world when they received the “Award for Excellence in Sales Training”. Richard’s “Commitment to Excellence”® Sales Immersion®, Leadership Mastery™, and Excellence in Quality and Service™ programs have been taught at the university level. Richard is the Executive Publisher of the Excellence Edge™ newsletter, which profiles individuals and companies achieving Personal and Professional Excellence, and Tyler Tips® an on-line success E-zine. Richard Tyler International, Inc.® has been recognized as one of the top training and consulting firms in the world. Among it’s numerous honors are: International Sales Training and Management Consulting Firm of the Year, Top Sales Training and Management Consulting Firm in the United States, Best National Training & Management Consulting Firm, Best For Corporate Growth Strategy – USA, Top Sales Training Program, Management Consultancy of the Year, Game Changer of the Year, Best of Business Award - Management Consultancy, Best Sales Management Consulting Firm – Texas. As Richard says, “Remember, your success tomorrow is in direct proportion to your ‘Commitment to Excellence®’ today™”

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SIA Cream Finance

The AI Growth Fast Track Award 2016 & Award for Innovation in Smart-Data Lending Company: Creamfinance Web: www.creamfinance.com Address: Kasprzaka 2/8, Warsaw 01-211, Poland Telephone: +48 22 122 19 29

SIA Cream Finance Consumer finance services provider Creamfinance was founded in 2012 in Latvia and has achieved consistent growth since. We profile this innovative firm and invite Patrick Koeck, Chief Operations Officer to talk us through how it came to achieve its current success.

Creamfinance puts emphasis on using the most advanced and unique behavioural pattern recognition tools by focusing on relevant, valueadding data, otherwise also referred to Smart Data. Utilizing advanced algorithms and machinelearning capabilities to quickly evaluate and score, Creamfinance offers a highly customized approach to the personal loan process in a speedy and reliable manner. Keeping in mind the evergrowing consumers’ demand for service speed and convenience, the firm plan to make borrowing money online as simple as clicking one click, hence its aim to become the first one click loans’ provider to consumers globally. The firm’s clients are primarily educated individuals with full-time jobs, who are in need of short-term financing due to unexpected circumstances.

“To ensure a high standard of service we provide training and meetings across the countries, so that managers can share their experience and can agree on certain requirements.” Patrick explains how the firm differentiates itself from its competitors in order to stand out in the competitive industry it operates in. “Our company focuses on Smart-Data based scoring, which differentiates us from our competitors. The difference starts with the service execution: banks are more conservative and built on decision making based on traditional data usage. In this case, information from customers is collected partly in paper form, whereas nonbank lenders use electronic data instead. The difference between the methods is mainly reflected in risk management and service speed: due to more standardized electronic information non-bank lenders are faster and more automatized, which

translates into speedy transaction. And this award is a testament to our dedication and emphasis on Smart Data based scoring, which is something we are very proud of.” Staff are the backbone of the firm and as such Patrick explains how the firm aims to always attract the most talented, dedicated employees in the market. “Our company is young and rapidly growing, so when it comes to hiring we are looking for people who are interested in career opportunities, who are flexible to change and adapt, and who are hungry for experience. The majority of our staff is young professionals with the average age of 28, which definitely creates a very young and vibrant culture in our company. “To ensure a high standard of service we provide training and meetings across the countries, so that managers can share their experience and can agree on certain requirements.” To conclude Patrick talks us through the firm’s plans for the future, which are principally focused on growth. “We have just recently launched in Denmark, and that itself provides a unique opportunity, since up to this point Creamfinance has operated in CEE. Having an opportunity to start in Denmark gives us a strong support due to region’s focus on Fintech. Following this expansion, we are preparing for the launch in Mexico, which will be yet another great opportunity to start operating in South America.”

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Best Communications Technology Transaction: Bridge Growth Partners/Solace Systems Company: Solace Systems Web: www.solacesystems.com Address: 535 Legget Drive, 3rd Floor, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2K 3B8 Telephone: 613-271-1010

Solace Systems Inc Solace provides technology that improves the speed and efficiency with which information flows between applications, connected devices, and people. We profile the firm and the transaction that has paved the way for rapid growth and greater success in the future.

High-speed, reliable information sharing is a critical part of modern IT initiatives, from accelerating legacy business processes to enabling big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things. As these trends sweep across industries, companies of all kinds face the need to fundamentally rethink the way they collect, distribute and leverage information. This transformation presents a massive market opportunity that Solace is uniquely capable of seizing. Solace unifies many kinds of data movement so these increasingly diverse companies can costeffectively move all of the information associated with better serving customers and making smarter decisions. Many of the largest companies in the world rely on Solace to keep their missioncritical data flowing. These include 7 of the top 10 investment banks, as well as leaders in telecommunications, retail banking, transportation, e-commerce, manufacturing and more.

“Barring a multi-year economic apocalypse, we are going to grow and grow quickly – it’s now a matter of how to best use resources to control that pace.” This year Solace received major investment from private equity firm Bridge Growth Partners. Craig Betts, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Solace Systems explains the benefits of this investment for his firm. “We are very pleased to partner with Bridge Growth Partners and excited that they share our vision. The BGP team’s resources and experience building technology businesses will help Solace Systems accelerate growth and seize the tremendous market opportunity at our doorstep.” Tom Manley, Senior Principal of Bridge Growth Partners, added this about the transaction.

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“We look forward to partnering with Craig Betts and his experienced, driven management team in pursuing and achieving an exciting new phase of opportunity and growth for Solace Systems. Together, we will help Solace accelerate growth by further investing in its go to market strategies, building a rich ecosystem with leading alliance partners, and leveraging the company’s proven and innovative technology. We believe Solace is well positioned to capitalize on the growing demands being placed on technology infrastructure, driven by rapid movement to the cloud and the influx of Big Data and the Internet of Things.” The rate of fundamental change within every kind of business is staggering, and requires vendors to really partner with their clients to help them reach their objectives. Companies are migrating from yesterday’s legacy datacentre environments, with large monolithic applications running their business, to tomorrow’s on-demand cloud computing with small, distributed functions doing the same work. Larry Neumann, Solace’s SVP of Marketing, explains how Solace is capable of helping clients make this transition. “From a technology perspective our offering is uniquely capable of enabling information flow between distributed assets and services on premise and in the cloud. On top of that, we are trusted advisors to many of the world’s top companies, and given the opportunity to see across their three to five year strategic plans. This gives us a clear indication of what each market needs in terms of features and functionality, and what trends will shape the future of those industries.” That innovative technology and insight means Solace is uniquely positioned to help companies modernize their technology choices of the past, carrying them forward at far lower cost as they migrate to the cloud and implement big data, the internet of things, and ubiquitous mobility. Looking to the future, Larry made it clear that the firm’s focus is on maximising the impact of the Bridge Growth Partners investment.

Solace Systems Inc

“M&A is clearly cyclical based on valuations and economic conditions. Our recent BGP transaction makes us relatively immune to current M&A conditions, simply because we can control our own fate for the foreseeable future. Barring a multi-year economic apocalypse, we are going to grow and grow quickly – it’s now a matter of how to best use resources to control that pace.”

According to Neumann, Solace plans to continue increasing market share as a private company, and will look to take Solace into the public markets when the investment climate makes sense to do so. “Ultimately the Bridge Growth Partners financing has really set the table for our next stage of growth,” said Neumann. “Our company has reached solid profitability from operations, and with BGPs investment we have the cash we need to aggressively grow so we can own this emerging market opportunity.”

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Verdant Capital

Specialist Advisory Firm of the Year - Africa & Best African M&A transaction 2016 (Greenbelt Fertiliser sale) Company: Verdant Capital Name: Ed Higenbottam Email: ed.higenbottam@ verdant-cap.com Address: 3rd Floor, Tower A 1 Cybercity, Ebene 72201 Telephone: +230 464 1300 and +27 11 593 3109

Verdant Capital Verdant Capital is an independent corporate finance house, operating on a Pan-African basis, from its offices in Johannesburg, Ebene and Accra. We spoke to Ed Higenbottam to learn more.

Verdant Capital provides M&A advice (sellside and buy-side), and private capital raising services (equity and debt). The firm operates in two segments: (i) Financial Services: operating on behalf of banks, non-bank financial services companies, and financial services technology companies, and (ii) Corporate Finance: supporting primarily companies and their owners involved in agri-business, manufacturing, clean energy and business services. Ed showcases the firm’s latest project and the way in which it has supported its client throughout its transaction. “Here at Verdant Capital we provide traditional sell-side and buy-side services, as well as private capital raising and market entry related services. “Verdant Capital advised Greenbelt Fertiliser on its sale for USD 51 million to Yara International, the Norwegian domiciled global fertiliser super-major. The transaction was awarded M&A transaction of the year 2016, Africa by Acquisition International.

“Our strategy and ethos which have been highly successful over the last few years remains unchanged.” “Greenbelt Fertiliser is the largest importer, blender and marketer of fertiliser in Zambia, and has been phenomenally successful over the last ten years. That said, businesses of this type are extremely challenging, given sky high working capital requirements, seasonal volatility and moderate margins. Notwithstanding the inherent challenges in this segment, over the last 5 years there has been 30 transactions globally (about a quarter of which in Africa) for a total value of about USD 5 billion, where fertiliser blending and marketing businesses have been acquired by “upstream” producers of primary nutrients or global traders. These acquisitions have been motivated by acquiring “sticky” distribution channels for “own plant product”; weaker pricing and tighter supplydemand conditions may have actually provided additional motivation for these deals over the last

two years. Globally, Yara has been the single most aggressive acquirer accounting for a third of the aforementioned transactions.” The early part of this decade and the latter period of the last decade represented a golden age for the frontier economies of Africa, and for the M&A market. The historic combination of favourable macro-economic conditions for Africa began to reverse in 2013. Over the last 18 months, commodity prices have remained weak, and global financing conditions are tighter given expectations of rates rises in first world. Ed explains the firm’s view of the market currently and its position within this. “’Strategic’ M&A has continued in this environment where there are clear strategic imperatives or hard synergies, for example, in the fertiliser sector as mentioned above. However in the near-term, Private Equity is likely to be a greater driver of transaction volumes, given the USD 9 billion raised by Africa specialist funds over the last 3 years (Source: EMPEA). These amounts have comfortably exceeded the amounts deployed, creating “pent-up” deal volumes for the next few years. “These figures belie the expansion in breadth of private equity funds, in terms of regional or sector speciality and range of transaction sizes targeted: secondary buy-outs in Africa were very rare 5-years ago, now they are commonplace. Generally weak listed equities and bank liquidity are further tailwinds for Africa private equity. Verdant Capital has an exceptional franchise with the dedicated African private equity community.” Looking to the future Ed states that the firm is targeting continued progressive growth while prioritising consistency of service levels. “The firm continues to grow its transactional footprint even while the overall market in Africa has been shrinking marginally. Our strategy and ethos which have been highly successful over the last few years remains unchanged. “Ultimately Verdant Capital is a service provider to its clients and this service culture is a critical part of our ethos, and this will remain our key focus moving forward.”

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Vertess Advisors, LLC

Most Innovative M&A Consultancy Firm - USA & Client Choice Award: Best Healthcare M&A Intermediary Firm of the Year - USA Company: Vertess Advisors, LLC Name: Tom Schramski, PhD, CMAA, President/Managing Partner Email: tschramski@vertess.com Web: www.vertess.com Address: 3849 E. Broadway Blvd., #232, Tucson, AZ 85716 Telephone: 520.975.5347

Vertess Advisors, LLC VERTESS is an international healthcare-focused M&A firm with expertise in diverse healthcare and human service verticals, ranging from behavioral healthcare, substance abuse treatment, and cognitive disabilities to DME, home care/hospice, urgent care centers, and other specialized services and products. Tom Schramski, the firm’s President, talks us through the company and the services it provides.

VERTESS has successfully advised and consulted with middle market healthcare companies across all areas of North America. The firm is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, with additional offices in Phoenix, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Ann Arbor, New York City, and Mexico City. Tom outlines the firm’s service offerings. “Our M&A advisory services are primarily sell side representation, with a growing emphasis on targeted buy side representation. Consultation services are offered in three primary areas: strategic planning, healthcare business valuation, and pre-transaction value building. “What makes our firm unique in this area is that VERTESS is exclusively healthcare-focused in its M&A activity, compared to most investment bankers and intermediary firms who are marketplace agnostic. Each of the VERTESS Managing Directors has launched, built, and successfully exited their own healthcare company, giving us a unique perspective. In addition, all of the VERTESS Managing Directors have attained the Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CMAA) credential, which makes VERTESS the only intermediary firm with this quality standard in the world.”

“We believe there is a new consumerism emerging in our marketplace and our flexibility in this regard will improve our prospects.” The M&A marketplace remains very strong in a variety of healthcare verticals in the US and elsewhere. Tom explains how VERTESS intends to capitalize on this growth and its predictions for the future of the market. “For a variety of good reasons, we believe the strong activity in the healthcare market could accelerate through the end of 2016 and most of 2017 as well, especially in the lower middle market where there are many aging CEOs/owners planning for their

transition. There is also continuing innovation in medical products and service delivery, which is creating considerable investment opportunity. “Some of the highest EBITDA multiples in the lower middle market can be found in niche physician practices, behavioral health/substance abuse treatment, post-acute care services like vascular OBLS and ambulatory surgery centers, specialty pharmacies, labs/contract research organizations, and all services and products that effectively leverage technology. “In the wider industry, there are a number of trends including the emphasis on M&A professionals having a background in their area of emphasis (e.g. healthcare), the need to have a strong marketing component with social media visibility, the value of international relations, and the ability to contract with clients who want to negotiate the parameters of an engagement. We believe there is a new consumerism emerging in our marketplace and our flexibility in this regard will improve our prospects.” Looking to the future, Tom outlines the firm’s exciting plans to surpass previous targets and improve upon its already impressive level of success. “In 2015, our two primary Managing Directors facilitated five major transactions with total fees of nearly $4 million USD in our second year of existence, including the sale of Sleep Management, LLC, a national developer of non-invasive sleep technology, to Patient Home Monitoring, Inc. (PHM), a $100 million USD durable medical equipment company traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). “Based on our current deal activity and pipeline, we expect to equal and surpass our 2015 results by the conclusion of 2016. In addition, we have recently added two new Managing Directors and a new Director of Valuation/Financial Analysis Services. These new team members will allow us to expand further into healthcare market verticals such as life sciences and increase the breadth of our services in the enterprise valuation and financial analysis areas. We expect to add new international offices beyond our current Mexico City office, including Europe and Asia, in 2017.”

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Best Full-Service Family Law Firm - Singapore Company: Yeo & Associates LLC Name: Beatrice Yeo Poh Tiang Email: yeo@yeolaw.com.sg Website: yeolaw.com.sg Address: 47A Circular Road Singapore 049402 Telephone: +65 6220 3400

Yeo & Associates LLC Yeo & Associates LLC is founded by Specialist Family Lawyer, Ms Beatrice Yeo Poh Tiang. We invited her to provide us with a fascinating overview of her practice.

For almost a decade, Yeo & Associates LLC’s strong reputation in Family Law has garnered trust from the public. Beatrice has handled over 10,000 divorces since 2006 and her practice has been consistently listed as the top filers of divorce applications in the Family Justice Courts, making the firm a market leader in the field of Family Law. Beatrice provides an overview of the range of services the firm provides. “Our team of specialized family lawyers has extensive experience in all aspects of matrimonial law areas include preparation of Deed of Separation, Pre and Post-Nuptial agreements and advising on other matrimonial issues such as domestic violence and home exclusion, child’s custody and support, matrimonial assets division, wife’s maintenance and elder laws.” “We also advise clients on other areas such as family disputes arising from family businesses, setting up of trust and foundations for family, Wills and assets protection estate planning and probate and trust administration.”

“Yeo & Associates LLC strives to be a one-stop service hub for our clients where all their legal needs relating to divorce will be attended to.” “Our services provide a comprehensive and costeffective choice for individuals, who are in need of mediation, litigation advice or representation, regardless whether they are wealthy or underprivileged. Many of our clients were mainly referred to us by word of mouth from our previous clients, social enterprises, as well as by fellow practitioners for complex matrimonial proceedings.” With sheer dedication and constant upgrading of the professional know-how, Yeo & Associates LLC has progressed into one of the most established and trusted Family and Matrimonial Law Practice in Singapore.

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One major attributes that sets Yeo & Associates LLC apart from other law firms is Beatrice’s dedication to her clients. Despite the rapid expansion of her practice, it is Beatrice’s personal endeavours to make sure that her clients receive her personal and specialized attention at meetings and important court attendances, rather than channelling them to her junior lawyers or paralegals. It is important for her to see her clients right from the first meeting to understand their situation and concerns. She will then personally assess her clients’ cases to determine how best to protect their interests by drawing on her wealth of experience and knowledge of the principles that the Court would apply in determining the outcome of the divorce proceedings. Over time, the clients appreciate greatly Beatrice’s time reserved for them to meet them personally after office hours and even on weekends. In order to advise her clients effectively and realistically, Beatrice ensures that she keeps herself abreast of the development in the family law industry. This has to be kept in mind so that the clients would know what to expect at the end of their divorce ordeals. “It may be physically demanding for me to personally see all my clients these days but this step is very important to me as I will be able to relate to their situations. It is critical as every case is unique as I will be able to formulate strategies in order to present their case forward in the best possible way. I wish to help my clients to the best of my abilities” Looking ahead, Beatrice outlines the firm’s plans for the future and how it will adapt around the ever changing legal environment to ensure clients continue to receive the high quality service which the firm prides itself on. “Yeo & Associates LLC strives to be a one-stop service hub for our clients where all their legal needs relating to divorce will be attended to. For example, by creating the conveyancing department, Yeo & Associates LLC helped clients to feel assured that they need not go around looking for another lawyer to help them dispose of their matrimonial homes in accordance with the Order of Court. The clients’ stress level are very much reduced when they know that their matters are in the good hands of the same lawyers who has been with them right from the start of their divorce proceedings.”

Yeo & Associates LLC

“With the rising divorce rates in Singapore, our Family Law practice will continue to grow. However, our legal knowledge cannot be confined within the Women’s Charter or the Family Justice Rules. As Family lawyers, we have to acquire new legal and practical knowledge in the other areas of laws. In the coming years, Yeo & Associate LLC will continue to grow organically, and our focus will be firmly fixed on quality and on attracting and nurturing talent. Yeo & Associate LLC will continue to ensure that costs are kept affordable for clients. Yeo & Associates LLC will also develop other new platforms like the DivorceBureau®, a fully functional DIY divorce website for the growing number of techsavvy Generation Y clients who prefer to research the law online at their own pace and to file their own divorce applications. Even so, we provide backend advice to these clients at their request.

