Mergermarket Deal Leaders' Summit Iberia 2023

Finding value in an economic downturn through digital transformation and consolidation

Four Seasons Hotel, Madrid

08.45 - 09.20

Registration & breakfast

09.20 - 09.30

Chair's opening remarks

Rupert Cocke
Rupert Cocke Senior Editor, Head of Iberian Coverage, Mergermarket
09.30 - 10.00

Keynote presentation: Macro-economic Outlook for Iberia

The macro-economic outlook for Iberia is set to gain further momentum in the second half of the year, according to data from the European Commission, with GDP growth set to reach 1.4% in 2023. This keynote will review the macro-economic outlook for Iberia and what this means for dealmakers in the region. 

10.00 - 10.45

Panel: Iberia M&A Outlook

Globally, M&A is expected to pick up in second half of 2023 with financial sponsors ready to deploy capital and well-capitalised companies looking to make acquisitions to their core business. However, Iberian dealmaking faces some challenges ahead including updates to Spanish corporate law, changes to insolvency frameworks and more scrutiny on FDI regulation. This panel will discuss: 

  • How will new regulations affect cross-border M&A in key sectors such as TMT, financial services, and energy? 
  • How are private equity and venture capital investments bolstering the deal pipeline?
  • Will Iberia see more public M&A in the second half of 2023?
  • How are deals being financed? Private lenders or via banks?
  • What are the risk appetites of acquirers deal sourcing in Europe at the moment?
10.45 - 11.15

Networking break

11.15 - 12.00

Panel: Private Equity Outlook – Fundraising and Deployment

This session will not be streamed live and will not be available to watch on-demand.

According to Mergermarket data, Spain registered 447 financial sponsor transactions in 2022, totalling EUR 33.3bn, a -26% decrease in value from the previous year, but a 17% increase in the volume of transactions. The private equity industry has proved resilient but has been slowing gradually due to global macroeconomic challenges. This panel will review:

  •  What is the state of Iberian fundraising?
  • Is there a bifurcation in the fundraising market as institutional investors stick with existing GP relationships?
  • What is the source of investment for Iberian activity? Cross-border transactions?
  • Which sectors are financial sponsors focused on?
12.00 - 12.45

Fireside chat: Spanish FDI Screening Regulations Update

The Spanish government updated rules related to foreign direct investment (FDI) at the end of 2022 including the suspension of the liberalisation regime of FDI investments of EU or EFTA countries and the definition of FDI. This panel will review the updates and discuss the effect of these on cross-border M&A. 

  • How will the suspension of the liberalisation region of FDI investment of EU or EFTA countries affect FDI in Iberia?
  • Which future regulations should dealmakers be aware of that might impact cross-border M&A activity?
  • Which countries are reviewing Iberian assets in which sectors that might be impacted by FDI regulations?
12.45 - 13.30

Panel: Exit Opportunities and Alternatives

89% of exits were secondaries transactions in Spain during 2022, with just one pure exit recorded last year. This is because of the high liquidity available to funds due to years of successful capital raising. However, with worsened macro-economic conditions, liquidity may become stretched causing secondary buyouts to diminish. This panel will discuss:

  • What exit opportunities are there outside of secondary transactions?
  • Will there be more SPV acquistions in the second half of 2023?
  • Will IPOs have a resurgence in 2023?
  • Will there be more take-private transactions in 2023 as funds hunt for value amid depressed public valuations?
Victoria Lebed
Victoria Lebed Head of Transactional Risk for Iberia, WTW
Alfonso Moreno
Alfonso Moreno Managing Director - Head of M&A Spain & Portugal, Santander CIB
13.30 - 15.00

Networking lunch

15.00 - 15.45

Panel: Infrastructure and Energy

Spain has increased infrastructure investment by 7% in 2023 to improve rail, roads, ports, airports, and hydrology. A total EUR 4.5bn investment comes from European infrastructure funds. The Portuguese government has committed to EUR 43bn of infrastructure investment by 2030 to focus on energy and transportation. This session will review:

  • Are there opportunities of investment in Portuguese greenfield projects?
  • How is the renewable energy agenda driving activity?
  • What are the cross-border opportunities in Latin America?
  • Will green hydrogen investment announcements live up to the hype?
Pablo Riestra
Pablo Riestra Senior Vice President, Macquarie Capital
Raquel Perez Martinez
Raquel Perez Martinez Global Head of Investments and M&A, EDPR
Jorge Gil
Jorge Gil Global Head of Infrastructure & Industry Group, Santander
Rupert Cocke
Rupert Cocke Senior Editor, Head of Iberian Coverage, Mergermarket
15.45 - 16.30

Panel: Iberian Private Debt Landscape

Replete with dry powder from the past 24 months, direct lenders have routinely stepped in to provide private debt options in Southern Europe. This panel will review: 

  • What is the deal pipeline in Iberia for direct lenders?
  • What are the key issues for issuers and investors in the region?
  • What are the differences in the direct lending deal pipelines in Portugal and Spain?
  • How is the fundraising environment for direct lenders?
16.30 - 17.00

Networking break

17.00 - 17.30

Panel: Value Creation through Digital Transformation

According to research from Gartner, Iberian CIOs are lagging their European counterparts when it comes to digital transformation. However, consolidation in the tech space is actively generating advisory mandates for start-ups. 2022’s downturn in tech valuations means that investors have shifted their focus to EBITDA-positive companies exposed to digital transformation. This panel will review:

  • How can Iberian financial sponsors apply digital transformation strategies to create value?
  • What is the pipeline for deal mandates in the tech sector? Is consolidation driving activity?
  • How can advisors adopt strategies for profitability that are EBITDA-friendly?
  • How are public valuations affecting activity? Are any tech sub-sectors generating higher valuations?
Nico Goulet
Nico Goulet Founder & Managing Partner, Adara Ventures
David Martín
David Martín Executive Director Private Equity, Tikehau Capital
Iñaki Miguel García
Iñaki Miguel García Senior Journalist - Iberia, Mergermarket
17.30 - 18.00

Fireside chat: Sector Focus – Life Sciences

Global activity in the biopharma segment is due to rebound in 2023 as companies saw valuations dwindle, meaning that companies are now incentivised to acquire ‘cheap’ targets. According to Mergermarket data, the life sciences sector accounted for 13% of deal volume in Spain and 14% in Portugal last year. Life sciences was the most active sector for financial sponsors in Portugal last year. This session will review: 

  • What is driving activity in the life sciences sector in Iberia?
  • Has activity rebounded in 2023 compared to 2022 due to ‘cheap’ targets?
  • How are global macro-economic factors affecting activity in the sector?
  • How are depressed public markets affecting the dealmaking pipeline in the sector?
Antonio Herce
Antonio Herce Principal - Life Sciences, Inveready
Rupert Cocke
Rupert Cocke Senior Editor, Head of Iberian Coverage, Mergermarket