Registration & coffee
Chair's welcome remarks and Mergermarket M&A & PE Data
Keynote: Macroeconomic outlook for CEE
This keynote speech will cover the current economic environment in CEE markets, giving an overview on the latest M&A transactions and the future ones.
Panel: Positive thinking around ESG
2022 – The world has dramatically changed, ESG is on everyone’s agenda and now is becoming a money-making strategy instead of another checkbox.
- Are net-zero emissions on the agenda finally?
- Will the new EU regulations prompt the UK government to adjust their own regulations?
- How have changing consumer priorities and motivations created market opportunities?
- How are sustainability strategies affecting M&A decisions?
- What is best practice for sustainability considerations versus growth strategies are two becoming one?
- What are the business risks associated with neglecting an ESG strategy?
- How can firms mitigate business and reputational risks?
- How can firms turn a vulnerability into an opportunity?
Presentation: The long view of M&A – private equity vs. corporate acquirors
If you are a corporate acquiror in 2022 then private equity is coming to eat your lunch - or to eat you. With M&A multiples at 30-year highs find out how competition between private equity and strategic acquirors for deals is driving a valuation frenzy, how private equity is gatecrashing strategic acquirors' growth plans, and what corporate acquirors can do to respond.
Coffee & networking
Panel: The Future of Private Equity in CEE
This session will examine the challenges private equity investors are facing in CEE. How are dealmakers sourcing and allocating funds looking at expected returns, risk profiles, sector merits and how CEE sits in a broader European global context. This panel will discuss:
- How can GPs create a strategy in an overcrowded market targeting a limited pool of LPs?
- What level of diversity are LPs looking towards in terms of portfolio makeup?
- How is LP regulation towards ESG affecting GPs and fundraising commitments?
Talking from experience: LP’s perspective
An LP will share their perspective on allocating funds and what are the key values that they seek in fund managers when allocating to the CEE region.
Networking & lunch
Panel: Secondaries evolution
Secondaries funds are now becoming a key part of a private equity portfolio. Classic LP-lead deals still account for the majority of the secondaries market, but more GP-led transactions are coming to the forefront that no longer carry the stigma of underperformance. This panel will discuss the evolution of the secondaries market in the CEE region.
Panel: Deal Drivers, Origination and challenges to expect in 2022
This session will explore the CEE M&A landscape, cross-border M&A activity, the impact of COVID-19 on pricing and valuations as well as which sectors are likely to emerge strongest from the ongoing pandemic. What impact will further COVID-19 waves, lockdowns, trade and regulatory challenges have on deal activity.
- How do CEE corporates go about identifying possible M&A targets and What tools do they use?
- How much do they rely on advisers or local networks?
- What is the role of local managers in suggesting possible targets and what considerations need to be considered?
Afternoon Networking coffee
Fireside chat: Incorporating technology into the M&A pricess
Big data, analytics and AI have the potential to transform the effectiveness of corporate development teams, but are yet to reach their full potential particularly in M&A. This presentation will examine where experts think the biggest innovations in the industry are and what new technologies are available to aid the M&A process more smoothly.
- How are companies using new technologies to shape M&A deals – is it just used in the due diligence phase?
- What are the best ways to determine the value added and how do you monetise these technologies?
- Bloc-chain in action
- Understanding the changing roles of the workforce because of new technology and what do you need to plan for?
- Identify cyber-risks in business and the new developments for resilience
- How can firms access financing via new technology such as enabler platforms and easier connectivity?
Panel: Venture capital
Is the CEE region is playing catch up to the rest of Europe in the start-up sector or has it involved into the new digital-age through the pandemic?
- What are the opportunities and risk profiles for funds investing in CEE start-ups? Is the absence of meaningful legislation for investors off-putting?
- Is CEE experiencing a wave of digital-era changes that will involve the rest of Europe?
Chair’s closing remarks & networking drinks
Registration & coffee
Chair’s welcome remarks
Keynote panel: Cross-border M&A deal drivers
CEE M&A activity – how is the market shaping up post-pandemic and has the inability to travel for meetings hindered cross-border deal making. This panel will discuss:
- What countries/regions are investing/acquiring into the region – UK, US or Asia?