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187 Fleet Street

Best Criminal & Regulatory Barristers 2016 Company: 187 Fleet Street, The Chambers of Andrew Trollope QC and Richard Christie QC Address: 187 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2AT Tel: (020) 7430 7430 Fax: (020) 7430 7431 DX: 464 Email: chambers@ 187fleetstreet.com Web: www.187fleetstreet.com

187 Fleet Street The Chambers of Andrew Trollope QC and Richard Christie QC (Chambers) is a leading set specialising in criminal and regulatory work, providing representation at every level for the Prosecution and the Defence, in both publicly and privately funded instructions. Many members of chambers can also be instructed directly through the Public Access Scheme.

Members of Chambers are regularly instructed in high profile and leading cases. The set has gained a reputation for excellence in its advocacy and advisory work, offering a first class service to professional and lay clients alike. Chambers has particular expertise in serious fraud and white collar crime, as well as homicide, terrorism, sex offences, revenue cases, money laundering and all forms of serious organised crime. A wealth of experience is also offered in areas related to the criminal law, and specialist representation is offered in respect of VAT tribunals, police discipline, professional regulation, Trading Standards, Courts-Martial, judicial review, health and safety and sports law.

Pictured below: Andrew Trollope QC (left) and Richard Christie QC (right)

Corporate Crime & Serious Fraud: cases include those involving market rigging in share issues and takeovers, cartels and price fixing, advance fee, high yield investment/ponzi and ‘boiler room’ frauds, fraudulent trading/Phoenix, money laundering/

confiscation, MTIC cases involving a wide web of contra trading companies, off shore finance institutions and offshore banking evidence, VAT/ excise evasion and revenue cases. Cases include: the Dome fraud, Ikea fraud/corruption case, SFO prosecution of ‘Lord’ Edward Davenport, SFO Pharmaceutical cartel case, R v Peter Storrie (Harry Redknapp case) and Operation Amazon (HMRC’s largest ever case). Members of Chambers also have specialist knowledge and experience of acting both for the Revenue and the taxpayer before the VAT Tribunal and the High Court. Serious Crime: Murder, serious sexual offences, large scale drugs conspiracies, conspiracies to import and supply extremely large volumes of class A drugs, offences against the person, terrorism offences, bribery and corruption. Cases have included the Joss Stone murder plot; R v Davis (Conspiracy to hack SOCA and News International); R v Connors (first ever ‘slave’ trial); terrorist conspiracies to murder (Heathrow and transatlantic flights); the fertiliser bomb plot (Operation Crevice); the Tonbridge Securitas robbery; murder of Damilola Taylor; the murder of the private eye, Daniel Morgan, which is linked to the News of the World phone-hacking case, the Stephen Lawrence case and alleged police corruption. Members of chambers have been appointed to review ‘Rough Justice’/historic appeal cases and have particular expertise in this area. They have also regularly been instructed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission in judicial reviews of the Commission’s refusal to refer cases to the Court of Appeal, including in the cases of Jeremy Bamber and Kenneth Noye. Professional Regulation: A number of members of Chambers have been instructed by, or have represented regulated persons before, various regulatory bodies including ACCA, NMC, GDC and GMC.

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Active Business Brokers Ltd

Award for Excellence in Business Sales Representation Company: Active Business Brokers Ltd Name: Ian Taft Email: ian@ activebusinesssales.co.uk Web Address: www.activebusinesssales.co.uk Address: Midlands Office 65 Church Street Birmingham B3 2DP London Office 71-75 Shelton Street Covent Garden London WC2H 9JQ Telephone: 0845 459 1560

Active Business Brokers Active Business Brokers support the sale or acquisition of businesses in the corporate sector typically between £1 and £8 Million turnover. We invited Ian Taft to tell us more. Active Business Brokers primarily serve private sector business owner shareholders, particularly retirement sale situations. In addition, the firm handle group company non-core business disposals. Ian provides us with an overview of the firm’s process, using the example of a recent success story. “One recent deal we undertook was highly desirable as the acquiring company was purchased in 2008 and had reached a point where major new capital investment within the business was required to compete in the current market. In addition, the premises were considered unacceptable to attract the type of clients the business had identified as future growth potential, particularly the Aerospace and Military sectors which would involve moving the business. The target company had just invested heavily in state of the art equipment and had the misfortune to lose a major client. “The location of the target was within commuting distance of the acquiring business for staff to transfer with due consideration given to TUPE and the premises were virtually new and impressive. The acquisition and subsequent merger of the two businesses has resulted in a much stronger company and a platform from which the business can make inroads into these new business sectors that have more attractive margin business to be secured.” Fundamentally, Ian’s opinion the true test of a successful deal is the outcome. He outlines how his firm aims to achieve an outcome which meets the needs of all the parties involved. “A successful deal in our view is when both parties feel they have done reasonably well as a result of the transaction. Often where the business is made stronger by the sale which may be due to many reasons some are as follows; financial or investment, management skill additions, technical enhancement, distribution and route to market access, better manufacturing capability, improved employee outlook and new opportunities for staff within the business. These and others not mentioned are of great importance to ensuring the venture transfers into new ownership successfully creating improvements within the organisation that provide new opportunities for growth. “These all add to an improved customer experience by adding further depth to the business and broadening the businesses horizons and opportunities.” Acquisition International - M&A Awards 2016 45


ACXIT Capital Partners

Mid-Market Corporate Finance Advisory Firm of the Year & Best Healthcare Financial Advisor - Germany Company: ACXIT Capital Partners Name: Thomas Klack, Managing Partner Email: klack@acxit.com Web: www.acxit.com Address: Siesmayer Carrée, Siesmayerstraße 21, 60323 Frankfurt am Main, Germany Phone: +49-69-247 414 100

ACXIT Capital Partners ACXIT Capital Partners is a leading international corporate finance and investment advisory firm for mid-market clients and entrepreneurs in Europe and beyond. We invited Thomas Klack, Managing Partner, to talk us through the techniques the firm employs to achieve its current success.

Established in 1998, ACXIT Capital Partners offer comprehensive corporate finance advisory services including M&A and capital markets advisory as well as restructuring, debt and strategic advisory. As an independent, privately owned firm ACXIT maintains offices in Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Vienna, France and Hong Kong as well as strong alliances in China, India and the USA, which provides them with a global reach. Thomas outlines the firm’s service offering, with a particular focus on its M&A offering. “In Mergers & Acquisitions we have ample experience in a host of different situations be they public or private, broad process driven or bilateral in nature. Our firm is flexible enough to contribute in a highly focused fashion or run full execution driven processes across a variety of situations including public takeover offers, trade sales, privatisations and defence advice. “With our strong track record of more than 350 successfully executed transactions, with a total transaction volume of approx. EUR 17bn, we have proven our industry expertise, as well as our profound understanding of capital markets. Our clients are corporations, family-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, financial sponsors and family offices. While our home market is in the German speaking region, most clients are international and transactions cross-border.”

“To date, we have completed more than 350 transactions with a total deal/financing volume of approx. EUR 17bn.” As a final comment, Thomas talks us through the attributes which set his firm apart from the competition and mark it out as the best option for clients.

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“Our advisory expertise is founded on an in-depth understanding of the key industries served by our company, and a continuous development of expertise throughout our key sectors. We provide a 360 degree approach, encompassing both the operational and capital markets impact, affecting long term ability to fund, grow and steer business. With an in-depth analysis of our clients’ situation and needs and corresponding assessment of potential acquisitions, we focus on value creation for our clients.” “Our senior bankers, all of them internationally experienced professionals with a proven track record, are involved in transactions from initiation to completion, ensuring that our clients benefit from their experience and expertise at all stages.”


AKHH Lawyers

Oil & Gas law Firm of the Year - Indonesia Company: Adnan Kelana Haryanto & Hermanto Name: Andy Kelana Email: akelana@akhh.com Web: www.akhh.com Address: Chase Plaza, 18th Floor, Jl. Jendral Sudirman Kav. 21, Jakarta, Indonesia Telephone: +62-21-5208270

AKHH Lawyers Adnan Kelana Haryanto & Hermanto (AKHH) is one of Indonesia’s leading independent law firms. We invited Founding Partner Andy Kelana to provide us with an overview of the company and the services it provides.

AKHH is founded upon over 60 years of collective experience practising law across a variety of industries. Andy Kelana’s area of legal expertise includes telecommunication, infrastructure, natural resources/energy and M&A practices. He outlines the firm’s full expertise and how it supports its clients with the aim to achieve the most satisfactory conclusion possible.

“Our competitive edge lies in our ability to deliver individualized value-added solutions aimed at addressing specific client needs.”

shareholding in PT Paiton Energy, currently the largest independent power producer in Indonesia. “Our competitive edge lies in our ability to deliver individualized value-added solutions aimed at addressing specific client needs. We firmly believe that a successful client-lawyer relationship involves an investment in time familiarizing ourselves with our client’s operational needs and fostering strong professional relationships. Our competent and dedicated team of lawyers are selected through a rigorous selection process to ensure delivery of only the highest quality of work, consistencies, efficiencies and responsiveness to our client’s needs.” As his final comment Andy outlines the firm’s overall aim and how this will impact on its future work.

“Here at AKHH We provide a wide-range of services when it comes to M&A transactions, including conducting due diligence on the target company or assets, advising on regulatory issues, assisting with the structuring of the transaction and preparing/ drafting/negotiating the various transaction documents. We are currently involved in a number of large M&A transactions in the power generation sector, including the sale by Engie of its indirect

“AKHH aspires to become the premier independent law firm in Indonesia. Our focus is not to overextend or expand into too many practice areas, but concentrate only in certain key practice areas where we have already established a strong presence. We intend to build, enhance and strengthen our working relationship with international firms specialising in these areas.”

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Aldar Audit Bureau

Best in Corporate Finance - Saudi Arabia & Recognised Leader in Risk Management Services - Saudi Arabia Company: Aldar Audit Bureau Name: Farid Kalouti Email: fkalouti@aldaraudit.com Web: www.aldaraudit.com Address: Saudi Arabia Telephone: +966549424842

Aldar Audit Bureau Aldar Audit Bureau is a professional accounting firm in Saudi Arabia offering assurance and advisory services to over 400 clients. We caught up with Farid Kalouti to learn more about the firm’s service offering and how it aims to support clients with all their corporate finance needs.

Aldar Audit Bureau are a member firm of Grant Thornton International, currently ranked the 7th professional services firm globally, which enables them to offer a wide range of specialist services to clients, as Farid outlines. “With over 100 qualified accountants and three offices across the Kingdom Aldar Audit Bureau offer our services to all industries with a focus on insurance, telecom and trading companies. We offer a spectrum of transaction advisory services which include: valuations, commercial and financial due diligence, market research and feasibility studies, and restructuring. We were recently engaged to value a telecommunication company valued at $300 million and represent the seller in negotiations for selling a 30% stake in the company.” The current market conditions in the region are effecting the level of liquidity available in the market and hence the number of M&A transactions. This in turn is forcing companies to consider the benefits of Mergers in an effort to increase their asset base and presence to gain a larger market share and improve economies of scale with the minimal cash outlay possible.

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On the other end of the spectrum, Acquisitions in the Kingdom has been focused on internal transactions where equity partners are buying each other’s share rather selling to outside investors. In this fluctuating market companies need to work hard to stand out, and Farid talks us through how his firm utilised its partnership with Grant Thornton International to ensure that it offers clients the very highest quality of service. “Through our access to expertise and resources across 130 countries and over 40,000 professional we are more than capable to provide the right level of service and quality to our clients. Our focus is always to provide the right team who are able to best the serve the client needs.” In his concluding comments Farid talks us through the firm’s future plans and how it aims to continue providing the very highest standard of service. “Ultimately, we always aim to position ourselves as advisors rather than consultants. Building a strong relationship with the client based on trust and demonstrating quality service is our constant focus and will help us to achieve even greater success going forward.”


Alfa Investment

Best Boutique Asset Management Firm - Turkey Company: Alfa Investment Name: Özgür Aksoy & Necip Uludag Email: ozgur@ alfa-investment.co.uk Web Address: www.alfa-investment.co.uk Address: Yıldız Posta Caddesi Akın Sitesi No: 8 / 34. Gayrettepe 34349 Beşiktaş. İstanbul / Türkiye Telephone: +90 530 542 5985

Alfa Investment Alfa Investment is an Istanbul based boutique corporate finance and investment advisory firm, providing strategic advice on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and business valuation to mid-market companies. We caught up with Özgür Aksoy to learn more.

Alfa Investment provides creative, professional and effective local and international solutions for financial and strategic needs that arise in domestic and cross border merger and acquisition transactions. Özgür outlines how the firm’s expertise ensures that clients receive the very highest quality service. “With Alfa Investment’s expert team and with more than 10 years of experience of its Directors, our senior experts participate in the process from the very beginning and by this means, all kinds of potential problems that may occur in consolidation and purchase transactions are identified in the first

“We provide financial and operational analysis services to our clients, in order to assist in maximizing the income in company Mergers and Acquisitions.”

phases of the process and thus, the process is managed in the most correct way. “We provide financial and operational analysis services to our clients, in order to assist in maximizing the income in company Mergers and Acquisitions. By preparing integrated analysis reports with our expert consultants, we assist our customers in making more reliable evaluations.” As a final comment Özgür recounts a little of the firm’s history and explains that the company has a long way to go despite its current success. “Since Alfa Investment’s foundation, the firm, which is started only with two Partners, has completed 6 transactions in 2015 and currently serves as a financial and strategic advisor to Clients with a total revenue of 2 billion USD. Looking forward we aim to expand internationally. We are currently looking for new Partners in various regions around the world to expand internationally. So far we have sell-side mandates from Romania, Italy and USA-California.”

Pictured: Özgür Aksoy (left) & Necip Uludag (right)

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Arias Meurinne y Rodriguez

International Tax Law Firm of the Year - Mexico Company: Arias Meurinne y Rodriguez Name: Elena Gonzalez Web: www.amyr.com.mx

Arias Meurinne y Rodriguez Arias, Meurinne y Rodríguez is an award winning international tax company. We invited Elena Gonzalez to tell us more.

In Arias, Meurinne y Rodríguez we provide original, straightforward and solid solutions to the most complex litigation and consultation problems regarding tax, administrative and constitutional law for both national and international clients. The firm is well known as providing litigation solutions of cases others consider lost. Many cases that have been lost by other firms, have been successfully litigated by Arias, Meurinne y Rodriguez, indeed these cases often have been highlighted by the media. Furthermore, clients have expressed high opinions of partner Pedro Arias Garrido, calling him “an incredibly intelligent and diligent lawyer.” They added: “He has a very positive attitude to clients and cases, and he’s the kind of person you want to have representing your interests.” According to sources, partner Luis Meurinne is “a great lawyer with excellent contacts and working relationships.” Alongside these compliments, the law firm has been recognised with several awards over the past two years. As well as this award, Acquisition International, recognised us for Sustained Excellence in Tax Litigation Mexico 2015 in the 2015 Tax Awards. Legal Awards 2015 Best for International Tax Litigation – Mexico. Tax Law firm of the Year Mexico 2016 in Tax Awards. Additionally, in their 2015 M&A Awards, we were awarded Tax Litigator of the Year. We were also honoured by Finance Monthly in the Finance Monthly Law Awards where we were awarded Tax Litigator of the Year 2015 2016 Tax

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Awards Tax Law Firm of the year-México, ICFM2016 Country Awards Tax Litigation Law Firm of the Year-México, Legal Comprehensive.com 2016 Law Awards Tax Litigation Law Firm of the Year-México, ACQ Global Awards 2016, Tax Litigation Law Firm of the Year-México The firm’s tax, administrative and constitutional litigation practice is built around four partners who each have at least 20 plus years of experience in court and who personally develop and implement the best possible legal strategies in order to increase our clients’ possibilities of success. Since we participate in an average of 400 plus high-profile tax, administrative and constitutional cases every year, with some of them making even headline news, we have accumulated the experience to deal with a highly diverse range of problems. Among these include international tax issues, such as double taxation conventions and national provisions with international effect. We make it our business to understand the business of each of our clients, their goals and needs, and tailor individual solutions for each one of them. As a firm fully aware of how courts interpret the law, we are able to provide the soundest legal counsel on consultation and planning matters, including counselling before tax authorities during audits. In Arias, Meurinne y Rodriguez we create unique solutions, for unique legal problems.


Company: B.V.F.R. & Associates Address: 343 N. Charles Street, 2nd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201 Web Address: http://bvfr.com/index.html Telephone: (410) 234-3650

B.V.F.R. & Associates

Best Financial Solutions Firm - Maryland & Award for Excellence in Growth Capital - USA

B.V.F.R. & Associates BVFR & Associates, LLC was founded in 1995 by Dr K. Jameson Lawrence, Esq, CEO and Managing Member. It provides investment banking and financial solutions, and is committed to providing the highest level of financial intermediary services to small and middle market companies.

BVFR has provided solutions to its borrowers across many industries, including manufacturers, distributors, service companies, fabricators, hotels/ motels, hospitals, energy companies, restaurants, auto dealers, telecommunications and technology companies. As a full service firm, they are able to provide credit card services for every business in the United States, and can guarantee the lowest industry rates. BVFR assists both non-profit and for-profit organizations, as they face the constant need to secure debt and equity growth capital that is advantageous in terms of costs, capital structure and timeliness. Their special project financing capabilities draw upon both guaranteed government sources of capital as well as conventional sources, and are designed to meet various financial needs; working capital, equipment, business acquisition and real estate. Since its inception, BVFR has specialized in structuring commercial loans in preparing applications for the USDA Rural Development Business and Industry (B&I) Loans Guarantee Program. BVFR & Associates successfully supports the capital growth needs of many organizations across a range of businesses, industries and municipalities throughout the United States. It is

now one of the leading facilitators of USDA Rural Development B&I guaranteed loans in the country, having successfully packaged over $1.5 billion in loans for many lenders and businesses located throughout the United States. In recent years, BVFR has provided project financing utilizing the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(A), SBA 504, Rural Utility Service, Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB), Housing and Urban Development and other loan programs. The personnel of BVFR have over 40 combined years of ‘hands on’ experience in Corporate Finance. They have knowledgeable and accomplished professionals who have served as owners and managers in private and public companies, and thus provide the perspective, experience and expertise needed in a transaction or advisory environment. Financing methods include government-based loan guarantees, conventional financing and other debt placements as well as equity placements in limited cases, for when such placement is corollary to its debt placement efforts for their clients. BVFR pairs each client, lender or borrower, with a professional consultant who tailors the scope of financial services to the needs of the client with ready access to all levels of BVFR’s Management.

