AI Magazine Issue 10 2018

Acquisition International - Issue 10 2018 5 News: from around the world EuropeanM&A Set to Benefit fromTradeWar The report canvassed the opinions of 230 Europe- based executives, from corporates and private equity firms, assessing dealmaking sentiment for the European M&A market in the year ahead. European M&A value in 2018 increased 16 percent year-on-year, reaching a total value of EUR 509bn during H1, and the outlook remains bright. Over 70 percent of respondents expect to engage with M&A over the coming year, and 22 percent of respondents expect dealmaking to significantly increase over the next 12 months. This optimism is underpinned by a strong interest from overseas buyers, with 92 percent of respondents expecting an increase in the number of inbound European transactions. Stefan Brunnschweiler, Head of the Corporate/M&A Group at CMS, said, “This increasing interest from overseas dealmakers in European firms is taking place against a backdrop of a burgeoning trade war between the US and China, with the upcoming US mid-terms and possible shifts in US policy creating uncertainty as well. As tensions intensify and with European growth remaining solid, the region is presenting itself as a safe haven.” However, political instability within the continent remains a challenge for dealmakers, with respondents citing this as their paramount concern when pursuing M&A. “Despite the optimism surrounding European dealmaking, Europe remains an uncertain political climate,” says Virginia Garcia Martinez, Transactions Editor, EMEA at Mergermarket. “This may act as a deterrent to M&A transactions targeting countries such as the UK and instead prompt dealmakers to seek more stable ground within the continent.” Key findings from the report include: • 22 percent of respondents are expecting dealmaking to increase significantly over the next 12 months, up from just seven percent last year. • Companies are increasingly using dealmaking to shape and optimise their business, with 72 percent of those within this report expecting to engage with M&A in some way in the coming year, whether through acquisitions, divestments or both. • Financing conditions appear positive, with 47 percent expecting conditions to improve over the next 12 months. Financing methods have diversified since the crisis years, with more companies turning to cash reserves, refinancings and bank lending as sources of capital. • Politics in Europe is the biggest obstacle to M&A activity in the region, followed by possible shifts in US policy. Methodology In the second quarter of 2018, Mergermarket surveyed senior executives from 170 corporates and 60 PE firms based in Europe about their expectations for the European M&A market in the year ahead. All respondents have been involved in an M&A transaction over the past two years and all responses are anonymous and results are presented in aggregate. A sense of optimism continues to surround European M&A despite geopolitical headwinds, according to the sixth edition of the European M&A Outlook, published by CMS in association with Mergermarket. Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC has appointed Jonathan Biggin as Chief Operating Officer (COO) to drive forward Group success and digital investment at the leading financial services provider. Jonathan brings over 20 years’ experience in financial services to the role, having held senior positions at large financial institutions such as Barclays, American Express, Bank of America and most recently, Lloyds Banking Group. The appointment comes as Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC looks to build on its nine years of consecutive growth and continue to improve the end to end customer experience. In August, the company reported strong performance across its five key business units and announced profit before tax of £116.4m FY 17/18, outstripping the average for the FTSE 250. As COO, Jonathan will be based out of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC’s Staines office, and will oversee operational efficiency across Hitachi Capital UK’s Information Technology, Human Resources and Group Change departments and ensure uniformity across the company’s brand and marketing activities. In addition to leading the integration of new technology within the organisation, he will play an important role in utilising data from across the Group to drive informed decisions that will deliver the best possible customer experience. Robert Gordon, CEO of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, said: “After nearly a decade of rapid growth, Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC is still hungry to evolve as a business. The appointment is testament to our quest for continuous improvement in the Customer Experience and the flexibility of product mix which we offer our customers. “I am hugely excited to welcome Jonathan to the team. His significant experience will be valuable in bringing our operations together, driving efficiency and strengthening our senior leadership team.” Jonathan Biggin, Chief Operating Officer, Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, said: “Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC has a strong reputation as a forward- thinking finance provider and, as the recent financial results have shown, we are a top performer in the industry. “Using technology to solve problems and create opportunities is something that I find very exciting and I see not only opportunities to continue to build on the strong foundations of the existing business, but also create new channels and propositions for customers.” This is the second senior hire for Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC in recent months, following the appointment of John Shiels as Chief Risk Officer in February. Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC appoints COO NEWS / From Around The World