Mergermarket Private Equity and M&A Forum Nordics 2024

The must-attend event for the Nordic private equity and M&A community!

Hotel At Six, Stockholm 

Agenda

08.30 - 09.00
CEST

Registration & breakfast

09.00 - 09.10
CEST
09.10 - 09.40
CEST

Keynote interview: Geopolitical insights for navigating the global economic landscape

A macroeconomist or former politician will reflect on the current state of the global economy, discussing the impact of geopolitical events, such as the Ukraine/Russia conflict and Israel/Palestine tensions, on the Nordic region and its M&A landscape.

09.40 - 10.25
CEST

Opening panel: Regional outlook - the resurgence of Nordic M&A

Over half of the world’s population is heading to the polls this year to vote in what could be pivotal year with lasting impacts on geopolitical dynamics and, subsequently, on global M&A activity. This panel will focus on the macroeconomic drivers behind recent and upcoming Nordic M&A activity, including retreating inflation, stabilising interest rates, pent-up demand from private equity firms and corporates, and the role of technology in driving efficiency. Panellists will review strategies for navigating the new dealmaking landscape including adjusting for seller expectations, identifying attractive targets, navigating regulatory hurdles, and addressing energy security concerns. Panellists will discuss:

  • What are the main macro-geopolitical drivers impacting Nordic M&A? Consider ECB/Fed politics and spillover effects, the implications of the entire Nordic block being part of NATO, and how recent government changes affecting the M&A landscape.
  • How are M&A professionals addressing adjusting seller expectations in this new economic climate?
  • What opportunities exist in bolt-on acquisitions, carve-outs, and small-to-mid cap listed companies?
  • How is the focus on energy security influencing investments in the renewables sector, and what potential rebalancing efforts are being considered?
10.25 - 11.10
CEST

Panel: Exploring the financing landscape in the Nordics

Against the backdrop of a challenging financing landscape including geopolitical uncertainty, high interest rates, and a looming maturity wall, this panel will discuss the current state of financing in the Nordic region. Panellists will discuss on the upcoming maturity wall, NAV (Net Asset Value) based lending, direct lending, restructuring, and the differences between public and private financing options for corporates. Panellists will debate:

  • How are private equity firms and corporates adapting to the new financing environment and exploring alternative options like NAV based lending?
  • What role do direct lenders play in the current financing landscape, and how are they collaborating with PE firms and corporates?
  • What is the outlook for restructurings in the Nordics? And what refinancing and restructuring strategies are companies using to navigate a challenging economic environment?
  • What are the key differences between public and private financing options for corporates, and how are they making an informed decision?
11.10 - 11.40
CEST

Networking break

12.25 - 13.00
CEST

Fireside chat: Building a resilient and diverse portfolio

The Nordics, as well as the wider European economies, are set for further uncertainty in 2024 with elections, on-going conflict, and energy security concerns afoot. Amidst this landscape, dealmakers must build resilient and diverse portfolios that can face and resist headwinds to generate alpha. This session will explore diversification strategies across sectors and asset classes, techniques for identifying and mitigating portfolio risks, and the importance of fostering diversity and inclusion in investment decision-making. Speakers will discuss:

  • What are some effective diversification strategies for building resilient portfolios across various sectors and asset classes?
  • How can investors identify and mitigate portfolio risks in the current economic climate?
  • What role do alternative investments play in generating alpha, and how can they be effectively incorporated into a portfolio?
  • Why is fostering diversity and inclusion important in investment decision-making, and what steps can be taken to promote these values?
13.00 - 14.00
CEST

Lunch

14.00 - 14.45
CEST

Panel: Sector spotlight – energy and industrials in a geopolitical context

This panel focuses on two key sectors diving Nordic M&A activity: energy (including oil and gas, and renewables) and industrials (including manufacturing and machinery). Panellists will discuss the impact of energy security concerns due to ongoing conflicts in Ukraine, the challenges posted by foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations, and the need to navigate various regulatory hurdles. The discussion will also explore the role of the green energy transition in shaping M&A activity, the cross-over with infrastructure, and the growing importance of data centres. 