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Barnett Waddingham LLP

Best for M&A Pension Due Diligence - UK

Barnett Waddingham Barnett Waddingham is the UK’s largest independent firm of actuaries. We spoke to Nick Griggs to find out more.

Company: Barnett Waddingham Name: Nick Griggs Email: Nick.Griggs@ barnett-waddingham.co.uk Web Address: www.barnett-waddingham.co.uk Address: Cheapside House, 138 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6BW Telephone: 01242 538541

Established in 1989, Barnett Waddingham is wholly owned and managed by its partners with seven offices in the UK, and is a leading provider of actuarial, investment and consultancy services on pension issues. Nick explains how his firm’s focus on actuarial pensions work helps it to flourish in the M&A space. “In relation to corporate transactions, our firm advises exclusively on the actuarial pensions issues, rather than trying to also cover the legal, audit, covenant and non-pensions advice in a single sweep. Not only does this help to ensure the highest levels of expertise, but we believe this unbundled approach provides our clients with better flexibility to focus on the issues that are most important to their business. “A particular deal we would like to share is the advice that we provided to a major overseas multinational company on the acquisition of a FTSE100 company with significant defined benefit pension obligations in the UK (circa £2bn). As with the majority of transactional work, our due diligence needed to be produced at very short notice and delivered to both the client and their investment banks concurrently. One unusual aspect of our role was in assisting the potential purchaser to preagree its contribution requirements to the pension scheme with the trustees.”

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In his concluding comments Nick talks us through the industry currently, and how the firm is working to ensure it remains at the cutting edge of new developments and challenges. “Currently within the pensions space, defined benefit schemes remain a major financial burden for many companies. Even if they are now closed to future accrual these obligations will require careful management and innovative ways to reduce the risks that sponsors are exposed to through them. We continue to invest heavily in these core services to ensure our clients get cutting edge advice in this niche but important area. “This year saw us set up a new practice in the area of corporate risk management focused more generally on the risks that businesses face. We see this as a growth area for the future as we are able to combine qualitative practical risk expertise and the quantitative rigour within our team of actuaries to deliver real insights that inform decisions and change risk exposure.”



M E R G E R S & AC Q U I S I T I O N S

Company: Blacktrace Mergers & Acquisitions Name: Jaap Smits Email: jaap.smits@blacktrace.nl Web: www.blacktrace.nl Address: Hugo de Grootlaan 11, 5223 LB ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands Phone: + 31 (0) 73 640 95 71

Blacktrace B.V.

Best Dutch M&A Advisory Firm 2016 & Dealmaker of the Year - the Netherlands

Blacktrace B.V. Blacktrace is an independent corporate finance / M&A boutique. We invited Jaap Smits to talk us through the company and the services it provides.

Blacktrace offers corporates, private equity and family-owned businesses top quality assistance in various transactions like acquisitions, divestments, management buy-outs, corporate valuations, capital raising and corporate exits. Jaap provides more detail on the firm’s service offering. “Blacktrace focuses on medium- and large sized business with typical transaction values between € 10 and 200 million. These values relate mainly to international corporates where consolidation and growth funding are relevant strategic topics. We provide guidance for medium- and large business when implementing corporate finance projects such as loan syndications, mezzanine, debt and equity finance and merger and acquisitions transactions.”

“Blacktrace does not aspire to be the largest corporate full service firm of the Benelux, but instead wants to stay a specialized boutique advisory firm, upon which clients can build.” Currently, Blacktrace is observing a market that is well on its way to full recovery from the economic downturn. Investors are gaining confidence and firms are back to looking for strategic expansion by means of acquisitions and IPO’s. With this economic recovery comes increased competitiveness in the market. Jaap outlines how Blacktrace sets itself apart from its competitors. “The most valuable firm characteristic in an industry that is constantly changing is adaptability. Blacktrace does not aspire to be the largest corporate full service firm of the Benelux, but instead wants to stay a specialized boutique advisory firm, upon which clients can build.” Looking to the future, Jaap is eager to emphasise the firm’s focus on continued growth in order to build upon its current success.

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“The Blacktrace team is growing side by side with an increasing project pipeline. Since the firm’s foundation in 2011 it has grown to be an established and renown M&A advisory firm. Blacktrace is always looking for M&A professionals to strengthen the team and aspires to grow to around 20 people in a few years. We want to stay a relatively small, flexible team so as to continue to provide the quality of service our clients have become accustomed to.”


Brus Chambers

Best Corporate Law Firm of the Year - India Company: Brus Chambers Corporate Commercial practice area Name: Uttamkumar Hathi Email: uttam@bruschambers.com Web: www.bruschambers.com / www.bruschambers.net / www.brusccc.in Address: BRUS CHAMBERS, Advocates & Solicitors, Office no.12, First Floor, 27, Raja Bahadur Compound Complex, off. Mumbai Samachar Marg, Fort, Mumbai 400023, Maharashtra, India Telephone: 9757282670/9323811723

Brus Chambers Brus Chambers, Advocates & Solicitors offer a wide range of corporate law services with a focus on supporting the maritime and shipping industry. We invited Practicing Partner Uttamkumar Hathi to tell us more about the firm and its service offering.

Brus Chambers is an independent, specialised law firm with a presence in all major port cities in India with a main operation from Mumbai, and Delhi. The firm also have an US subsidiary, Brus Chambers LLC operating from three major cities. In his opening comments Uttamkumar talks us through the firm’s work in the M&A sector. “Here at Brus Chambers in the M&A advisory services space we offer the full array of services, working with external teams where required in order to provide M& A advisory spread across all verticals, with a focus on shipping and technology as this is the core focus of our practice.

“Our M&A services involve supporting clients with the execution of their deal, providing all necessary advice and paperwork as well as ensuring that the transaction takes place in a timely manner, which can be a challenge but is one which we enjoy.” Currently M&A in India is mainly internal, however with the growth of the economy many businesses in the country are becoming more global, and as such this is providing many opportunities for firms, as Uttamkumar outlines. “Moving forward, Brus Chambers has many exciting projects coming up which will provide us with the opportunity to work with new clients and build upon our current experience and achievements.”

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Bureau van Dijk

Best Global M&A Database: Zephyr & Award for Innovation in M&A Research Company: Bureau van Dijk Website: www.bvdinfo.com

Bureau van Dijk Produced by Bureau van Dijk, Zephyr is the global M&A, IPO, private equity and venture capital database. We invited Lisa Wright to talk us through this innovative solution and the support it provides to clients.

The Zephyr database provides information on global deals since 1st January 2000, so users can access over seventeen years’ worth of deal history. In addition to providing standard information on a deal, by way of the parties involved, deal values, deal multiples, source data, deal structure etc there is a detailed commentary on transactions providing a chronological summary of exactly what has taken place as the deal has come to fruition.

to ownership and corporate structures, up to 10 years’ worth of financial statements and very many other relevant pieces of company information enabling clients to gain an informed view on the companies involved in the deals. Clients can use alerting services to be kept informed of new deals of interest and of relevant updates to existing deals. Powerful and flexible analysis tools enable the data to be quickly mined in order to produce trends and analyses.

“we strive for high quality, timely and comprehensive data along with search and analysis tools that allow our clients to retrieve exactly what they need.”

Lisa explains what makes this innovative solution truly unique and user friendly.

Users of the Zephyr service can link directly from the companies involved in the deals to their underlying company information. These links provide access

“In a competitive marketplace like ours, we believe that in order to continue to achieve success, all of our products and not just Zephyr should always provide our clients with what they want. So we strive for high quality, timely and comprehensive data along with search and analysis tools that allow our clients to retrieve exactly what they need. We align that with great customer support, and our willingness to stay close and listen to our customers as their needs evolve enables us to develop our products around market feedback.” Rounding off the interview, Lisa outlines the firm’s latest projects and how these will impact upon the company in the coming months. “Currently we are releasing our third generation of product interfaces. This will mean moving the Zephyr database into our new ‘look and feel’ platform, which will enable users to meet their data requirements through an improved user experience. “Additionally, we are expanding our M&A data coverage to include information relating to the sale of intellectual property (IP) as part of an M&A deal. Intangible assets are becoming an increasingly important part of company valuation. Our database will monitor whether IP is included in the deal. “M&A reflects just one part of the universe that defines Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and in order to be able to offer the complete picture of FDI, we are also launching a dataset that expands our M&A information to track greenfield and brownfield investments.”

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Camden Associates

Best Multi-Sector Corporate Finance House - UK

Company: Camden Associates Name: Jean-Claude Gonneau Email: jcg@camdenassociates.co.uk Web Address: www.camdenassociates.co.uk Address: 27 Hill street – London W1J 5LP Telephone: +44 20 7290 9812

Camden Associates Camden is a corporate finance house with a particular specialty in international financing. We invited Jean-Claude Gonneau to tell us more.

Set up in 2006 Camden Associates was not born out a bright idea but out of recognition that the market is very heavily biased towards bigger companies. Jean-Claude outlines how his firm aims to support clients in the both large and small businesses. “Camden Associates are an advisory company. We know that providing advice is not just about producing a business plan as anybody can produce a pretty reasonable business plan. It is about providing an assessment on the viability of the transaction, guiding management through what are complex processes and the sometimes hidden issues that need addressing. It is about permitting management to keep on managing their business while doing this essential transaction which will transform their firm.

“Despite these challenges I personally am looking forward to a bright future which will provide us with many invigorating opportunities.”

“As a business we are of a size which permits us to provide M&A advice as part of a client’s firm strategy. As such we are not a large shop trying to choose and pick certain types of deals. We try and engage into relevant M&A, which means that sometimes M&A is the solution and sometimes it is not. M&A requires deep management resources that a number of medium to small firms just do not possess.” Moving forward, Jean-Claude is keen to emphasises that the future looks bright despite the current economic challenges. “Currently the market is experiencing a ‘resetting of asset prices’, in the context of continuing expansion. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, recovering economies and quantitative easing measures by the European Central Bank will continue to support strong levels of M&A activity in the Eurozone. Dealmakers looking at the UK seem so far unfazed by the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s decision to leave. The recent developments points to a continuation of this situation until year end 2016. “Despite these challenges I personally am looking forward to a bright future which will provide us with many invigorating opportunities.”

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Capital Horizons Ltd

Best Offshore Corporate Finance Boutique - Mauritius & Award for Excellence in Company Formations - Mauritius Company: Capital Horizons Ltd Name: Shaan Kundomal Email: skundomal@chl.group Web Address: www.chl.group Address: 9th Floor, Maeva Tower, Cnr Silicon Ave & Bank St, Ebene CyberCity, 72201, Republic of Mauritius Telephone: (230)4660050

Capital Horizons Ltd Capital Horizons is an award winning, boutique provider of financial services company which offers bespoke fiscal optimization solutions. We invited Shaan Kundomal to tell us more about the firm and its service offering.

Alongside fiscal optimization service, Capital Horizons also offers corporate finance services including equity raising, debt re-structuring, company and trust formations, fund administration, tax and legal services as well as M&A solutions. Shaan provide us with more information on how the firm supports its clients. “Here at Capital Horizons our corporate clientele is made up of multinational corporations and investment banks some of them listed on major stock exchanges, including Fund Managers, Payment Exchanges, Institutional Investors and Trusts. “Specifically with regards to M&A, our teams advise both buyers (purchase mandate), targets, shareholders (sale mandate) and also offer tailored advisory services to listed companies (stock exchange regulations, proven ability to carry out public take-over bids) financial engineering. “Ultimately, t Capital Horizons we understand the need for personal touch and responsiveness. This is why we are fully committed to the quality of work being provided to our clients.”

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The firm has recently undergone many changes in order to row with the market, integrating many new services in order to better support clients, as Shaan is eager to highlight. “Capital Horizons now provides a one-stop-shop service for fund establishment including coordinating advice from local and international lawyers and advisors; reviewing the fund documentation, including drafts of the prospectus; obtaining the necessary regulatory consents, certifications and licences; assistance with identification and sourcing of suitable non-executive directors as well as the establishment of the open-ended fund (unit trusts, open ended companies or mutual funds) or closeended funds (investment trusts) and underlying investment holding vehicles. This range of solutions provides greater support for our clients and more opportunities for our firm, which we look forward to taking advantage of going forward.”


Caro & Asociados

Best Criminal Law Boutique - Peru

Caro & Asociados Caro & Asociados is a prestigious criminal law firm based in Peru. We invited Founder Dino Carlos Caro Coria to tell us more about the firm and the services it provides.

Company: Caro & Asociados Name: Dino Carlos Caro Coria Email: ccaro@ccfirma.com Web: www.ccfirma.com Address: Av. Víctor Andrés Belaúnde N° 370. San Isidro, Lima 27, Perú. Telephone: + 51 1 5149100

Established in 2005, Caro & Asociados is the vision of Professor Doctor Dino Carlos Caro Coria, to create a legal practice that had its own academic center focused on white-collar crime. Through this, the applied legal standards of the practice, as well as the satisfaction of its corporate clients would be highly improved. Dino talks us through the firm’s progress since inception and its main aims and objectives. “The organizational efficiency of the firm, the legal experience of our staff and the constant development of academic scholarship and commentary, have been the main tools to achieve our purpose and helped us to grow and achieve our mission.” “Overall, the main goal of Caro & Asociados is to be the most prestigious and consulted Criminal Law firm, preferred by the professional and business community in Peru. The firm has leading attorneys in the field of Criminal Law, compromised to provide a service based on authentic commitment to our clients’ interests, a high level of specialized knowledge and remarkable professional ethics. Since its inception the firm has achieved phenomenal success, thanks to the increased experience and knowledge of its members.”

What differentiates the firm from its competitors, according to Dino, is its commitment to supporting the wider legal market by contributing to the industry’s knowledge and understanding. “Caro & Asociados stands out for their contribution to the academic scholarship in the field of Criminal Law. Most of our attorneys are visiting professors and lecturers in a number of Peruvian universities. Additionally, they continuously publish books, papers and articles in this field. Because of such proximity with the ever evolving Criminal Law scholarship, our firm has been able to develop a new practice area specialized in the prevention of risks and law compliance consulting, an innovative area in the market of Criminal Law legal services in Peru.” Looking to the future, Dino outlines the firm’s ambitious aim and how it will endeavour to achieve this. “Ultimately, Caro & Asociados wants to be the most prestigious specialist firm and consulted of the business and professional community of Peruvian Criminal Law. As such we will continue to offer the very highest standards of service and invest in supporting our professional and dedicated staff in order to achieve this goal.”

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CloudOrigin Limited

Best for Technology Due Diligence - UK

CloudOrigin Limited CloudOrigin provides buyside and vendor strategy and due diligence services, enterprise commercial due diligence and growth advice to the TMT sector. We invited Richard Hall, the firm’s Founder and Chief Executive to talk us through the services the firm offers in this area. Company: CloudOrigin Name: Richard J. Hall FBCS, FIoD Role: Chief Executive, Founder London office: Exchange Building, London, UK Telephone: +44 203 642 5715 Email: Info@CloudOrigin.com

Established in 2009, CloudOrigin has since worked on potential deals with a total enterprise value exceeding $15 billion. The firm now provides award winning technology, operational and commercial due diligence alongside technology sector research in tailored combinations to meet the needs of each investor or vendor and the specific deal situation. Richard offers more detail on how the firm has grown since inception to become the success it is today.

“Since our creation we have been privileged to advise a range of global and European investors as well as leading trade investors and directly helped growth technology firms achieve their technical and commercial goals.”

“Based in London but operating globally, we have decades of experience designing, delivering and managing the most advanced business services, software solutions and infrastructure platforms worldwide.

“As a business we are fortunate to have worked with and review many of the world’s leading technology providers, hence we see innovation at all stages from new cutting edge start-ups through to major global firms with all the benefits and pitfalls, long before those technologies are necessarily mainstream. We also have an outstanding C-level peer network in providers and end-users which we consult with regularly to understand pragmatic best practice and better support our clients.

“Our reputation has grown in the Private Equity and Venture Capital community keen to clearly understand technology trends in terms of market demand. We are equally pleased to have enabled first round funding for new start-ups as we are to have advised on multi-billion dollar global acquisitions or carve-outs.

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Overall Richard, reflecting on the firm’s success in this prestigious awards programme, was keen to emphasise that it was the company’s clients that have helped it to achieve its success.

“Fundamentally, we firmly believe this year’s award reflects the range of our pre and post-transaction work, as well as the quality of deals, clients and target firms we have had the privilege to assist.”


Corsis LLC

Best Due Diligence Provider - USA

Corsis LLC For more than 20 years Corsis has helped thousands of investors, executives and technology managers transform their technology from a risk into an asset, by providing the visibility and confidence critical to their operations. COO David Barnett provides us with an insight into the firm’s work and outlines what this award means to them. Company: Corsis LLC Address: 18 West 21st Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10010 Phone: +1 (212) 403-7080 Fax: +1 (917) 591-0687 Email: contact@corsis.com Web: http://www.corsis.com

Corsis LLC is the creator of the Corsis Confidence Index™, a revolutionary new way for businesses to measure technology risk and regulatory compliance. Traditionally, companies would spend huge sums of money on infrastructure and custom development, alongside large numbers of staff, and hope that all goes well. More recently, companies outsource their infrastructure to cloud providers and piece together open source and SaaS applications to build more and more intricate systems.

“Receiving this award validates our investment in time and resources over the years to build a game-changing model for assessing a company’s information technology operations.”

While this move toward more rapid and lower cost technology development and deployment has unleashed innovation, it has also happened at a time of increased risks due to inadequate structure, employee churn, lack of management KPIs and poor awareness of compliance and regulatory mandates. With the Corsis Confidence Index™, companies now have a platform to objectively define the health, risks and opportunities within their organization; a platform that helps transform technology from a risk into an asset. One of the key strengths of the Corsis Confidence Index™ is its applicability to the buy or sell-side due diligence process, as it was initially developed to provide private equity, venture capital and other investors with the decision making tools necessary to guide them. Since then, it has evolved to also support the Healthcare, eCommerce and Media and Publishing industries. “One just has to look at the increased threats, stringent regulatory enforcement and heightened compliance mandates to see the need for management tools to help fill knowledge gaps in organizations. This need also puts added weight on the technology component within the M&A process. The level of clarity that Corsis provides allows clients to maximize their deal value while minimizing risk,” said David Barnett, Chairman and COO. Through detailed focus and continued innovation, the Corsis platform will continue to transform technology from a risk to be feared into an asset that unleashes growth. Overall we are proud to be named “Best Due Diligence Provider - USA” by Acquisition International. Being recognized by the industry and our peers is truly an honor. Receiving this award validates our investment in time and resources over the years to build a game-changing model for assessing a company’s information technology operations.