- What is the current pipeline for deals and private equity appetite?
- What is the pipeline for divestments as corporates seek to consolidate in the face of a downturn?
Fireside chat: A day in the life of a head of M&A
A head of M&A will give an insight into his/her day, discussing issues such as deal origination and due diligence, active portfolio management and the challenges of managing simultaneous acquisitions and divestments, the team and how it fits into the corporate setting as well as sharing deal specific insights.
Panel: The current state of the renewable energy market in the CEE region
Panellists in this session will discuss the opportunities in the renewables market, what impact the pandemic has had on the market, as well as how the role of lenders in the renewables market is evolving.
- What are the current drivers for renewables investing today?
- The challenges have the evolving regulatory risks put on deal making?
- What are the main opportunities you're seeing as a lender in the shift towards subsidy-free renewables?
- How are deal makers financing of subsidy-free renewables projects?
- What are some key challenges you've faced when financing or considering financing zero-subsidy projects?
- PPAs vs merchant – the lender perspective
- Is the long-term expectation that less senior debt will be available for renewables projects? Or can projects be structured and de-risked sufficiently on a merchant basis?
Panel discussion: Is infra lending more dynamic but riskier?
Infrastructure lending is becoming increasingly adventurous as private equity-style infrastructure funds seek to adapt LBO structures, a transition which recently led to the sector’s first hybrid financings. Meanwhile debt funds retain a healthy appetite for long tenor and increasingly expensive loans. But how resilient is the market and is now the time for some belt-tightening?
- What is the scope for further expansion of the private placement market and for institutional to act as exclusive lenders on deals?
- Will the number of mid-market deals priced at 300-400bps increase, particularly for sectors institutional are less comfortable with, such as care homes?
- Describe a typical LBO-style hybrid deal and explain why managers prefer them over traditional infrastructure financings?
- Are lenders acting more cautiously as Europe’s economy slackens and interest rates decline amid faltering inflation?
- What are the opportunities for hedge funds in Europe’s infrastructure finance market?
Presentation: Debtwire data
Keynote presentation: Are macroeconomics turning for the restructuring market?
For the restructuring market, macroeconomic storm clouds can be a blessing not a curse. How will CEE economies perform over the next twelve months and will that translate into new restructuring opportunities?
Case study: Sector focus - retail
Whichever country or region you focus on, retail names are in trouble as disruptive technology drives ever greater distress.
- Are there any cultural or technical differences for CEE retail names?
- What pipeline can we expect?
- And with so many recent retail restructurings ending in contentious liquidations is this sector still a good target for investors?
Coffee & networking
Panel: Evolution of debt financing
A shift away from bank loans towards private debt funds, as well as international financiers and FinTechs, has added new values and opportunities to the financing process. Direct lending is no longer about fringe players raising funds on the promise of yield. Although, competition has increased but investors remain optimistic about direct lending’s growth. This panel will discuss:
- What are main difference between private debt markets in CE and Western Europe?
- Sponsor or sponsorless what is typical private debt transaction in CE?
- What opportunities are there for sponsorless lending for mid-cap companies?
- How has documentation deteriorated with increased competition in CE?
- How are banks responding to competition with covenant-light and covenant loose documentation?
- Is there any competition between banks, private debt and private equity?
- What is LPs appetite for private debt asset class in CE?
Panel: Distress and restructuring in the CEE region
The war in Ukraine has prompted some repricing in global financial markets, and dampened confidence of businesses and consumers that are only just emerging from coronavirus social distancing restrictions. Higher energy and commodity prices are also slowing economic recovery and increasing volatility and liquidity risks. This panel will discuss:
- What consolidation strategies are companies using in the face of stretched liquidity?
- Which international and national investors are showing interest in CEE distressed debt and asset investments?
- How are rising prices affecting bank lending?
- What are the implications of volatility on debt sustainability and bank resilience?
Chair’s closing remarks and networking drinks
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