  • How are energy concerns, heightened by the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine, driving M&A activity in the oil and gas and renewables sectors, and what strategies are companies employing to mitigate these risks? Are investors also able to embrace the green energy transition in this context?
  • What are the key FDI regulations and regulatory hurdles affecting M&A transactions in the energy and industrials sectors, and how are investors navigating these challenges?
  • How are investors capitalising on the growing synergies between the energy and infrastructure sectors in the drive towards energy transition? What are the pipeline opportunities in data centres and energy storage?
  • How are companies in the manufacturing and machinery subsectors adapting to the changing landscape considering the growing emphasis on sustainability? 
Jesper Karpsen
Jesper Karpsen Group CEO, DRIVA GROUP
14.45 - 15.15
CEST

Fireside chat: Sector spotlight - defence investments in the Nordics

The defence sector in the Nordic region has gained increased attention from investors due to geopolitical developments and technological advancements. This panel will bring together private equity professionals, defence industry experts, and government representatives to discuss the opportunities and challenges in this growing sector. Speakers will explore investment trends, regulatory considerations, and the potential for value creation in Nordic defence companies. 

  • What are the key drivers behind the growing interest in Nordic defence investments, and how has the geopolitical landscape influenced this trend? 
  • What sub-sectors within the defence industry are attracting the most attention from private equity investors, and why? 
  • How are government policies and regulations affecting investment opportunities in the Nordic defence sector, and what challenges does this present for private equity firms? 
  • What strategies are successful investors employing to create value in defence portfolio companies, and how do these differ from other sectors? How are technological advancements, such as AI and cybersecurity, shaping investment opportunities in the Nordic defence industry? 
  • What are the exit opportunities for private equity investments in the Nordic defence sector, and how do these compare to other industries in the region?
15.15 - 15.45
CEST

Networking break

15.45 - 16.30
CEST

Panel: The evolution of due diligence in M&A

In today’s rapidly changing dealmaking environment, thorough and comprehensive due diligence is more critical than ever in M&A transactions. This session will explore the latest developments and best practices in M&A due diligence, with a particular focus on emerging areas such as supply chain risk considering new regulations such as the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act and the proposed EU (European Union) Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, the impact of the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA), and anti-money laundering compliance developments including the 6th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD6). Speakers will discuss:

  • How can buyers effectively incorporate supply chain due diligence into their M&A processes to ensure compliance with emerging regulations, and what are the best practices for assessing and mitigating supply chain risks?
  • What impact does the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) have on M&A due diligence, particularly in the financial services sector, and how can buyers evaluate a target company’s cybersecurity and IT resilience to minimise potential liabilities?
  • How can M&A practitioners navigate the increasing scrutiny of AML compliance, driven by high-profile enforcement actions and developments such as AMLD6?
  • How can M&A professionals effectively collaborate with consultants and advisors to leverage their specialised due diligence services, and what are the best practices for ensuring a comprehensive and efficient due diligence process while managing costs?
16.30 - 17.15
CEST

Panel: Innovative strategies for enhanced returns

In a climate where fundraising is proving increasingly difficult and access to financing is more constrained, private equity firms are placing higher emphasis on generating alpha to deliver superior returns for investors. This session will explore innovative strategies designed to enhance investor returns in a challenging environment. Panellists will debate diversifying into alternative asset classes such as private equity and real assets, the growing popularity of GP-led secondaries and restructurings to provide liquidity to LPs while allowing GPs retain control of high-performing assets, the role of co-investments and emerging fundraising mechanisms, such as continuation funds and long-dated vehicles. 

  • How can private equity firms effectively diversify into alternative asset classes? Which asset classes are proving most effective in delivering returns for investors?
  • What are the key benefits and considerations for GPs and LPs when utilising GP-led secondaries and restructurings, and how can these strategies be deployed to provide liquidity?
  • How can co-investments be structured to align the interests of LPs and GPs, and what are the potential advantages and challenges of this approach in terms of fees, transparency, and return potential?
  • What are the most promising fundraising mechanisms, such as continuation funds and long-dated vehicles, and how can GPs leverage these structures to enhance flexibility, adapt to market conditions, and deliver superior returns to investors?
17.15 - 18.15
CEST

Chair’s closing remarks and networking drinks