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At CVS Health , we apply our purpose of helping people on their path to better health to everything we do.

To learn more, visit us at www.cvshealth.com

As the winner of the Best U.S. Pharmaceutical Services Deal for acquiring Omnicare, Inc., our M&A team created new opportunities for the company to extend our high-quality, innovative pharmacy programs to a broader population of seniors and chronic care patients as they transition across the care continuum.




Demotech Inc.

Best Property/Casualty Insurance Agency Service Provider - USA Company: Demotech, Inc. Name: Joseph L. Petrelli, President and Co-founder Email: jpetrelli@demotech.com Web: www.demotech.com Address: 2715 Tuller Parkway, Dublin, Ohio, USA 43017-2310 Telephone: 614 761 8602

Demotech, Inc. Demotech, Inc. is a financial analysis firm and a leader in the review and analysis of insurance markets that the legacy rating agencies were unwilling or unable to review and rate. We invited President and Cofounder Joseph Petrelli to provide an absorbing overview of the firm’s work in this sector.

Established in 1985, Demotech has been serving the insurance industry for over 30 years, providing consulting services as well as accurate and proven Financial Stability Ratings® (FSRs) for property and casualty insurance companies as well as title underwriters. Joseph provides us with an overview of the firm’s work with regards to the M&A sector.

Our least tenured has more than ten years of progressively responsible experience.”

“Within M&A activity, typically, the two largest liabilities on the liability side of an insurer’s balance sheet are loss and loss adjustment expense reserves and the unearned premium reserve. Our actuarial services include an analysis to determine the relative adequacy of loss and loss adjustment expense reserves as well as an analysis of rate level adequacy to determine the need for a premium deficiency reserve related to price inadequacy. As Demotech does not offer auditing or legal services, we are able to participate without disrupting complementary professional relationships that often exist with the parties evaluating the acquisition, merger or sale.”

“Demotech is focused on corporate growth that is fuelled by our capability to add value and find solutions that work for our clients. As such, we see the challenges that lie ahead as opportunities to assist our clients excel in their respective niches.”

Looking to the future Joseph is positive about his firm’s continued success as it strives to grow and expand whilst retaining the quality of service it prides itself on.

“Fundamentally we believe that experienced, credentialed, insurance professionals are necessary to provide the optimal service to clients.” In order to support clients to the highest possible level Joseph believes that quality staff are of vital importance. “Fundamentally we believe that experienced, credentialed, insurance professionals are necessary to provide the optimal service to clients. As insurance experts, we employ credentialed actuaries, certified public accountants, albeit nonpracticing as we do not provide auditing services, a chartered financial analyst, chartered property casualty underwriters as well as MBAs. Our longest tenured lead analyst has 40 years of experience.

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Dr. Ihlas GmbH

Best Financial Lines Insurance Brokerage - Germany

Dr. Ihlas GmbH Dr. Ihlas GmbH is a wholesale broker providing a B2B concept which supports Inhouse Brokers and Risk Managers as well as Procurement and Insurance Departments. We spoke with the Dr. to find out more.

Company: Dr. Ihlas GmbH Name: Dr. Horst Ihlas Email: Ihlas@dr-ihlas.com Web: www.dr-ihlas.com Address: Burgmauer 68, 50667 Cologne, Germany Phone: +49 (0) 221 99 383 111

Dr. Ihlas GmbH are enthusiastic practitioners and specialist brokers with a focus on claims-support. Horst talks us through the current market and the developments his firm is noticing. “The M&A market for insurance brokers normally deals with mid-and small-size deals. More and more insurance brokers get involved in W&I. In the past the law firms used to avoid W&I-policies or handled the placement of these policies themselves solving tax or environmental issues. Currently we are facing a downswing in the number of deals like other markets. Good target companies are difficult to find after a long period of cheap money.”

“Whilst I cannot predict what the future will hold for us we are enjoying the present challenges and the market is only getting more and more exciting.”

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As a firm Dr. Ihlas GmbH is renowned for its passion for research and regularly publishes, as Horst emphasises. “We share and publish regularly. That is unusual in a broker market where everyone claims to have the ‘top secret best terms & conditions’. “Research and development are central to our approach, and we are guided by old fashioned values rather than short-term management slogans or mere number crunching so that we practice hands-off management, open communication, fun at work, appreciation for clients and their needs, trust etc.” Looking to the future, Horst was pensive but excited as he explains that whilst he does not like to tempt fate, overall the future looked bright for the firm and it is currently enjoying the challenges it faces. “Whilst I cannot predict what the future will hold for us we are enjoying the present challenges and the market is only getting more and more exciting. We foresee many developments and look forward to them.”



Best M&A Software Provider 2016 Company: Drooms Website: drooms.com

Drooms Drooms is a leading provider of secure cloud solutions to the European market. We profile the firm and explore its innovative solutions.

Drooms was founded in 2001 by M&A and legal experts, and the firm is dedicated to providing innovative software that has revolutionised due diligence in Europe by digitising the entire transaction process. The company targets the M&A sector, as well as real estate, life sciences, legal professional and company owners wanting to protect confidential business information. The firm’s software offering facilitates highly secure access to confidential documents, as well as the ability to exchange them safely with third parties beyond company firewalls.

Within the M&A sector, Drooms offers a data room, a high performing software enabling dealmakers to perform due diligence faster and more efficiently. In 2015, liner shipping company Hapag-Lloyd AG has ventured on to the Frankfurt stock exchange. Data room provider Drooms provided support for the IPO with its virtual data room solution. In 2015, Drooms expanded their local presence, strengthening their teams in Paris and London. They are planning future growth in Europe. Efficiency and speed are the core values of Drooms.

“Efficiency and speed are the core values of Drooms”

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Best Corporate Banking Firm 2016 - Africa & Award for Excellence in Supply Chain Finance - Africa Company: Ecobank Website: www.ecobank.com

Ecobank Incorporated in Lomé, Togo, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) is the parent company of the leading independent Pan-African banking group, Ecobank. Ecobank is the leading Pan-African bank with a presence in 33 countries across the continent; more than any other bank in the world. We profile Ecobank and explore the firm’s.

“Maintaining their current success and working to remain at the forefront of the latest industry developments will be the firm’s focus going forward.”

Established in 1985, Ecobank is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals. The firm’s parent company currently has a presence in 35 African countries, namely: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic), Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Group is also represented in France through its affiliate EBI SA in Paris. ETI also has representative offices in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, London, UK and Beijing, China. ETI is listed on the stock exchanges in Lagos, Accra, and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) – the BRVM. It has more than 600,000 local and international institutional and individual shareholders, and employs nearly 19,000 people from 40 different countries in over 1,200 branches and offices, offering a truly global reach and an international outlook. Offering a wide range of services, including current accounts, savings accounts, online banking, investments and loans, the firm is committed to ensuring that clients receive the very highest standards of service and quality financial products which meet their needs. Maintaining their current success and working to remain at the forefront of the latest industry developments will be the firm’s focus going forward.

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Best Business Valuations Provider 2016 - Poland Company: Ernst & Young Sp. z o.o. Corporate Finance Sp. k. Name: Zbigniew Jusis, zbigniew.jusis@pl.ey.com Dominika Karsznia, dominika. karsznia@pl.ey.com Web Address: www.ey.com/pl Telephone: +48 557 70 00

EY EY is a multinational professional services firm. Zbigniew Jusis and Dominika Karsznia from EY’s office based in Warsaw, Poland, explain the firm’s work in transaction environment.

How organizations manage their capital today will define their competitive position tomorrow. In EY, with over 135,000 people in 700 locations across 140 countries, we help to create social and economic value for our clients by supporting them in making more informed decisions about their strategy and transactions. As part of the Transaction Advisory Services group in Poland, we advise our clients on strategies to raise, invest, optimize and preserve capital. Our team brings together transaction professionals across different industry sectors with extensive valuation and business modelling experience to evaluate our client’s capital agenda. Our goal is to help our clients

“The importance of valuations in deal-making sentiment cannot be overstated.”

to achieve their best capital performance, deliver value to their stakeholders and meet their strategic corporate objectives. Our clients come from a wide range of industries from telecommunication and healthcare through energy and infrastructure to banking and insurance. As trusted advisor we support not only large, publicly listed corporations but also middle market entrepreneurs by providing high profile, value added services including fairness opinions, litigation support, private investor tests, purchase price allocation etc. Looking at the transaction market, our latest survey (Global Capital Confidence Barometer) continues to find a strong acquisition appetite together with a growing inclination to forge new alliances. Prolonged economic challenges are driving investment decisions, leading companies to ally and cooperate to generate growth as well as compete and acquire to gain market share. The macroeconomic environment remains challenging. Economic growth remains subdued. Low inflation endures. Price sensitivity becomes ever more intense. Within this complex environment, disruption continues to fundamentally challenge current business models. Executives now find themselves planning for multiple possible futures. Buying and selling can be a transformative means to reshape and refocus the business. M&A remains a strong option to accelerate strategic plans and offer the prospect of game-changing competitive advantage. At the same time, alliances are becoming more attractive as companies seek new sources of revenue and earnings while looking to manage costs and risk. The importance of valuations in deal-making sentiment cannot be overstated. Dealmakers need to be able to correctly judge not only the current levels to execute deals but they also must be reassured that there will be no significant downward pressure on the price or value of assets in the near term. The need for transparent and effective business models to support company’s strategic decisions as well as robust valuations for transaction, regulatory and accounting purposes has increased and at the same time the task itself became more complex and critical for most businesses.

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Company: Estudio Grispo y Asociados

Estudio Grispo y Asociados

Best Corporate Law Firm 2016 - Argentina & Award for Excellence in Insolvency Law - Argentina

Estudio Grispo Grispo and Associates is a leading Argentinean law firm specialising in corporate law. We profile the firm and explore the techniques it employs to ensure its continued prosperity.

Grispo and Associates offer innovative and effective solutions to different kinds of enterprises, cultivating a pioneer culture base on high performance and team work, with an aim to creating results that align its legal counsel with the goals of its clients in an uninterrupted way. It possesses an excellent academic level and working methodologies suitable for both conflict resolutions and the avoidance of them. In this way, the firm offers a global vision of the business problematic in Argentina, inserted in the complex international market giving the necessary tools for the development of varied business possibilities in a more efficient way. The practice’s mission is based on the permanent commitment to provide premium solutions to its clients with a working philosophy that gives tranquillity and right support to the development of their businesses. Its competences are held in five main pillars that are the followings: reliability, offering reliable solutions and in real time. Integrity, offering a global and a complete approach to the present problems of organizations. Efficiency, adding constant value to strength the capabilities of its clients with professionalism. Team Work fostering an interdisciplinary work among its own staff and that of its clients. And last but not least the commitment

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where all the knowledge in competitive abilities increases the strength of its clients in this globalized economy, this pillar can be crystallized from the moment the office of Grispo and Associates certified all its services under the international ISO norms at the highest standards of professionalism at worldwide level. This certification was given by Det Norske Veritas Argentina as accredited unity by the Argentinean organism of certification. The heterogeneity of its customers reflects the versatility of Grispo and Associates office to all relies on high performance and results orientation, allowing you to tailor each of the remedies proposed in the business of its customers. Its key competitive advantage is to facilitate the interaction of its customers in order to strengthen its activities to make contact with different experiences and responsibilities that Great Companies and Businesses have. Some of the most important items of its customer base are the logistics and distribution, oil, telecommunications, media, health services, cars industries auto, hospitality, logging, timber industry, logging, agribusiness, real estate developers, country clubs, food, advertising, education, textile and pharmaceutical industry, security services and mass media.



M&A Data Room of the Year – US, Virtual Data Room Provider of the Year – India, Virtual Data Room Provider of the Year – China, Virtual Data Room Provider of the Year Spain, Virtual Data Room of the Year – UK Company: EthosData Limited Name: Francisco Lorca Email: Francisco.Lorca@ Ethosdata.com Web: www.ethosdata.com Address: 7, 2 Station Court, Townmead Road, London SW6 2PY Telephone:44 20 7099 2152

EthosData is a world class Virtual Data Room provider. We invited Francisco Lorca to talk us through the secrets behind the firm’s enviable success. EthosData is a global provider of virtual data room services. With its secure, simple & fast platform and professional client service, EthosData has become the data room of choice of many global law firms, investment banks and corporations, working with a diverse set of clients spanning from industry leaders to small boutique start-ups. In the last few years, EthosData has been used in some of the most public M&A and IPO transactions worldwide. Francisco outlines the attributes which set the firm apart and mark it out as the best option for clients. There is no doubt that excellence in service is key when providing data room service and we really believe that service has been our competitive advantage. It is not only about being good at answering calls. It is about having the ability to answer promptly and have the decision making power to execute the request.

“Each and every deal coordinator in the team has the experience to manage multiple companies from different industries at the same time because they have a rock solid process that supports them. Without understanding our client’s needs, clarifying our roles, executing on our promises and being available all the time, we would never have stood out from the crowd of Virtual Data Room Service Providers. Today we have an award winning platform that is run through service that no one can match.” As a data and technology driven company, the firm utilises technology in every aspect of its work and is dedicated to staying ahead of the latest developments, as Francisco explains.

We use the best security infrastructure with third party certifications (ISAE 3402 and SSAE 16) along with the best security personnel who have training in security management, have been through exhaustive background checks and have live deal experience to enable the exchange of confidential information.

“The due diligence process has evolved rapidly over the years from its initial paper based data room to the more sophisticated Virtual data rooms. Technology has greatly transformed the way in which transactions are executed, saving time and making it easier to manage multi-party global transactions. There are a number of Virtual Data Room providers in the market today but only a handful of global professional data room providers provide a service and security that is professional enough to really drive multibillion dollar transactions, such as ours.

This approach has enticed corporations both big and small to use us when they are running mergers and acquisitions or are fundraising for IPOs. Some conglomerates also use us as an online repository because each and every action leaves an audit trail that obligates compliance both internally and externally.”

“Our business has grown steadily over the years thanks to our passion for client service and strong experience in the deal making sector. Looking ahead, Francisco was keen to highlight his excitement at the future for EthosData as his firm looked to capitalise on the many opportunities its industry leading position has provided it.

“24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our Deal Co-ordinators have been selected for their M&A experience with banks and investment firms.”

“The M&A market is so big that we as a firm are able to enjoy continued growth every year. We are excited about the referrals that are coming our way from some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies in the world and keen to use these to grow further and expand upon our current knowledge and experience.

M&A activity was higher in the first quarter of the year. In the last few months the markets slowed down with a very marked slowdown in Europe due to Brexit but firms are now seeing a resurgence in activity again. Usually the last quarter of every year sees an uptake in M&A activity that runs into the new year. This increased activity has led to increased competitiveness in the market, and the need for companies to differentiate themselves. Francisco outlines the factors which he believes are vital to success in the industry.

“In addition, we are getting Virtual Data Room requests from newer countries across the globe. We see this trend continuing as more corporations get exposed to EthosData’s platform on both the buy and sell side. Our firm is in a unique position to scale our infrastructure to match the growth that we are set to experience for the foreseeable future. Our only Objective is to provide a platform and service that we ourselves would demand if we were using a Virtual Data Room for a transaction.

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Best Due Diligence Advisor 2016 - France & Recognised Leader in Company Valuations - France

EXPEN EXPEN is a corporate finance boutique specialized in Venture Capital and in Private Equity.

Company: EXPEN Email: o.younes@expen.fr Phone: +33 1 40 17 93 04 Fax: +33 9 56 52 55 97 Website: www.expen.com

EXPEN, with its team of 10 senior consultants, advises 3+ deals per month in due diligence and company’s valuation in France and internationally, in areas such as investments, M&A and build-ups. Its recent track-record showcases a unique expertise in entrepreneurial finance and in innovation: In digital, EXPEN advised Bridgepoint leading a major USD275M financial round in digital food delivery Deliveroo (UK); Banexi Ventures investing €5M in marketing software Dolmen; and ISAI investing €2M in gamified recruiting marketplace Codingame. In life sciences, EXPEN backed-up Rothschild Private Equity leading a €34M financial round in progressive sclerosis drug discovery MedDay Pharmaceuticals. And EXPEN performed several tricky early stage company’s valuations in biotech, which VCs rely on – like Truffle Capital does. In innovative businesses, EXPEN backed-up Amundi Private Equity leading a €4M investment in tethered gas balloons manufacturer Aerophile which provides the Walt Disney World in Orlando, amongst other 70 great spots worldwide.

Watcharee Suphaluxana / Shutterstock.com

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CEO Olivier Younès explains: “Fundamentally, we think the attribute that separates EXPEN from its competitors is based on our proprietary approach to due diligence and to company’s valuation, as EXPEN’s founders cumulate 20+ years of investment in PE and VC. We approach financial due diligence / valuation as investors, beyond compliance issues. We also developed a lean and simple way to share our conclusions with our clients (regardless the complexity of the deal) leveraging our experience of lectures given at UC Berkeley, at HEC Paris and at the French Private Equity and Venture Capital Association on such topics.” “In every single deal, we capture the best terms and conditions we observe internationally in VC/PE and in M&A transactions we advise, as well as the new technological trends that may spread across Europe – thanks to our continuous commitment with the Berkeley Centre of Entrepreneurship and with the Singularity University (California NASA Campus).”


fds Director Services Limited

Most Innovative UK Deal Negotiator 2016 & The AI One to Watch in Corporate Finance Company: fds Director Services Limited Name: Stephanie Osman Email: stephanie@wearefds.com Web: www.wearefds.com Address: fds House, 3-5 Tammy Hall Street, Wakefield, WF1 2SX Telephone: 01924 376 784

fds Director Services fds Director Services is a business support firm, focused on providing business owners, managers, entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organisations with valuable and trusted support and guidance to help them achieve their individual business goals. Stephanie Osman, Director of Marketing, speaking on behalf of Jo Haigh CEO and Poonam Kaur MD, provides us with a fascinating overview of the company and the techniques it employs to support its clients. fds Director Services offer a range of services that can help shape the future of their clients’ business, develop its people, facilitate growth and succession opportunities. Stephanie tells us more about the company’s service offering. “Here at fds we provide a full M&A service from the preparation of the information memorandum and target list, right through to final negotiations and deal management. “Our aim is to be a beacon of business excellence, providing key business decision makers with honest, creative and personal support throughout their journeys.”

