Mergermarket M&A Forum Germany 2023

Mergermarket’s flagship event for key players in German and cross-border M&A market

Sofitel Frankfurt Opera, Frankfurt


08:30 - 09:00

Registration & Breakfast

09:00 - 09:05

Chair’s Opening Remarks

09:05 - 09:35

Presentation: Mergermarket M&A Data Presentation

09:35 - 10:20

Keynote Panel: Deal Origination and Drivers in DACH

The German economy has remained resilient in the face of rising interest rates, surging inflation and war in Europe. Recently, Germany’s rising inflation rate has slowed, and employment rates have picked up; largely driven by the government’s gas price break. However, dealmakers globally have experienced plunging M&A activity since 2021’s record highs. Looking to the future, experts cite ample dry powder amongst financial sponsors as a driver for dealmaking to rebound in 2023 and point to activity in the TMT sector as a hotspot. This panel will discuss:

o    What is the current deal pipeline in the DACH region?
o    How are corporates and private equity professionals originating deals?
o    What are corporates doing to ‘recession-proof’ their businesses?
o    How are M&A deals being financed in 2023?

10:50 - 11:20

Coffee & Networking Break

11:20 - 12:05

Panel: Due Diligence in Focus

Corporate due diligence fell by the wayside during the pandemic bull market, but in the face of a tech downturn, and notably FTX’s bankruptcy and Elon Musk’s Twitter rollercoaster, will investors start to get serious about due diligence in an economic downturn? This panel will discuss:

o    How are dealmakers conducting due diligence in the current downturn?
o    At which point does due diligence come into the origination stage?
o    Which technologies are assisting dealmakers with due diligence?
o    What are the consequences for shareholders of deal conducted without airtight due diligence?  

12:05 - 12:30

Presentation: PwC’s Private Equity Outlook

In this presentation, PwC will present the findings of their recent private equity outlook report which surveys the sentiment of private equity funds in the DACH region for the next 12 months.

12:30 - 13:15

Panel: The DACH Private Equity Outlook

Cracks in the private equity industry are beginning to show following a decade of high activity. Companies taken public have slumped in share value and fundraising is also showing signs of slowing. The layers of leverage carried by portfolio companies as well as funds could be scaled back in the face of a liquidity crunch. This panel will discuss:

o    What is the fundraising landscape in Germany and DACH?
o    How are private equity funds originating deals?
o    What are valuations of portfolio companies like in the face of stretched liquidity?
o    What are the exit opportunities in DACH?

13:15 - 13:40

Presentation: Anti-trust, Merger Control and Regulatory Hurdles

Global antitrust officials are cracking down on tech giants and private equity funds to quell the influence of investors on global economies. Deals in the tech and healthcare sectors are expected to come under more scrutiny. This presentation will review the regulatory updates from the European Commission affecting merger control in the DACH region.

13:40 - 14:40

Networking Lunch

14:40 - 15:20

Panel: Green Energy Investment

German companies and households reacted swiftly to sharp increases in energy prices by installing more efficient heating and production facilities as well as switching to intermediate products with encouraging results. This panel will discuss:

o    What is the opportunity for alternative infrastructure for green energy in Germany?
o    Is consolidation driving M&A in the energy sector in Germany?
o    Has Germany created the right incentives to reduce gas consumption?
o    What financing options are available to energy companies?

15:20 - 15:50

Fireside Chat: ESG - Supply Chain Governance in Germany

The Supply Chain Due Diligence act, which is enforced by the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control, will require large companies to conduct supply chain due diligence activities to identify, prevent and address human rights and environmental abuses within their own and their direct suppliers’ operations. The law, which came into effect in 2023, applies to companies based in Germany with more than 3,000 employees, and from 2024, will include companies in Germany with more than 1,000 employees. This fireside chat will discuss:

o    What practical next steps should companies take to adhere to the law?
o    How can companies take steps to identify, prevent and mitigate ESG risk?
o    What new technologies can assist companies with adherence to the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act? Has there been M&A in the space?

15:50 - 16:10

Coffee & Networking Break

16:10 - 16:40

Case studies: IPOs and De-Listing in Germany

Less than a month between the $75bn listing of Porsche, Linde announced that it will delist from the Frankfurt stock exchange, DAX, arguing that its listing has been a drag to its valuation. Other German success stories are also choosing to list outside of Germany, favouring NYSE. The DAX remains dominated by a few conglomerates and their spin-offs – Volkswagen/Porsche, Mercedes, Fresenius and Bayer. This session will review recent listings and de-listings on the DAX and the pipeline for IPOs in Germany. 

16:40 - 17:20

Panel: Deal Financing

In the face of stretched liquidity, how are corporates financing M&A deals? This session will review financing opportunities including private debt, leveraged loans and high yield bonds. This panel will review:

o    What opportunities are there for sponsor-less lending for mid-cap companies?
o    How has documentation evolved as the market enters a downturn and liquidity is stretched?
o    What returns are direct lending for private equity and private debt funds yielding?
o    How are banks responding to competition with covenant-loose documentation?

17:20 - 19:00

Chair’s Closing Remarks and Networking Drinks

19:00 - 22:00

Networking Dinner