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29 October 2014

Companies are not making the most of working capital - €1.4tn excess tied up on balance sheets

By Daniel Windaus European firms are catching up with their global competitors on working capital – but not all companies are making the most of the cash that is tied up in their balance sheets. €1.4 trillion war chest Our latest working capital study, which tracks success in optimising working...

28 October 2014

The AQR results are just the starting point

By Mike Magee The AQR announcement was published over the weekend, and it seems that a lot of commentators are viewing the results as an end in itself. After all, this was a comprehensive assessment, and a significant amount of resource was dedicated to the process. This is a dangerous...

27 October 2014

AQRs and stress tests – has it been worth the wait?

By Richard Thompson It seems like we have been talking about the Comprehensive Assessment – the asset quality reviews (AQR) and stress tests - forever. Has all the effort been worth it and what happens next? The results published yesterday show, as many have predicted, that a number of banks,...

16 October 2014

The Exit Factor – Confidentiality

By Neil Sutton If I get an urgent call at five thirty on a Friday night from a client trying to sell their business, I know there’s a good chance that confidentiality has been breached. Issues of confidentiality are part of every deal and, if you want to exit, then...

15 October 2014

Is the Italian non-performing loan (NPL) market about to take off?

By Richard Thompson You might recall that, in my last update, I looked at what impact the asset quality reviews (AQR) might have on the European portfolio market. I predicted that there would be an increase in transactional activity following the AQR process. I anticipate that a fair proportion of...

09 October 2014

Choppy outlook for European IPO market for the last quarter of 2014

By Vivienne Maclachlan and Will Creedy After a bumper start to the year, the traditionally quieter third quarter was indeed quiet! So what does this mean for the rest of the year? Our latest IPO Watch report shows that YTD 2014 European markets raised €40.3bn from 289 companies, a threefold...

08 October 2014

What role does diversity play in success?

By John Dwyer It’s true that a key part of any success is driven by the strength of the team around you. That’s not just a technically capable team but one which can empathise with you and truly understand what is needed. I lead PwC’s global deals business and in...

07 October 2014

Six reasons why private equity ‘out-guns’ on working capital

By Daniel Windaus I have been lucky enough to work with companies under both public and private ownership. It has become clear to me that those backed by private equity have an advantage when seeking to improve their working capital performance. There are six reasons why this is the case:...

At the coalface: Dealing with overseas acquirers

By Victoria Marcer The world is a shrinking place and the deals market is no different. While the UK remains an attractive economy for stable investment, it may not be long before you are faced with an overseas buyer or investor. Having just completed a transaction advising an overseas buyer...

IT systems - Just how integral to integration success are they?

By Erika Schraner In a recent survey by my US counterparts almost two thirds (65%) of senior executive respondents at Fortune 1000 companies characterised their mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as being significantly successful from a strategic standpoint. However, less than half (49%) reported significant success in achieving financial goals and...

30 September 2014

“Pass-the-parcel” deals – spotting the good and the bad

By Duncan Skailes Secondary buyouts, the sales of businesses by one private equity firm to another, have been much written about of late. That’s not surprising; they have accounted for more than half of European private equity deals this year, according to data provider Preqin. A good deal of the...

29 September 2014

Supermarket sweep? Video: North West retailers discuss if it's a good time to do deals

By Neil McTiffin There is no doubt the deals market in the North West has picked up over 2014. The retail sector seems to have been particularly active in recent months, as evidenced by the initial public offerings (IPOs) of Boohoo.com and AO.com, and PZ Cussons' acquisition of Australian yogurt...

15 September 2014

The last private equity value creation lever: digital advantage

By Carlo Gagliardi Last week I led a meeting with the operating partners at a global private equity firm. The firm in question is a market leader whose portfolio spans industries and geographies, ranging from high-growth businesses to mature ones. In many ways, this firm represents the epitome of what...

11 September 2014

Review of deals activity in the North East UK H1 2014

By Paul Mankin In recent years activity in the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market in the North East has tended to lag behind that reported both globally and nationally. This certainly seems to be the case so far this year. Global deal values for the first half of 2014 reported...

The Exit Factor: Pension pitfalls

By Neil Sutton I want to talk about pensions. Wait. Don’t run away or reach for the remote control. Pensions have made or broken many a deal and, with the introduction of auto-enrolment, are about to become even more significant for some. For anyone with an eye on an exit,...