All deals have their own individual complexities but our aim is always for a successful completion, for example the sale of Sticky Content to PA Group; after some long and multifaceted negotiations the parent company of the Press Association acquired an 80% stake in Sticky Content and the deal secured for the client laid the groundwork for a long and happy relationship for all parties. Another example is the sale of Clear Sound & Vision, a London print company, to Once Upon a Time, an integrated design company in Soho which was completed in just under 8 weeks from the signing of the heads to completion. As her final comment Stephanie provides a comment on the future for both the firm and its clients. “Over the past few years, and with the advent of new skills within the team and a growing service offering, it has become evident that we are more than just a corporate finance company so in 2014 we became fds Director Services Limited and started the process of moving away from a purely corporate finance/M&A focus and towards supporting businesses throughout their journey. The next two years will be an exciting time for fds as we start to realign ourselves with our customers and really begin to share with the business community the expert help and guidance we know we have in house. Our new marketing strategy focuses on the trusted and valued resources we can provide for businesses as we realise that customer value lies not in what you can do but why you do it. Ultimately we want UK businesses to succeed. We know entrepreneurs, owner managed and family businesses are the backbone of the British economy and we want to provide a trusted and valuable resource that can help them succeed and will support their business journey.”

Jo and Poonam pictured left

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Financiere de Courcelles

Best Cross-Border Deal Team - France

Financiere de Courcelles Financiere de Courcelles (FDC) is an independent corporate finance advisory firm based in France with an international presence. We invited Managing Director and Cross Border Deal Maker Véronique Zeid-Maurel and CEO Dominique Auburtin to tell us more.

Company: Financiere de Courcelles Address: 63, avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt 75008 Paris – France Phone: (33) 1 78 42 88 88 Fax.: (33) 1 78 42 88 90 Email: info@ financieredecourcelles.fr Website: www.financieredecourcelles.fr

Founded in 1928, Financiere de Courcelles is one of the longest established independent mid-market M&A advisory firms in France. Véronique talks us through the firm’s history and how it draws on the experience it has gained over the past 88 years in everything it does. “Throughout FDC’s history, we have built a track record of over 1,000 transactions. Most of these transactions have been completed on the sellside assisting our clients, shareholders of leading groups and SME companies including Private Equity players. We also assist acquisitive clients in France or abroad.” FDC is also a founding member of Global M&A Partners, a partnership of over 35 independent corporate finance advisory firms with over 300 professionals in more than 40 countries. Its worldwide network of contacts and research capability ensures global coverage of the entire buyer/seller universe for the firm’s clients. FDC’s links with Global M&A Partners are extremely close, and Dominique Auburtin, CEO of FDC, is also Chairman of Global M&A Partners.

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Together with the other members of the Board of Owners, and with the assistance of a dedicated FDC team including two FDC’s Managing Directors, he coordinates, develops and provides guidance to this global organization. On a daily basis, FDC team members cooperate with Global M&A Partners teams. As an example, Noel Forgeard, former CEO of Airbus, is not only FDC’s Aerospace and Defence team leader, he is also head of Global M&A Partners’ Aerospace and Defence sector team. Ultimately, although FDC is a generalist M&A advisory firm, it has developed industry skills with dedicated teams in a number of sectors including aerospace and defence; automotive; education and training; financial institutions; healthcare; and marketing and communication, among many others. By offering such a broad range of expertise the firm is able to support clients across the corporate landscape, and moving forward, its focus will continue to be providing the highest quality of service and support to clients from around the world and across sectors.


FineHeart SA

Award for Innovation in Cardiovascular Space & Most Anticipated Med-Tech Development: FineHeart Company: FINEHEART SA Phone: +33 5 57 10 28 90 Email: arnaud.mascarell@ fine-heart.com Website: http://fine-heart.com/

fineHeart SA FineHeart is a French medical device company focused on creating innovative technologies in the cardiovascular space. We profile the firm and its innovative solutions.

FineHeart was founded by a team of four internationally renowned cardiac surgeons and cardiologists, led by Dr. Stéphane Garrigue (ICOMS Inventor) and Dr. Philippe Ritter, coinventor of cardiac resynchronization therapy, with a vision of making a miniaturized, fully implantable, pulsatile circulatory support system that would overcome many of the challenges associated with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) currently on market. The overarching goal is to restore normal cardiac output and allow heart failure patients to return to a normal quality of life. Recently the company raised 6.41 million euro in a Series A financing. These funds are being used to develop the firm’s latest product, the ICOMS. This patented FineHeart invention, the ICOMS (Implantable Cardiac Output Management System) is a novel, wirelessly powered, fully implantable mechanical circulatory support device that is able to optimize cardiac output while preserving the heart’s innate contractility. It is a game changing therapy for long term circulatory assistance in severe heart failure patients.

The founding scientists and clinicians have been joined by four managers with specific expertise in the medical device industry, led by Arnaud Mascarell (CEO), who will aim to lead the firm to future success. Arnaud Mascarell, CEO of FineHeart, commenting on the funding announcement, said: “Our ability to raise this level of funding reflects the significant commercial potential of ICOMS for the treatment of heart failure, the second leading cause of mortality in G20 countries. The ICOMS next generation therapy will not only compete with existing devices but will also extend to currently unaddressed heart failure populations. With the funding we have announced today we will be able to finalize device development, complete our preclinical validation and be prepared to launch first-in-man studies.”

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Firefly Partners

Best for Management Due Diligence - UK Company: Firefly Partners Name: Rona Posselt Email: rona@fireflypartners.co.uk Phone: 01491 683740 / 07717537018 Web: www.fireflypartners.co.uk

Firefly Partners With over 10 years’ experience dedicated to mid-market private equity, Firefly Partners works with investors to provide senior level executive search, management due diligence and origination support. We caught up with Rona Posselt to find out more.

“We have developed a reputation we are extremely proud of, working with some of the most established and well regarded investors in the UK mid-market.�

Here at Firefly Partners we have a genuine understanding of the unique dynamics of the private equity environment, coupled with deep sector knowledge and extensive networks. Our collaborative approach means we operate as a trusted advisor throughout the lifecycle of the deal process, providing much needed knowledge and solutions to give our clients that all-important angle in a highly competitive environment. We have extensive experience across a wide variety of sectors, notably business services; financial services; industrial; leisure and consumer; energy; and TMT. Our focus is on developing deep relationships with our clients, often working with them for many years on a retained basis. This enables us to develop a real understanding of their individual investment approach, sector focus and house culture, allowing us to subtly market our clients and persuade management to engage. We have developed a reputation we are extremely proud of, working with some of the most established and well regarded investors in the UK mid-market. We operate with discretion and integrity, adding genuine value and provide a flexible, responsive and effective solution.

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One of our core practice areas is Management Due Diligence. Ranging from in-depth referencing of one person to spending time with the whole management team, our award winning Management Due Diligence delivers thorough, insightful and timely appraisals of those you are seeking to back, forming an integral part of your overall due diligence process. We will undertake rigorous interviews with the team and external referees, before presenting a comprehensive report with our assessment of the key issues. In addition to highlighting strengths and weaknesses, our reports can also bring to light skills gaps, conflict, dysfunction and personal agendas, helping the potential investor to better understand the team dynamic and address possible risks. We can also undertake discrete enquiries gauging market views at an earlier stage, perhaps addressing delicate issues such as potential corruption. Experienced across the spectrum of investments we are familiar with the often sensitive challenges involved in dealing with management teams going through huge change and cultural upheaval. Our due diligence can also be used as an opportunity for Firefly to subtly market you as the preferred investor, or to assess potential overlap and power battles of an acquisition by an existing portfolio business.


Franzen & Co.

Swiss Cross Border M&A Advisor of the Year & Most Innovative Swiss M&A Advisor of the Year Company: Franzen & Co. Name: Marcel Franzen Email: advice@franzen.com Website: www.franzen.com Address: Stockerstrasse 6 8002 Zurich - Switzerland Telephone: +41 44 389 8000

Franzen & Co. Franzen & Co. is an independent entrepreneurial Swiss M&A and corporate finance advisory firm based in Zurich. We profile the firm and showcase its innovative methods which have led it to its current success.

Franzen & Co., founded in 2013, was mandated and successfully executed a number of very notable cross-border transactions, many of which were the result of complex carve-outs and corporate divestitures. The firm’s team members - in their current or former positions as financial advisors at globally leading investment banks or business leaders - originated and executed over 50 complex cross-border public and private M&A transactions, as well as over 25 IPOs, capital raises, rights issues and sell-downs in the public capital markets globally. Evidenced by its deep track record and long list of successful executions, Franzen & Co. delivers tailor-made and value creating solutions for its clients. The firm provides objective financial advice and is free from inherent conflicts of competing interest, which can arise from multi-product, integrated platforms. Franzen & Co. serves one or two clients per sector with compatibility – hence it avoids any potential conflicts of interest. The core of Franzen & Co.’s business is a trusted long-term client relationship.

What sets Franzen & Co. apart is that it has access to a global network and expertise, both at a formal and at an informal level. The firm also maintains ad-hoc strategic partnerships with various global investment banks, strategy consultants, institutional investors and family offices. Ultimately, as entrepreneurs the team of Franzen & Co. is perfectly aligned with the objectives and purpose of the owners and executives the firm advises, often on the most mission critical transactions and projects. As business owners and advisors, the team does not pursue quick wins or takes short cuts in the advice it provides to the firm’s clients. Its flexible operating structure ensures that no mandate is too large or too small. The firm is nimble, effective and has a track record in providing thorough advice and comprehensive support to listed globally active multibillion dollar enterprises as well as privately held family businesses.

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Best M&A Law Firm 2016 - Senegal

GENI & KEBE For over a century, GENI & KEBE has been providing legal services to those interested in establishing business in sub-Saharan Africa. We invited Mouhamed Kebe to talk us through the changes the firm has undergone since inception. Company: GENI & KEBE Name: Mouhamed Kebe Email: info@gsklaw.sn Web: www.gsklaw.sn Address: 47 Boulevard de la Republique, Dakar, Senegal Telephone: +221 338211916

GENI & KEBE are a full-service commercial law firm with a team of internationally qualified and experienced lawyers. Mouhamed provides more details on the services the firm offers, specifically with regards to M&A. “Here at GENI & KEBE, we support clients through all stages of M&A transactions in Africa, from concept to execution. We act for clients on issues such as the acquisition of domestic assets by foreign-owned companies, consolidation of assets upon a merger and share transfers to facilitate changes of ownership.

“Here at GENI & KEBE, we support clients through all stages of M&A transactions in Africa, from concept to execution.”

“Our head office is located in Dakar, Senegal and we have affiliates offices in 15 regional countries. We work both with international and domestic investors as they progress their projects, as well as collaborating with many of the development partners in the region, such as embassies, multilateral organisations and NGOs.” As a final comment Mouhamed adds that whilst the current market in Africa might seem tough, his firm are optimistic about what is to come. “Rather than challenges, we are observing a market with many opportunities. 17 countries in the region (known as the “OHADA” states from the French phrase meaning “the Organisation for the harmonisation in Africa of business laws”) share common business laws, facilitating cross border transactions and encouraging domestic and foreign investment. Infrastructure considerations, such as electricity supply, are improving and with increased economic growth in the region also comes increased consumerism. It is a great time to be looking at what partnerships with African entities can offer. “We have a saying in our office: “To us, Africa is not a continent, it is our home”. I strongly believe that being home-grown, with our hearts committed to a developing a strong African economy and society for our children, is the most powerful driver in providing excellent services to our clients. We feel privileged that our studies and careers have allowed us to understand and operate in different jurisdictions; but the focus of our work will always be to support our clients with their African business goals. “Overall, Africa is an amazing part of the world on the cusp of being the new frontier for investment. GENI & KEBE plans to be riding on the top of that wave, in partnership with our clients and colleagues who recognise its potential. Building on our 100 years of experience, we will continue to grow and provide excellent services to our clients.”

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Gilson Gray LLP

Best M&A Law Firm - Scotland

Gilson Gray LLP

Name: Derek Hamill, Partner, Head of Corporate Company: Gilson Gray LLP DD: +44 (0) 141 530 2021 Mobile: +44 (0) 7973 924333 Email: dhamill@gilsongray.co.uk Website: www.gilsongray.co.uk

Gilson Gray is a full service law firm with offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow. One of the largest law firm launches in Scottish history, Gilson Gray offers specialist legal, property and financial services, the firm is now in its third year. We spoke to Partner Derek Hamill, the firm’s Head of Corporate, about the business and how its approach to providing clients with the best possible service has been recognised with two consecutive awards for Excellence in Corporate Law.

Gilson Gray is different. Rather than having “partner led” teams where the partner oversees junior staff, their work is “partner-delivered”. The Gilson Gray partners are actively involved in the delivery of services to their clients. This ensures that the firm’s clients receive advice from accredited specialists and award winning individuals, committed to providing an excellent client experience. This has allowed the corporate team to deliver some exceptional transactions, including: • advising on one of the UK’s first Employee Ownership Trusts for Mike Stoane Lighting Limited (a multinational lighting supplier); • advising Sunamp Limited (developer of innovative solar heat batteries) on funding, including a recent £3.2M funding round in April this year; and

“This breadth and depth of commercial and corporate experience has led to the firm winning Acquisition International Magazine’s “Award for Excellence in Corporate Law – Scotland” in 2015 and now “Best M&A Law Firm – Scotland” in 2016.” •

advising on over 150 MW of ground mounted photovoltaic solar projects including advising the developer on the former RAF Coltishall Solar farm development in Norfolk. This project is believed to be the third largest installed capacity project in the UK (approximately 55 MW) and the initial deployment of approximately 34 MW is believed to be the fastest large-scale solar installation in Europe.

We believe that our clients deserve straight talking, friendly advisors that understand and care about their objectives. Furthermore, we provide the same full service and technical expertise as any of the largest law firms in Scotland. However, we believe that we offer a more cost effective solution. Many of our lawyers are dual qualified in both Scottish and English law and advise on a range of international matters. Most recently our corporate team has advised on Scots and English law contracts in India, France, the Middle East, Thailand, Vietnam, China and the USA. This breadth and depth of commercial and corporate experience has led to the firm winning Acquisition International Magazine’s “Award for Excellence in Corporate Law – Scotland” in 2015 and now “Best M&A Law Firm – Scotland” in 2016. Our vast service offering includes; Corporate Law, Banking Law, Business Restructuring & Recovery, Commercial Litigation, Commercial Property/Real Estate Law, Construction & Engineering, Debt Recovery, Employment Law, Renewable Energy Law, Estate Agency and Letting, Financial Services (including investment, mortgages, protection, pension and tax planning), Insolvency, International Arbitration, Family Law, Private Client Law, Private Litigation, Residential Conveyancing and Solicitor Advocacy. Since inception Gilson Gray has developed a significant market presence with numerous appointments across both office locations in Edinburgh and Glasgow. In addition, Gilson Gray acquired two financial advisory businesses in the East and West of Scotland, taking assets under management to over £100M. As such the firm has an exciting future ahead of it and we look forward to the opportunities our new acquisitions will bring.

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Harmoney Limited

Best Peer-to-Peer Money Lending Company - New Zealand

Harmoney Limited Harmoney is a P2P lending marketplace where anyone can lend money to and borrow money from other people. We invited Monica Mathis, Harmoney’s GM, to tell us more.

Company: Harmoney Name: Monica Mathis Email: Monica.Mathis@ harmoney.co.nz Web: http://harmoney.co.nz Address: 308 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland 1052, New Zealand Telephone: +64 21 570 352

Harmoney is not unique in that it enables the lending of money to ordinary people, however the firm’s innovative role is to administer the marketplace and act as an intermediary between Borrowers and Lenders so that anonymity is protected. Monica explains how this pioneering money lending solution is changing the market. “At Harmoney we believe that Peer-to-Peer only works if you are 100% honest and transparent at all levels of operation. We provide our Lenders with regular monthly updates, including any interest earned, Borrower demographics, and losses. We publish all this information on our publicfacing website, so even non-customers can make informed decisions before creating an account. For Borrowers, we list all our fees right up-front, and we don’t have any hidden fees or costs along the way. “As a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending marketplace, we have disrupted the traditional finance market by using technology to minimize the cost of financial intermediation and passing the benefits to our customers.”

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This has enabled Lenders on the Harmoney platform to achieve remarkable returns of over 13% p.a. net of losses and taxes, versus the New Zealand Official Cash Rate (OCR) of 2.25%. And for Harmoney Borrowers, they benefit from a risk rated Annual Percentage Rate (APR) from 9.99% for an unsecured personal loan – a leading rate in the New Zealand market. But Harmoney are not sitting on their laurels; to date they have invested over $30 million in their platform, with an in-house tech team constantly working to optimise and develop their systems. “We’re a relatively new industry, and we need to be nimble in order to stay ahead of the latest developments,” adds Monica. Looking to the future, Monica expressed optimism about the firm’s potential growth and continued success. “We are constantly innovating and bringing new products to market. We are currently beta testing our marketplace in the Australian market and will be working hard to ensure we deliver best in class value to borrowers and lenders across the Tasman.”


Hines Associates Limited

AI Corporate Strategist of the Year - UK & FinServ Dealmaker of the Year 2016

Hines Associates Richard Hines of Hines Associates Limited, an independent corporate finance services firm, speaks to AI magazine about the industry.

Company: Hines Associates Limited Name: Richard Hines Email: richard@ hinesassociates.com Web: www.hinesassociates.com Address: 64 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7JF Telephone: 0207 590 3072

Hines Associates, based in London, provides specialist corporate finance advice to financial services companies. Founded in 2002, the team comprise experienced M&A bankers trained by the global investment banks. “We work primarily on deals concerning UK financial services companies,” explains Richard. “However, we frequently represent international buyers looking to invest in the UK and UK companies looking for international investors. We are increasingly working with private equity firms both on the buy and sell side.”

“In short we protect our clients’ interests all the way from initial decision-making on timing and strategy to completion.”

Hines Associates not only helps its clients to buy and sell business, it also helps UK companies raise equity and debt capital, as well as resolving complex shareholder issues. “We are currently working on a number of deals involving Far Eastern and US investors seeking to invest in UK financial services. London is a global hub and we expect it to remain so.” Hines Associates is a full service M&A advisory firm and Richard tells us more about the attributes needed in order for the company to stand out from the competition and provide the best possible service it can to its clients. “The depth of our service and the fact that we put two partners on each transaction or advisory mandate ensures we differentiate ourselves,” he states. “In short we protect our clients’ interests all the way from initial decision-making on timing and strategy to completion.” “We invest significant time in understanding the business models of our clients and the reasons for their success. Given the breadth of our clients and contacts, we see positive and negative trends early and can help our clients position themselves to benefit. “We do not simply hand off the sale and purchase agreement to law firms and the balance sheet and net debt calculations to accounting firms. We thereby protect our clients’ interests and save them money. We have significant repeat business.” Despite the current political uncertainty, Richard believes the future holds great things for both the industry and the firm. “We think the UK will continue to be the global centre for financial services given its time zone, language and resources. In return UK businesses, such as ours, will have to spend more time travelling the Far East and the US. This is where the trade flows are, and have been, for some years. Brexit just makes this a bit more obvious.” “Hines Associates is contemplating setting up an office in Hong Kong to get closer to the Chinese market.”

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IIZI Firstbrokers Oy

Best Insurance Brokerage - Finland & Recognised Leader in Financial Risk Strategy - Finland

IIZI Firstbrokers Oy IIZI Firstbrokers Oy is the oldest Finnish insurance broker, established in 1989 and today service more than 300 multinational companies in employee benefits and property and casualty lines. We invited Jaava Myllyniemi to talk us through the firm and how it came to achieve this market leading success. Company: IIzi Firstbrokers Oy Name: Jaava Myllyniemi Email: jaava.myllyniemi@iizi.fi Blog: insurancefinland.fi Web: www.iizibrokers.fi Address: Vattuniemenkuja 4E, 4th Floor, 00210 Helsinki Telephone:+358 400 536203

IIZI Firstbrokers takes care of its customers’ business insurance matters from start to finish and is pro-active on attending to clients’ needs, as Jaava is eager to emphasise. “Here at IIZI Firstbrokers we act as risk advisor for matters relating to insurance and audit risks from the beginning. Our customers do not need to use much of their time to administer their own insurance because we handle the necessary paperwork and send the policy documents accordingly. “Each of our customers are recorded in our system to allow us constantly monitor their needs for insurance solutions. We audit clients internally in teams and communicate proactively also with carriers and network brokers.”

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Ultimately, what sets the firm apart, according to Jaava, is its independent yet collaborative approach. “Independently owned and managed but belonging to IIZI Group companies in the Baltics, it is one of the largest insurance brokers in the region with more than 100 employees and over 10 000 corporate clients. As a member of Worldwide Broker Network we are providing trustworthy crossborder collaboration with 107 partners around the world every day. We also welcome other networks who work with us like Brokerslink, FUNK alliance and many others who wish to have a different and boutique service. “Currently the broker market is in turmoil, yet this has always been the case, and as such we are keen to undertake M&A transactions in the future in order to build upon our current success.”


Imprima (iRooms)

Best European VDR Service Provider 2016 Company: Imprima iRooms Name: Darren Levy Email: Darren.levy@imprima.com Web: www.imprima.com Address: 99 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3XD Telephone: +44 203 693 8000

Imprima (iRooms) iRooms from Imprima is an industry-leading solution in managing highly confidential M&A, online due-diligence and real estate transactions. We invited Darren Levy to provide us with an absorbing overview of this revolutionary solution.

Imprima has been successfully delivering highly secure solutions to its customers since it was founded over 100 years ago. In 2001, Imprima launched its iRooms Virtual Data Room solution, which has since become a market-leading data room service. Darren talks us through the solution and how it works: “As industry pioneers, we provide data rooms to the world’s leading organisations and have helped execute deals worth an aggregate value of over £5 trillion, in over 160 countries worldwide.

“As industry pioneers, we provide data rooms to the world’s leading organisations and have helped execute deals worth an aggregate value of over £5 trillion, in over 160 countries worldwide.”

“What really sets the solution apart is that it is truly secure and completely reliable. Our clients need to be able to rely on our platform and service 24/7/365. iRooms consistently achieves an uptime of 99.9% or above. We are always at your disposal if you need help, and we continuously invest in our technology to enhance security, reliability, and ease of use.” There is a changing trend in the industry from “full service” data rooms to “do it yourself”, but as Darren highlights, the area in which Imprima have had considerable success is delivering the highest level of service to those that are not comfortable with technology whilst having a platform that is easy to use for those who want to do everything by themselves. “Fundamentally, our iRooms VDR platform concentrates on ease of use, with a completely plug-in free environment for both users and deal managers. We use the most up-to-date technology and processes, ensuring a seamless user experience combined with an easy-to-use interface.” Looking ahead, Darren expressed his optimism for an exciting and opportunity-laden future for the firm. “Imprima is looking to expand its presence throughout Europe and the US. We are an agile company that will adapt quickly to a changing market and are constantly focused on ensuring that we are using the most up-to-date, secure technology in the industry.” In his final comments Darren was eager to emphasise his pride at the firm’s success, which highlights Imprima’s commitment to client support and technological innovation. “It is a great honour to receive the Best European VDR Service Provider 2016 award. It gives us great satisfaction knowing that our hard work and determination in making our service offering the best in the industry has been recognised by our peers.”

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Award for Excellence in Secure Document Sharing 2016 Name: Intralinks Website: www.intralinks.com

Intralinks Trusted globally for more than 20 years, Intralinks bring collaboration and document sharing that is safe, secure, compliant and fully auditable. We invited Philip Whitchelo, Vice President, Strategy and Product Marketing at Intralinks to talk us through the firm and the services it provides.

“We set our clients free to do more, with greater productivity, and without worry.”

Established in 1996 to provide revolutionary sharing and collaboration technology Intralinks continues to lead this technology area. Philip outlines how the firm has developed its service offering since inception in order to better serve its clients. “From M&A to clinical trials to oil and gas, there is an Intralinks solution for everyone, offering absolute control whilst simultaneously freeing up their valuable time. From our beginnings in the finance sector to our current breadth of offerings, we provide matchless, bank-grade security married to intuitive and elegant user-friendly interfaces. “Central to our solutions is that we give our clients complete control over their valuable information and content, even after they have shared files outside their network or organization. We set our clients free to do more, with greater productivity, and without worry.

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“Since we started in 1996 we have worked with all manner of organizations including financial services, life sciences, high technology, oil and gas, and manufacturing.” Ultimately, it is the firm’s dedication to excellence which differentiates the firm, and this is embodied in its mission, as Philip describes in his final comments. “Here at Intralinks our mission is to liberate people, businesses and organizations to do more, wherever they are, through absolute control over their highvalue information. Over 2.2 billion pages have been uploaded to our platform and supported more than $31.3 trillion in financial transactions. 99% of the Fortune 1000 have used Intralinks.”


Jubilant Kenya Ltd

Credit Lending Firm of the Year - Kenya & Best for Business Loans - Kenya

Jubilant Kenya Ltd Jubilant Kenya Ltd (JKL) was founded upon the principle that microfinance should primarily exist to serve the needs of the poor. CEO Cyprian Kilonzo tells us more.

Company: Jubilant Kenya Ltd Name: Cyprian Kilonzo (CEO) Phone: (+254) 723 800 549 Web: www.jubilantkenya.com Email: cyprian.kilonzo@ jubilantkenya.com info@jubilantkenya.com Head office: Mombasa - Jubilant Innovation Centre Old Mugoya Estate Suite no 8, Beach Road, Nyali P.O. BOX 81837-80100

Jubilant Kenya was established in 11th May, 2012 with a vision of transforming lives through customized financial and economic empowerment services. Cyprian outlines the firm’s inception and how it has grown since then into the success it is today. “Jubilant Kenya Ltd operates a highly effective model, 80:20 that is conducive to high growth and social impact. Our model is highly scalable since we operate the group lending model with a focus on rural communities; this attracts a large customer base at low cost. It’s a unique model having 80% of our clients being in the rural areas and serving the 20% in the urban areas. Our target market is the micro entrepreneurs and the poor. The goal is to reach the financially marginalized people through flexible financial services to fit their needs, for example in areas with poor road infrastructure. “We offer financial solutions to our clients; the financial products include business loans, renewable energy loans, agri-business loans, special needs loans, education, savings and Investments. Jubilant endeavours to become the most innovative financial service provider in Africa and beyond, incorporating sound Christian principles and values throughout its operation. This

is reflected through a strategic partnership with JCCMI (JCC Ministry International) as one of its key shareholders as well as having a Christian board of directors from a variety of backgrounds. The church investing in Jubilant enables for the establishment of a Christian bank.” Offering a final comment, Cyprian explained how current projects would affect the firm’s future. “Presently, we have already embarked on several initiatives that will significantly grow and develop the market over the next two years as stipulated in our Strategic Plan (2016-2020). These initiatives include transforming Jubilant in to a microfinance bank with a very unique banking model, a lot of focus to rural business that will lead in to the best practice in support to financial inclusion. The model will be supported by market-day banking, bank on wheels, and embracing virtual banking through customized mobile platforms. Service delivery will be attained through individual identity as the community microfinance and key strategic partnerships. These will tap into the mobile banking, cashless transport, online banking, and social-media customer-focused and government-supported youth and women projects for development”

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KBL European Private Bankers SA

Best Private Banking Merger: KBL European Private Bankers/Insinger de Beaufort Company: KBL European Private Bankers (KBL epb) Email: info@kbl-bank.com Web: www.kbl.lu Address: 43, boulevard Royal, L-2955 Luxembourg Telephone: +352 47971

KBL European Private Bankers KBL European Private Bankers (KBL epb), a Luxembourg-headquartered private banking group founded in 1949 and operating in 50 cities in Europe, exemplifies successful organizational change management in the rapidly evolving European private banking market. Group CEO Yves Stein talks us through this innovative and exciting company, highlighting its dedication to excellence at a time when the group is strengthening its existing presence in its core markets.

KBL epb is Europe’s only network of boutique private banks and works with private, institutional and professional segments, serving clients through an operational model which, according to Stein, allows it to combine global perspective and local insight. “It is our mission to preserve and grow each client’s wealth across generations. The cornerstone of KBL epb’s approach is to act as its clients’ trusted partner; we build on the heritage and track record of our strong domestic brands, whose deep local knowledge is complemented by our broader collective insight. “We also collaborate with industry leaders to ensure that we can provide world-class technology and digital solutions to our clients.”

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Despite operating within a market faced with a challenging external environment – characterized by negative interest rates, costly regulatory burdens, highly volatile markets and rapid technological change – Stein outlines how the future is bright for KBL epb. “At a time when our sector is consolidating, we are enhancing our range of products and services, strengthening our footprint and, most importantly, demonstrating our enduring commitment to meeting the individual needs of each client we serve. KBL epb – which has made three acquisitions in the past 24 months – has invested significant effort in improving and streamlining the ties that bind us as a group.”


KBS Corporate

Best Company Sale & Brokerage Firm - UK Company: KBS Corporate Name: Simon Daniels Email: simon.daniels@ kbscorporate.com Web: www.kbscorporate.com Telephone: 01204 555 081

KBS Corporate KBS Corporate is recognised as one of the UK’s leading providers of company sales services, offering complete project management and consultancy services to shareholders and owner managers who are considering a full or partial sale of their company. Simon Daniels tells us more.

Established for almost 20 years, KBS Corporate have completed company sales across a wide variety of industry sectors through its award winning approach. Simon talks us through how the firm has developed this approach and how it is cultivated. “We utilise many years of experience and a creative approach to marketing businesses for sale, advising our clients on a wide range of exit solutions and focusing on achieving maximum value for each client. We target a range of different buyers in order to obtain multiple offers and deal structures to give our clients choice of a deal that is most suited to them.” As a final comment Simon outlines the firm’s performance so far and the future plans it has to build upon this success.

“The past 18 months has also spelled our most successful period to date, as we have successfully completed more transactions than ever before, resulting in a top place finish of UK advisors in the Thomson Reuters M&A review for both the first half of 2016. “Overall, we are both delighted and honoured to be named the UK’s most active dealmaker, having completed a large number of high quality small cap and mid-market deals in 2016 with both UK and international buyers. We invest heavily in both technology and recruiting high-calibre individuals and such an approach is reaping the rewards. We anticipate an ever busier second half of 2016 as buyers continue to show a willingness to acquire in order to fuel immediate growth.”

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Kingston Smith Corporate Finance

Best Mid-Market Media M&A Adviser 2016

Kingston Smith Kingston Smith Corporate Finance has a proven track record of advising the owners and managers of media, marketing services, publishing and media tech businesses that are looking to expand, raise finance, acquire other businesses or realise shareholder value through a sale, flotation or management buyout. We caught up with Nicola Horton to find out more. Company: Kingston Smith Corporate Finance Limited Name: Nicola Horton Email: nhorton@ kingstonsmith.co.uk Web: www.kingstonsmith.co.uk Address: Charlotte Building, 17 Gresse Street, London W1T 1QL Phone: +44 (0)20 7304 4646

As specialists in the media sector, Kingston Smith know what the market is looking for and are able to provide it, as Nicola explains. “Through our active relationships with potential buyers and our international connections, we are able to source buyers with the right strategic fit for our clients’ businesses. We also have the contacts, credibility and experience to secure finance from our extensive network of specialist lenders and investors in the sector. “As part of a top 20 UK multi-disciplinary advisory and accountancy firm, we are able to offer a holistic, integrated service; providing transaction tax advice and accountancy support, as well as personal tax guidance, alongside our full range of corporate finance services.

“Our clients tell us they value our sectorknowledge, our pragmatic approach, and our desire to help them achieve the best outcome for their business.” “While we are UK-based, we are a member of Morison KSi, a large global professional services association with 375 offices in 88 countries. We have a partner-led team focused on the key international markets looking to invest in the UK with a media sector focus – US, China, India, Latin America.” Working within such a competitive market, Nicola stresses that the firm is keen to differentiate itself from other similar firms by focusing on a client centred approach. “As media and marketing services specialists, we compete with a number of corporate finance boutiques that also specialise in the sector. However, because we are part of a multi-disciplinary professional services firm, we are able to draw

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on our wider resources to provide our clients with an all-encompassing solution for their M&A requirements. So, as well as providing corporate finance advisory services, we offer tax guidance, transaction accounting support, due diligence services and valuation advice. “Our clients tell us they value our sector-knowledge, our pragmatic approach, and our desire to help them achieve the best outcome for their business. “In addition, our sector-specialist approach means we have developed a number of proprietary software tools which allow us to benchmark our clients against their peers and provide them with detailed feedback on operational improvements that might be desirable in the run-up to a sale. We also utilise technology to gain access and insight into deals undertaken in the sector to allow for more accurate valuation and pricing advice.” Looking to the future, Nicola explains that the firm and the market as a whole is weighing up the effects of the Brexit vote, but that overall the future is bright for Kingston Smith. “The UK market is currently digesting the outcome of the recent referendum and the vote in favour of Brexit. We may see a relatively quiet period for M&A over the summer, while market participants take time to assess the implications. “However, we know that UK SMEs are flexible and robust in the face of change. This change brings opportunity as well as risk, and our role as advisers is to support our clients through this period of uncertainty, by being agile and ingenious against a backdrop of change. “Despite these challenges we are positive about the future of our firm. Kingston Smith Corporate Finance has undergone considerable growth in the past few years, and expects that growth to continue. As well as advising on M&A, we have broadened our advisory offering to include the raising of growth capital for SMEs.”



Best for Corporate Tax Advisory Services - Zambia & Award for Innovation in Transaction Services Company: KPMG Name: Jason Kazilimani Email: jkazilimani@kpmg.com Web: http://www.kpmg.com/zm Address: First Floor, Elunda Two, Addis Ababa Roundabout, Rhodes Park, Lusaka, Zambia Telephone: +260 966 844 095

KPMG KPMG is a global professional services firm with a presence in over 156 countries. Jason Kazilimani talks us through the firm’s M&A department and the work it has undertaken in Zambia.

KPMG have been in continuous operation in Zambia since 1954, with offices in Lusaka and Kitwe and upwards of 100 members of staff. Jason outlines the services that the firm’s M&A department provide.

cycle of a joint venture or alliance, giving them confidence from creation to exit.”

“Our M&A practice helps our clients execute their strategy, provide market forecasts, risk considerations and present opportunities for growth by providing insights throughout every stage of their M&A activity.

“Even though the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) estimates growth to decelerate from an estimated 3.6% in 2015 to 3.1% in 2016 on the back of a commodity slump, we believe that the M&A market in Zambia is positive, backed by massive investment in road, rail and power, a growing population, improving education levels and increasing adoption of technology. We expect an increase in M&A activities as well as other services that KPMG offers.

“For those looking to purchase firms, we appraise a target, give insights into the protections put forward by the vendors and evaluate the target’s strategic fit to an organisation. “Clients looking to sell are supported in the evaluation of the value of the target and identification of suitable investors both locally internationally. “Finally, we advise clients in creating and setting up successful new joint ventures or alliances and support clients as a true partner through the life

Moving forward, Jason was optimistic for Zambia’s M&A market.

“Alongside a Cape Town based publisher, TopCo Media, we are working on a Top300 initiative, a definitive listing of the top performing organisations in Zambia. The initiative is meant tackle the limited knowledge about doing business in Zambia. The end product will be a publication and an awards dinner for the best performing companies.”

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Larking Gowen Corporate Finance

Best East Anglia Deal Makers 2016

Larking Gowen Larking Gowen Corporate Finance is a dedicated team of full-time specialists operating from offices in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. We invited Corporate Finance Partner, James Lay to provide an absorbing overview of the firm. Company: Larking Gowen Corporate Finance Web: www.larking-gowen.co.uk Telephone: 0845 4502465

Larking Gowen Corporate Finance work with a wide variety of clients, with a particular emphasis on corporate SME’s and owner managed businesses, advising on buying, selling, valuing and funding businesses. As part of Larking Gowen, a longestablished accountancy practice, our corporate finance services are combined with specialist taxation and accountancy advice, ensuring our clients receive a fully comprehensive service in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

“We are different from our competitors as we can offer a complete package of services to clients under one roof.”

Fundamentally, buying or selling a business is a major lifetime event and there is only one chance to get it right. Our experienced corporate finance team offers our clients, either buyer or seller, expert advice, whilst supporting them through a major change in their business lives. We can advise on every aspect of the deal process, ensuring the many potential pitfalls are avoided and maximum value for the client is achieved. This specialist experience, combined with more traditional accountancy expertise, means we are also ideally placed to value businesses, including minority shareholdings. In addition, we advise on business funding options for both transactional and development purposes. For over 20 years, we have assisted with a vast array of deals involving the sale or purchase of private companies. Experian reports our Corporate Finance team completed more deals in the first quarter of 2016 than any other team of financial advisors in the East of England. To illustrate a typical deal, we assisted the shareholders of B&B Skip Hire Limited, a waste transfer and recycling centre skip hire business with the sale of their business to Knights Anglia Limited. Larking Gowen managed the deal from start to finish, marketing the business for sale, finding the buyer, negotiating the deal through to completion, and minimising the tax payable by our client. We secured the shareholder an exceptional deal including a double digit enterprise value. Looking ahead, the firm are currently working on a number of exciting projects and have a strong pipeline of upcoming assignments. We therefore envisage the next few years being even more active than the last two. Ultimately, Larking Gowen are a trusted and experienced firm, combining specialist Corporate Finance expertise with more traditional accountancy services. Brokers or boutiques often won’t advise on tax or accounting issues arising on a deal. We are different from our competitors as we can offer a complete package of services to clients under one roof.

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Lautenschlager, Romeiro e Iwamizu Advogados

Best for Acquisitions & Takeovers - Brazil & Best for Corporate Contracts - Brazil

Lautenschlager, Romeiro e Iwamizu Company: Lautenschlager, Romeiro E Iwamizu Advogados Name: Nilson Lautenschlager jr Email: nlj@lrilaw.com.br Web: www.lrilaw.com.br Address: Avenida Paulista, 1842, 22ยบ Floor, Torre Norte Telephone: 55 11 21264600

Lautenschlager, Romeiro e Iwamizu Advogados law firm is committed to building a relationship of trust and partnership with its clients, offering quality legal advice to both domestic and foreign companies, based specially in Americas, Europe and Asia. Dr. Nilson Lautenschlager Jr., a Partner at the firm, provides us with a unique overview of the company and its service offering.

The most valuable asset of Lautenschlager, Romeiro e Iwamizu Advogados is its long-standing client relationships, based on trust and cooperation. Operating primarily in Sao Paulo, the firm seeks to meet the needs of its clients across the Brazilian states by establishing associations with professionals that share the same work philosophy. The firm also has a broad network of reliable collaborators, such as professionals specialized in obtaining visas for foreigners, accountants, auditors, translators, experts, engineers, agronomists etc. Our firm provides legal consulting services related to a wide range of areas of law, including the negotiation and draft of contracts; corporate law, corporate governance and compliance; assistance to foreign investors; mergers, acquisitions and legal major projects; due diligence; real estate law. In addition, the firm provides legal services in the traditional fields of law such as labor, tax, antitrust and consumer law. We also have solid experience with judicial litigation involving civil and commercial disputes, as well as with commercial arbitration and mediation, and our litigation practice encompasses all of the aforesaid fields of law. The firm is a member of the Law Exchange International Association, which is an international association of law firms that serve clients doing business in major commercial markets across the globe: it aims at providing a comprehensive and seamless web of legal services to clients. Just as client demands increase worldwide, member response and service will be able to meet these quickly and efficiently, ensuring that the association can support the global marketplace. Our professionals are also highly prepared to act in a globalized environment, thanks to their international and multicultural experience, which is one of our best advantages. Furthermore, given its optimized structure, our firm is also able to deliver appropriate legal solutions based on an adequate cost arrangement. We deem vital to perfectly know the business and the needs of our client and provide him with all necessary information to ensure the best deals to our clients.

Brazil is the largest country in Latin America region and has a huge market to be developed. Even if we are used to assist different kinds of investors, it is a big challenge to familiarize their activities to the Brazilian law as our law system can be really difficult to foreign. Given our structure that is oriented to international business we have been involved in a number of deals in the M&A industry, starting from the formation of joint ventures between local companies and international groups up to the acquisition of local business by international clients. The total number of deals in the country reached $22.59 billion during the last three months of 2015, according to data from Dealogic. The high depreciation (near 45%) in the Brazilian real against the dollar since middle of 2014 makes Brazilian assets more affordable for foreign investors, attracting buyers from every region in the globe. The Brazilian situation is dire and theprognosis for its economy is even worse: the International Monetary Fund expects the economy to contract by 3.5% this year after shrinking 3.7% last year. The corruption scandals caused a standstill in the oil and construction industries. Despite the gloomy prognosis, investors, accustomed to the Brazilian boom-and-bust cycles, still see long-term potential in the country, particularly as a result of its vast domestic consumer market and ample natural resources. From our practice we can mention a number of transaction confirming the clear maturation and consolidation of the Brazilian market for certain industries, such in the education, health care and medical services industries, among others, involving a number of roll up transactions. Additionally, the recent opening of the Brazilian market of medical services and air transportation brought refreshment for the M&A market. Our firm is prepared to assist clients from the strategical due diligence investigation until the closing of the deal, including the notice to the antitrust authorities. The negotiation of guaranties and conditions is also a high level qualification of our firm.

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Lee International IP & Law Group

Best IP Law Firm - Korea & Cross-Border Litigator of the Year - Korea Company: Lee International IP & Law Group Name: Nicholas Park Email: npark@ leeinternational.com Web: www.leeinternational.com Address: 14F Poongsan Bldg., 23 Chungjeongro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03737, Korea Telephone: 82-2-2262-6000

Lee International IP & Law Group Lee International is one of the oldest law firms in Korea and is a fullservice law firm with expertise in corporate and intellectual property law. Nicholas Park provides an absorbing overview of the company and its service offering.

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Within the M&A sector Lee International provides legal due diligence, document drafting and review, negotiation strategy, legal opinions, and other legal support.

“Here at Lee International we strongly believe that to properly service your client you must think of the client’s objectives first, in order to be part of the deal-maker rather than the deal-breaker team.

The M&A market in Korea has been very active over the past several years especially in the areas of biotech, chemicals, heavy industry, information technology, video games, and food. Some of the major challenges include increasing government regulations including anti-competition as well as changes in financial leveraging regulations. Nicholas outlines the attributes he believes have been central to his firm’s success.

“As such we offer an M&A team which consists of lawyers of various background including former investment bankers, brokers, and strategists that understand how a deal is formed and completed. This approach ensures that we think both from the client’s perspective as well as from a legal perspective.”


M&A Advisory

The AI Award for Buyer Intelligence

M&A Advisory M&A Advisory is a specialist M&A firm operating in the marketing communications sector. We invited David Blois, Managing Partner, to talk us through the company and how it endeavours to provide much needed advice and assistance to its clients. Company: M&A Advisory Name: David Blois Email: davidb@ mandaadvisory.com Web: www.mandaadvisory.com Phone: +44 (0) 207 680 9849

M&A Advisory supports clients in most segments of the marketing industry, including digital marketing, data, public relations, advertising and market research. Typical clients are generally entrepreneurs that wish to sell their businesses in order to accelerate growth and realise shareholder value. David explains the firm’s service offering and outlines a recent project undertaken by the company. “Here at M&A Advisory we provide a comprehensive M&A Advisory service to our clients. This can include early stage strategy consulting in order to prepare a business for sale right through to negotiating the final aspects of the sale agreement. We generally work on the sell side, but also occasionally do buy side work. “A recent buy-side deal we supported was for Gung Ho, a Midlands based PR consultancy specialising in Sports and Lifestyle. They wished to acquire a fashion PR consultancy in London. M&A Advisory introduced them to a number of prospects including Coffin on Cake PR, a leader in the field, and the deal was completed in April 2016.”

Operating within such a fast paced industry David explains the techniques the firm employs to ensure it is always at the forefront of the latest industry developments. “The marketing communications sector is in a constant state of change and it is essential that we are abreast of these changes, particularly in response to buyer demand. In this respect, we hold regular meetings with buyers and potential buyers. The impact of technology is also affecting the industry and we keep abreast of trends in Martech and Adtech through strong connections in this area.” Looking ahead, David explained that the firm was looking forward to a bright and prosperous future. “As a firm, we are excited about the future and expect change to bring with it significant opportunity. We are also particularly excited for our clients as currently we have several sell side mandates in the UK and Europe which we expect to complete this year and which will enable the parties to compete on a new level.”

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MilleniumAssociates AG

Best International M&A Advisory Firm - Switzerland & Best in Corporate Finance 2016 - Switzerland Company: MilleniumAssociates AG Name: Ray Soudah Email: info@milleniumassociates.com Web Address: www.milleniumassociates.com Address: Kreuzstrasse 54, CH-8008 Zurich Telephone: +41 580 710 47 00

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MilleniumAssociates AG MilleniumAssociates AG is an independent international M&A and Corporate Finance Advisory firm based in Switzerland and the UK. We invited Ray Soudah to tell us more about the firm.

Established in 2000 and owned by its partners and management, MilleniumAssociates AG are uniquely positioned to offer independent and non-conflicting advice to its clients. Ray outlines the areas in which this advice is provided and how the firm aims to ensure that it always offers the very best support to clients through its collaborative approach. “Here at MilleniumAssociates our heritage is embedded in M&A and corporate finance services for the global financial services industry with a particular focus on the global wealth, asset management, private banking and private equity sectors. In recent years we have built on this M&A expertise and experience and established an additional Entrepreneurs and Corporates Practice in order to extend its M&A and corporate finance services to the clients of Private banks as well as corporates and entrepreneurial business owners globally. “The company’s fully dedicated team of M&A and Corporate Finance specialists are currently involved in variety of advisory assignments, supporting a number of international, regional and domestic clients with their global expansion or divestment strategies, as well as consulting for organisations seeking to determine their ideal strategic options including partnerships, alliances and IPO or debt raising plans and arrangements.

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“Overall, we are proud to have one of the broadest professional networks worldwide, including institutional and private investors. In recent years we have augmented this with a number of similarly independent and un-conflicted global strategic partnerships in the key growth regions of the world that strengthens our coverage locally and regionally and complements our service offering.” Many factors differentiate MilleniumAssociates AG in the market place, and, ultimately, it is the firm’s complete originality, in terms of approach and quality, which sets it apart from its competitors, as Ray notes in his final comment. “What sets our firm apart is that we more than complete with the larger firms in our expertise, global reach and investor network enabling us to manage the most complex mergers, acquisitions or disposals of companies as well as supporting any IPO or bond/capital market needs, however our continuing independence and lack of conflicts, professional network and nimble abilities allows us offer totally impartial advice and be creative in finding the most appropriate strategic solutions. “Continuing to offer this excellent service and vast global network will be our focus going forward, as we aim to build upon our current success whilst ensuring that clients receive the same high quality services that we have come to pride ourselves on.”



Best Canadian Trading Acquisition: NASDAQ / Chi-X Canada Company: Nasdaq Email: trade@nasdaq.com Web: business.nasdaq.com/trade Address: 1 Liberty Plaza, New York, New York, 10006 Telephone: +1 212 401 8700

NASDAQ Inc Nasdaq is a leading provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, listing, information and public company services across six continents. We explore the firm’s vital service offering and its latest deal, the acquisition of Chi-X Canada the leading alternative market in Canada for the trading of TSX and TSXV-listed securities.

Through its diverse portfolio of solutions, Nasdaq enables customers to plan, optimize and execute their business vision with confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight for navigating today’s global capital markets. On Monday, February 1st, Nasdaq completed the acquisition of Chi-X Canada, which included two Canadian alternative trading systems (ATS) for trading TSX and TSX-Venture listed securities, now called Nasdaq CXC and Nasdaq CX2. A key pool of liquidity in Canada, Nasdaq CXC provides clients a reliable platform for the trading of Canadian equities and offers price/time priority, post-trade attribution, market-agnostic smart routing, advanced order types, trade reporting, risk management tools, historical market data and direct connectivity services. Through a unique pricing model and broker preference functionality, Nasdaq CX2 helps to improve investment performance and drive positive market structure change. Nasdaq CX2 leverages global experience to benefit investors and issuers alike.

Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock.com

This deal further expands Nasdaq’s global presence by growing the equities trading business beyond the Nordics and the U.S., and the firm aim to enhance the trading experience for customers by promoting greater uniformity in technology and functionality across these trading venues. Later this year and in early 2017, Nasdaq look forward to two main initiatives – introducing a new dark pool and migrating Nasdaq CXC and Nasdaq CX2 to INET technology. The technology alignment will provide an important foundation for future growth in Canada. Ultimately the firm are committed to clients and are always looking to both develop and acquire products and services that enhance the offering and experience for our dedicated customers. The hallmark of the company’s DNA is to seize market opportunities by providing innovative solutions that reduce inefficiencies and change the way market participants view trading. Overall Nasdaq is well suited for this acquisition as we have a proven track record of adding new trading facilities and re-engineering existing platforms to enhance capabilities, lower costs and increase usefulness among market participants.

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Patentni biro AF

Best Patent Law Firm - Slovenia Company: PATENTNI BIRO AF d.o.o. Name: Mrs. Antonija Flak Email: info@patentni-biro-af.si Web: www.patentni-biro-af.si Address: Kotnikova 32, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Telephone: +386 1 43 00 335

Patentni biro AF Patentni biro AF d.o.o. is a family-run intellectual property law firm established in 1993, making it one of the oldest IP law firms in Slovenia. Antonija Flak profiles her firm and explains how it endeavours to offer clients the very highest level of representation.

Here at Patentni biro the team deals with all services connected with intellectual property with a strong emphasis on patents, designs and trademarks as well as enforcement of rights. With regards to the M&A we provide a complete set of services including keeping an up-to-date IP portfolio, evaluation of existing intellectual property rights, transfers of rights and consulting on how to make the most of every patent, trademark or design, acquired or sold. We try to tailor our services to every case depending on our client’s needs, so everyone involved has the most of it. M&A accounted for an increasing proportion of deals in Slovenia in the past few years. This is mainly a consequence of the financial crisis, as several distressed assets are being sold and many stateowned companies are in the process of privatization. In contrast, some well-doing companies merged with bigger international companies with the aim to further develop and grow. Because cases differ significantly, we find it important to adapt to every single case, to listen to clients, recognize their needs and consider their requests, as well as to consult honestly by having clients’ best interest in mind.

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In order to provide the best possible service the team of Patentni biro AF d.o.o. regularly attends educational events, follows the practice and case law, so every issue can be addressed in the most appropriate way. To achieve this all our employees are very dedicated, attentive and knowledgeable. Our main attribute is complete devotion to our clients’ benefit, with the ultimate goal to provide high quality services at a reasonable cost. We make every effort for each client, regardless of whether they are individuals, SMEs or multinational corporations. Since innovations drive the world forwards, the future is exciting for our company. We are prepared for every challenge that our clients, old and new, have for us, so we especially look forward to working on new patent, design and trademark applications and to seeing already protected rights in everyday use. Positive results and feedback give the whole team great pleasure. As does this award, which is a great honour to receive. It represents a reward for the past work and a motivation for the future to improve further.


Platinum Partners

Best Corporate Finance Advisor - Germany & Sustained Excellence in Cross-Border M&A - Germany Company: Platinum Partners GmbH Name: Karl-Michael Krueger Email: mkrueger@ platinum-partners.de Web Address: www.platinum-partners.de Address: D-80639 Muenchen; Romanplatz 12 Telephone:+49-89-1711808-0

Platinum Partners Platinum Partners focuses on a number of larger German mid-cap firms and family offices which it advises on a recurring basis in all corporatefinance related questions. We invited Karl-Michael Krueger to talk us through the firm and its service offering.

One of the firm’s key strengths is its cross-border related work, as Karl-Michael explains. “Here at Platinum Partners we focus on crossborder deals (in-and out-bound) and recurring business mostly being spin-offs and add-ons within our existing and prospective Key-client-base which meet our strategic goals. “One particular strength is that a significant part of our business is cross-border related. The reason for that is our strong relationship with Crowe Horwath International which is not only one of the worlds’ leading audit and advisory networks, but CHI also has a strong international M&A-Team with a presence in currently 23 countries.

“what sets us apart from other, similar firms is our clearly defined key-customer related strategy which is relationship- and not deal-orientated.”

current market environment after the deal, except in properties or art. On top of that most German companies have seen very prosperous years and therefore shareholders ask themselves whether any asset manager can provide them with the same returns as their company. Consequently they may only decide positively regarding a sale if a potential buyer offers them an extremely attractive price.” As his final comment Karl-Michael outlines the firm’s plans for future development, following on from its success in recent years. “Over the past five to six years we were able to develop and communicate our brand towards a specific profile which gladly seems to work out better and better resulting in an increasing level of business coming to us without a specific prior marketing effort. So we hope to increasingly benefit from this effort and consequently look positive towards the future.”

“On the other hand, what additionally sets us apart from other, similar firms is our clearly defined keycustomer related strategy which is relationshipand not deal-orientated. Furthermore high ethical and professional standards, and finally and most importantly an advisory attitude which is clearly focused towards the best result for the client – and not fee-maximising.” For many years the M&A-market in Germany is difficult for those who focus on mid-cap-transactions where private shareholders are primarily involved in one way or the other. Karl-Michael comments on this and explains how it has affected transactions in this market-segment. “The difficulty for the industry by focus on such “ownership-based-mid-cap transactions is simply that such shareholders in comparison to “institutional or corporate shareholders” often refrain or step away from a sale because they do not know where to invest the proceeds in the

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Company: Premier Corporate Finance Name: Brendan Farrell & Chris Knox Email: Brendan@Premiercf.co.uk & Chris@Premiercf.co.uk Web: www.premiercf.co.uk Address: Stable Block, Stelfox House, 7 Chapel Lane, Letty Green, Herts, SG14 2PA, UK Telephone: +44 1727 851483 Mobile: 44 7768 936886

Premier Corporate Finance

Best Global Testing & Inspection Corporate Finance Firm

Premier Corporate Finance Premier Corporate Finance is the leading adviser to the global Testing, Inspection and Certification sector. We invited Brendan Farrell to provide us with an overview of Premier and the services it offers.

Premier is a specialist corporate adviser primarily working for owner managers and coordinating business sales in the £5m to £25m value bracket. Operating as a leader in the global testing, inspection and certification (TIC) sectors, Brendan is keen to highlight the fact that his firm’s expertise enables it to add considerable value to any deal. “At Premier, our key role is to demonstrate the value of the business alongside the identification of strategic buyers from the UK and Internationally. With over 20 transactions in the global TIC sector and over 100 transactions overall, we are experts at negotiating, structuring and documenting transactions and driving them through to completion. “Approximately 50% of our transactions are crossborder deals in which we have introduced buyers, from Europe and the US to UK opportunities, and these are generally willing to pay a strategic price for the right opportunity.” Working in such a competitive market means Premier needs to set itself apart from its competitors. Brendan believes that in order to sustain success in this market, firms must offer the very highest level of client service and expertise.

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“In order to survive and thrive in our industry, you need to have that winning mentality, and clients need to meet you and make that call for themselves, and we are happy to provide references”. “Premier prides itself on its ability to offer an exceptional service, and as such all of our projects are led by experienced professionals who have the expertise and experience to support the client throughout the process and deliver a result which exceeds expectations.” Looking ahead, Brendan has a strong focus on growth as wishes to expand the business whilst maintaining the same high standards of service and expertise which have helped Premier to achieve its current success. “Moving forward, we are eager to establish a full time presence in US and Pacific Rim in the next two years, and are actively looking for entrepreneurial advisers to join us. This is an exciting time for Premier and we are looking forward to the opportunities ahead.”


Premier Oil

Best Exploration & Production Acquisition: Premier Oil / E.ON North Sea assets

Premier Oil Premier Oil is a leading independent exploration and production company with a proven track record of adding long term value through acquisitions in low oil price environments. Premier purchased E.ON’s UK North Sea assets at the beginning of this year and we caught up with CEO Tony Durrant to learn more about this opportunistic transaction. Company: Premier Oil Website: www.premier-oil.com

Premier Oil Oil announced its acquisition of E.ON’s UK North Sea assets in January 2016, when oil prices were at a historic low. There has been huge volatility in the oil price over the past few years and, in Tony’s view, it is unusual for M&A activity to happen at the bottom of the market as some stability in the oil price is usually required for agreement to be reached between buyers and sellers.

“As such we are now enjoying the benefits of this transaction as the price rises.”

Tony explained, “Purchasing E.ON’s UK North Sea assets, which adds 18,000 barrels per day to Premier’s production base, was an opportunistic move by the company. The advantage of buying at the low point in the cycle is that you are able to get the lowest possible price for the assets. The flip side is that it can be difficult to carry your stakeholders with you. However, we were fortunate enough to have the full support of our shareholders and lenders for the acquisition.

Looking to the future, Tony states that whilst another transaction later in the year cannot be ruled out, the firm’s current focus is on bedding down the E.ON UK acquisition.

The deal will bring Premier’s total delivery capacity to over 80,000 boepd, with c. 50,000 boepd from the UK once the company’s Solan field is fully ramped up and c. 30,000 boepd from the company’s assets in South East Asia.

“We are always on the lookout for value enhancing acquisitions, especially in areas where our position is commercially advantaged such as the UK where we have a strong business unit and considerable tax assets. However, the E.ON UK business acquisition was a sizeable transaction for a company of our size and we would like to fully digest it as well as to conclude our discussions with our lending group around the refinancing of our debt prior to doing another material acquisition.”

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Priyasakhi Mahila Sangh

Best for Micro Finance - India Company: Priyasakhi Mahila Sangh, Indore (M.P.) INDIA Name: Ms. Arti Kushwah Email: pmsindore@yahoo.co.in Web: www.priyasakhi.org Address: 23-26 Rajabag Colony Near Oxford Academy Kushwah Nager Main Road Indore. Telephone: 0731-2425310/ 2420310 Mob. No.: +91- 9300899310

Priyasakhi Mahila Sangh Priyasakhi Mahila Sangh, Indore (PSMS) is one of the premier, Non-Governmental, Not for Profit making and Non Political, First Women SHGs Federation and SHPI of M.P. We spoke to Arti Kushwah to find out more.

Registered in 2001, under Madhya Pradesh Firms and Societies Act. 1973, The Sangh (PSMS) started its operations in Indore District of M.P. and presently operates in six Districts – Indore, Dewas, Ujjain, Dhar, Khargone and Barwani. The Mission of federation is to equip the women Self-help Groups, their community based organizations for their effective and efficient Selfmanagement and assist their family members for their socio-economic development. Arti talks us through the firm’s overall aims and how it works to achieve these. “We envision Madhya Pradesh where the uneducated, unemployed, poor, down trodden and backward classes, castes and communities are empowered to move out of poverty with dignity through the emergence of financially, selfsustainable, democratically managed and owned by SHGs Institutions and Organizations.

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“To achieve this we provide a range of services, including rural development, women empowerment, institutional development and micro-financing.” Close and regular contact with clients is crucial to ensuring their continued success, and the firm makes sure that they try to support them both in the wider community and within their own personal business. Looking forward, Arti is excited for the future and explains the firm’s plans for further success. “We see the bright future of our Organization. We will be supporting women empowerment by providing them with the support to become sustainable, and are keen to encourage recognition of the services women provide to the community.”


Quantera Global

Best Independent Transfer Pricing Advisory Firm - Italy

Quantera Global Quantera Global is one of the world’s leading, independent transfer pricing advisory firms, providing specialist transfer pricing planning and advisory support services to multinationals of all size, globally. We spoke to Enrico De Angelis to find out more. Company: Quantera Global Srl Name: Enrico De Angelis Web: www.quanteraglobal.com Address: Milan, Genoa

Quantera Global was established in early 2013 by a group of senior partners in Asia and Europe who had been working together previously in another global transfer pricing consulting firm. Enrico explains the reason behind the firm’s creation and the services it now provides. “Quantera Global was founded in order to provide a more specialised and focused service to our rapidly growing client base. “Clients trust us to deliver best-quality transfer pricing advice and service that is pragmatic and reflects current regulations in each jurisdiction, without losing sight of the technical details and operational impacts.

The firm works diligently to provide best-quality transfer pricing advice and service that is pragmatic and reflects current regulations in each jurisdiction, without losing sight of the technical details and operational impacts. Ultimately what sets the firm apart, according to Enrico, is the dedication and expertise of its staff. “Overall our clients appreciate that with Quantera Global, senior practitioners are fully involved in service delivery throughout each project. Our highly experienced professionals, smart and efficient internal processes and high standards of service, deliver measurable value to clients.”

“These clients value our capability and depth of technical expertise in specialist areas such as: design of TP systems and pricing policies; economic analyses; post-M&A integration services.”

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Roodt Inc

Best Corporate Law Firm - South Africa & Award for Excellence in Cross-Border Transactions - South Africa

Roodt Inc Roodt Inc is a specialised boutique law firm with a focus on national and cross border corporate M&A, anti-trust, corporate governance, private equity, stock exchange, regulatory, contract and general company and commercial law. We invited Johan Roodt to talk us through the firm’s service offering. Company: Roodt Inc. Name: Johan Roodt Email: jaroodt@roodtinc.com Web Address: roodtinc.com Address: 7 Eton Road, Sandhurst, 2146, South Africa Telephone: 002711 685 0000

Roodt Inc is acclaimed as a top advisor on cross border transactions and as an expert in mineral and resources law. The firm services corporate clients across the spectrum of the financial and investment, mining, construction and industrial sectors. Johan outlines in greater detail the services the company provides to these clients and how it aims to always meet their needs. “Here at Roodt Inc we provide the full spectrum of corporate advisory services pertaining to M&A,

“Overall we have a positive outlook for the future of M&A not only in South Africa, but also cross border in the broader African continent and into and from the first world.”

covering deal strategy and structure, regulatory and fiscal strategy, deal negotiation and contract drafting, undertaking and managing due diligence investigations and reporting, deal closure and implementation, including regulatory and anti- trust filings and litigation where necessary. “One of our recent successful projects is the acquisition by the listed KAP group of Safripol for a purchase consideration of ZAR4.1 billion, which has just been announced. The firm is acting as corporate advisor on the sell side, and as anti-trust advisor to the transaction. We are also currently acting on the buy side and as antitrust and regulatory advisor to the transaction for the acquisition by listed Phumelela Gaming and Leisure of a stake in Supabets. In 2014/5 the firm acted on the sell side in the ZAR 7 billion acquisition by the listed Growthpoint of a commercial property portfolio from the Tiber Group. “The success of all of these projects highlights the success of our overall approach. This involves a hands-on approach at senior level, a clear understanding of the client’s strategic needs over the full spectrum of its business, and a pro-active, value adding service offering. Specifically, the firm adds value to M&A transactions through its intimate involvement at senior partner level in each transaction, an intimate knowledge of the client’s strategic and commercial requirements in the deal, and a direct involvement from inception to final closure of each deal (“cradle to grave” approach).” Going forward, Johan is optimistic about the future, both for the M&A market in South Africa and the firm itself. “Overall we have a positive outlook for the future of M&A not only in South Africa, but also cross border in the broader African continent and into and from the first world. Roodt Inc is well placed to attract its fair share of the market for its services, and to maintain its close relationship with its longstanding and stable client base.”

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Best M&A Consultants 2016 - Asia Pacific Company: Scancorp Email: scancorp@ scancorp.com.au Web: www.scancorp.com.au Address: Suite 22,76 Doggett Street, Newstead QLD 4006 Tel: +61 7 3902 2400

Scancorp Scancorp is a boutique advisory firm based in Australia with a 30 year history. The advisory arm of the business, Scan Capital operates under an Australian Financial Services License and specialises in corporate finance, strategic consulting, divestment, mergers and acquisitions. They provided examples of their experience in 2016.

Case Study – ASX Listing

Objectives Lepidico Ltd, an Australian public unlisted company which had developed a disruptive technology to recover lithium from certain minerals, engaged Scancorp as corporate advisor to assist the company to structure for growth. Scancorp recommended an ASX listing to deliver: • greater access to capital to fund growth, • tradeable scrip to make acquisitions of lithium mining assets, and • liquidity for seed investors.

“With over 30 years of experience, Scancorp’s team has collectively executed over $10B in transactions.” Scancorp’s Process Scancorp managed the entire listing process: • Scancorp initially undertook a valuation of Lepidico against other ASX listed lithium companies to assist in pro forma structuring of a transaction, • Scancorp then compiled a list of target shells suitable for a transaction based on their capital structure, balance sheet strength and nature of business, • Scancorp prepared Lepidico’s marketing materials and approached target shell companies to assess interest, • Scancorp led negotiations with target shell companies and ran a competitive process to achieve the best outcome for Lepidico shareholders, • Once the deal structure had been finalised, Scancorp managed the transaction to completion including due diligence and negotiation.

Outcomes Scancorp managed the successful acquisition of Lepidico Ltd by Platypus Minerals Ltd (ASX:PLP). • Platypus Minerals now has a market capitalisation of ~$30M and a robust balance sheet • The value of PLP shares held by Lepidico shareholders delivered significant valuation uplift in comparison to implied valuations from seed funding • Through the listing process, several lithium projects were secured • Platypus Minerals is well funded to rapidly advance Lepidico’s disruptive lithium technology and lithium assets • Lepidico shareholders now hold liquid ASX listed shares which are more readily traded Examples of recent/current mandates Some other mandates managed by Scancorp in 2016 include: • Successful Australian Market Entry: Scancorp facilitated the Australian market entry of an international engineering firm via the acquisition of a profitable business and provided assistance with transition including Australian resident director. • Industrial Property Fund: Scancorp is assisting with the acquisition of a major industrial facility by a syndicate of investors seeking strong, long-term yield. • Current Divestment Mandates: Scancorp is currently assisting business owners across several sectors to manage the sale of their businesses, including: o Engineering o Specialised construction and refurbishment o Horticulture o IT security consulting o Medical practices Pedigree With over 30 years of experience, Scancorp’s team has collectively executed over $10B in transactions. Much of the team gained its experience with tier-1 advisory, management consulting and corporate firms.

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Scottish Widows

Best UK Corporate Pension Provider 2016 Company: Scottish Widows Web Address: www.scottishwidows.co.uk

Scottish Widows Scottish Widows is one of the largest and most trusted providers in the Corporate Pensions market, helping over 1.4 million employees save for their future. We invited Lynn Graves to talk us through the firm and the pensions solutions it offers.

Established in 1815, Scottish Widows offers a wide range of pensions solutions, with a focus on corporate pensions. Lynn explains the firm’s service offering in this area.

Over the last few years reforms in the corporate pensions market have introduced a huge amount of change in the industry, as Lynn highlights as she outlines the key differentiators for her firm.

“Corporate pensions are a key part of our business and we understand that it’s a complex market. Since 2012 we have helped over 4,800 employers meet their automatic enrolment duties and we continue to provide a range of support to employers around auto-enrolment, including both our own solutions and our ability to integrate with other third parties.”

“In recent years we have seen increased focus on the importance of delivering good value for money and good outcomes at retirement. We have also seen a common theme emerging from Government and Regulators on the key areas to focus on in order to achieve this. These ‘Drivers of Value’ underpin everything that we’re doing in the Corporate Pensions market. They are; Engagement, Investments, Service, Charges and Governance. They underpin our corporate pension proposition and enable us to deliver good outcomes at retirement for consumers.

“We are working with members to understand their needs in their own language and building solutions that not only meet those needs, but also reflect the ways they want to interact with us.”

“In addition to this, one of our core strengths, and one that is crucial in this market, is our ability to develope strong tripartite relationships with both advisers and employers to ensure that what we deliver complements the services of the adviser, and effectively supports the needs of the employer and their workforce.” As her final comment Lynn explains the strategies the firm is currently employing in order to build a bright and successful future. “We are currently investing heavily in developing our digital capability - a programme which is helping us shape the future of workplace saving. “As a business we are constantly investing heavily in growing our digital capability. As part of Lloyds Banking Group we are uniquely placed to benefit from not only the Group’s financial strength, but also the digital knowledge and expertise. Rather than simply develop the functionality to meet the immediate need, we’re doing much more than just digitising our existing processes. We are working with members to understand their needs in their own language and building solutions that not only meet those needs, but also reflect the ways they want to interact with us.”

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Tavernier Tschanz

M&A Law Firm of the Year - Switzerland & Dealmaker of the Year - Switzerland Company: Tavernier Tschanz Address: 11-bis, rue Toepffer CH - 1206 Geneva Phone: +41 22 704 3700 Fax: +41 22 704 3777 Email: mail@taverniertschanz.com Web: www.taverniertschanz.com

Tavernier Tschanz Tavernier Tschanz is a leading Swiss law firm supporting clients with all their corporate legal needs. We profile the firm and examine how it came to win this prestigious award.

Tavernier Tschanz provides legal advisory services, focusing on general corporate and commercial, corporate finance, corporate transactions, M&A, banking, competition, tax and arbitration. Through this niche the firm has been able to build up a strong reputation for excellence in the business and corporate law markets. To provide a fully comprehensive service the firm employ a collaborative approach, working both domestically and abroad with a network of correspondent law firms and other service providers carefully selected over the years to ensure clients receive the advice and support they require.

“what sets the practice apart from other Swiss law firms is the fact that Tavernier Tschanz have resolved to focus its activities on carefully selected legal areas, so as to be able to render its services with speed and efficiency”

This collaborative approach exists internally as well as outside the firm, and as such expertise, information and knowledge are constantly and actively shared amongst the firm’s lawyers. The team is a key feature of the firm, and therefore matters are naturally assigned to those best qualified to handle them and the combined expertise of all the attorneys is always available to deal with the client’s requirements and needs. Overall, what sets the practice apart from other Swiss law firms is the fact that Tavernier Tschanz have resolved to focus its activities on carefully selected legal areas, so as to be able to render its services with speed and efficiency. This choice has enabled the firm to build a team of lawyers who are truly specialized and experienced in their respective fields while avoiding the need for the firm to grow in size beyond what is necessary to service the business needs of its clients, which will, ultimately, be the firm’s continued focus going forward.

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dompatent von Kreisler Selting Werner

Most-Established IP Law Firm of the Year - Germany & Best for China-Focused IP Matters - Germany Company: dompatent von Kreisler Selting Werner Address: Deichmannhaus am Dom, Bahnhofsvorplatz 1, D-50667 KĂśln (Cologne), Germany Telephone: +49 (221) 91652 0 Fax: +49 (221) 134297 Email: mail@dompatent.de Website: www.dompatent.de

dompatent von Kreisler Selting Werner dompatent von Kreisler Selting Werner (Dompatent) offers an allencompassing legal service, comprising of efficient counseling and representation in all technical fields. We profile the firm and explore the techniques it employs to ensure it offers excellence in every area of practice.

Established in 1947, dompatent von Kreisler Selting Werner is a mid-sized IP firm located in Cologne, Germany. Dompatent has more than 80 IP professionals including patent attorneys, patent engineers, patent and trademark search specialists, paralegals etc. The company serves domestic and international clients, with a strong focus on the Asian markets, predominantly the Chinese market, which has come into the fore in recent years. The firm offers a large variety of in-house services including an in-house patent, trademark and design search department, highly specialized in-house translators, a draftsman, an in-house annuity department and many more. Many of the firm’s IP professionals and even the administrative staff have more than 15 or even more than 20 years of experience in IP matters and therefore are able to offer the highest quality of service to the client.

104 Acquisition International - M&A Awards 2016

Thanks to the vast experience of its staff, Dompatent offers professional services in all technical fields, with a specific legal department including attorneys at law who mainly focus on trademark, design and unfair competition litigation so that the firm is able to offer a full variety of IP services. In addition, Dompatent has a highly experienced patent litigation team including patent attorneys of all technical fields with many years of experience in representing domestic and international clients in patent litigation proceedings. Ultimately, Dompatent are committed to supporting their clients through whatever legal issues they have, and have the technical capabilities and knowledge to provide a service which is second to none.


WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff

Best for Environmental Due Diligence 2016

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff is one of the world’s leading professional services firms providing technical consultancy to the built and natural environment. We spoke with Jenny Cope, one of the firm’s Principal Consultants to find out more. Company: WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Name: Jenny Cope, Principal Consultant Email: jenny.cope@ wspgroup.com Web: www.wsp-pb.com Address: 6 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YE Telephone: 0203 116 6011

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff employs 3,000 environmental and sustainability specialists and offers a wide range of services, from providing rapid-turnaround environmental due diligence assessments to helping clients with the practical delivery of energy saving and infrastructure investments. Jenny outlines the services the firm provides in the M&A space. “Our UK Environmental Due Diligence (EDD) team focusses on delivering clear commercial advice to help our clients to understand and manage environmental risks at the point of transaction; whether these are potential material liabilities, or simply represent ‘bumps in the road’. We work not only to ensure clients understand the potential concern, but also to help clients see where ‘challenges’ may in fact provide opportunities for adding value to the asset in the longer term.

“Within the M&A arena our company provides a holistic service for both environmental and technical due diligence. A high proportion of our M&A work in the last 12 months has been in the oil and gas sector and we’re ideally placed to provide a team capable of assessing both whether infrastructure is fit for purpose, as well as commentary on environmental impacts; and to do so in a manner which is readily digestible for our clients and always fully costed.” For her closing comments Jenny is keen to emphasise the unique features which set her firm apart from it competition. “As a business we are committed to innovation. Each client has individual requirements, and each project has its own nuances. We take the time early on in our involvement with a project to establish what our client is really seeking from us, and to build to most appropriate solution. This solution will take account of variables such as the project location, sector, timescale and the commercial aspects of the transaction itself; resulting in a tailored and targeted deliverable. “Fundamentally, we care about being part of an environmental solution to business needs, care about leading our industry rather than being a passive observer of regulation, and care about sharing our learning and engaging widely. This sets us apart and fuels our research programme, which has some exciting projects in the pipeline.”

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