Mergermarket Private Equity and M&A Forum Germany

Our flagship event for key players in the German private equity and M&A market

Marriott Hotel, Frankfurt, 60486


08.30 - 09.00

Registration & breakfast

09.00 - 09.10

Chair’s opening remarks and presentation

Lucinda Guthrie
Lucinda Guthrie Executive Editor, MERGERMARKET
09.10 - 09.40

Keynote interview: Private equity leader

Join us for an insightful keynote interview as a private equity leader shares their perspectives on the current M&A landscape and future direction of private equity activity in Germany.

Lucinda Guthrie
Lucinda Guthrie Executive Editor, MERGERMARKET
09.40 - 10.25

Opening panel: Private equity dynamics in DACH cross-border M&A

Germany, a key player in the European M&A landscape, boasts a robust economy and a significant presence in cross-border transactions, particularly in the technology, healthcare, automotive, and industrials sectors. DACH private equity professionals are gearing up for a surge in activity, fuelled by a backlog of deals from 2023 and the anticipation of fresh opportunities in 2024. Join this exclusive session where industry leaders will dissect the intricacies of the DACH M&A landscape, focusing on the unique considerations and strategies employed by both private equity sponsors and corporates in cross-border transactions. 

  • How are private equity firms approaching deal origination? What is the role of strategic partnerships and networks in deal sourcing? 
  • In the context of cross-border M&A, how do private equity sponsors structure deals to strike the right balance between risk and reward for optimal outcomes? 
  • What are the distinctive approaches utilised by private equity professionals in navigating the German M&A arena, from deal inception to post-merger integration? 
  • What exit opportunities exist for in cross-border transactions? How do private equity professionals position themselves for successful exits? 
  • Will 2024 see more mega-deals in Germany compared to 2023? What factors might contribute to a potential increase in large-scale transactions?
Franz Reiffenstuel
Franz Reiffenstuel Partner, ADELIS EQUITY PARTNERS
Gustav Sandstrom
Gustav Sandstrom Senior News Editor EMEA, Public Markets, MERGERMARKET
10.25 - 11.10

Panel: Navigating the future - DACH private equity fundraising and deployment

2023 saw a substantial increase in German private equity fundraising compared to previous years, with €4.88bn raised by buyout funds in the first nine months of 2023, according to Mergermarket data. Whilst there was an uptick the amount fundraised, the number of funds holding closes decreased from 16 to seven according to Mergermarket. This was against a backdrop of global structural changes and unique fund dynamics. Experts predict the 2024 German private equity market to be characterised by a dynamic interplay of higher interest rates, market uncertainties, and a tech-focused growth trajectory. Companies seeking equity financing in response to cash flow challenges create unique opportunities, while market corrections set the stage for nuanced valuation trends. As geopolitical and economic considerations shape the landscape, the DACH private equity outlook underscores the importance of strategic adaptability and a keen eye on tech opportunities for sustainable growth. This panel discussion will provide valuable perspectives for investors, shedding light on the factors influencing DACH private equity and what lies ahead in 2024. 

  • How does the increase in fundraising in 2023 compare to 2022 and 2021? What led to this increase in fundraising, despite the decrease in the number of funds holding closes? 
  • Is there a preference for smaller funds in Germany, considering the number of funds closed and their typical size range?  
  • What role do mega-funds play in the German landscape? How has their absence in recent years reflected a shift in private equity in Germany?  
  • What strong opportunities are there within the tech sector in DACH? Which companies demonstrate recurring revenue streams, such as those in cloud computing and software, and what is their potential for growth? 
  • What is the current valuation landscape in Germany? What are the exit opportunities for funds? 
Manuel Deimel
Manuel Deimel Managing Director, Co-Head of Investments, YIELCO PARTNERS
Peter Gottron
Peter Gottron Investment Director, BEECHBROOK CAPITAL
Harriet Matthews
Harriet Matthews Funds Editor, MERGERMARKET
11.10 - 11.40

Networking coffee

11.40 - 12.25

Panel: Innovations in financing structures – German private credit outlook

The private credit and financing market in Germany is poised for innovation and transformation in 2024, with a notable resurgence in private debt witnessed in the third quarter of 2023 (a 71% increase in deal count during 2Q23 compared to 3Q23 according to Debtwire), indicating a robust and adaptable financial landscape. Sustainability considerations, underscored by the integration of ESG principles into deals, are expected to gain prominence, reflecting a growing commitment to responsible financing practices. As the German private credit market navigates economic shifts, regulatory developments, and global trends, the outlook for 2024 presents a landscape marked by resilience, adaptability, and a commitment to shaping the future of financing in innovative ways. This panel will discuss: 

  • What has caused the resurgence in private credit witnessed in 2023? How do these levels compare to 2022 and 2021? 
  • Is sustainability becoming a key driver of investment decisions in financing practices? 
  • How are economic shifts in the German economy influencing the private credit market and financing structures? 
  • We’ve witnessed consolidation in the private credit manager space with DBAG’s acquisition of ELF Capital, will we see more consolidation in 2024?
Theo Weber
Theo Weber Managing Director - Head of Private Debt, BLACKROCK
Moritz Frerker
Moritz Frerker Senior Director Private Debt, PATRIMONIUM
Christine Weis
Christine Weis Managing Director, CVC CREDIT PARTNERS
Johannes Koch
Johannes Koch Senior Reporter, DEBTWIRE
12.25 - 13.10

Panel: Private equity perspectives on the Mittelstand – Opportunities and challenges

The Mittelstand has been the backbone of the German economy and continues to be a focal point for private equity interest. As this dynamic sector undergoes transformation, understanding the intricacies of dealmaking in the Mittelstand has become paramount. Experts have cited the resilience and innovation in the space as unparalleled as the sector continues to attract global interest. Consolidation is also expected in the Mittelstand in sectors such as tech, healthcare, and life sciences. Upcoming situations include the potential sale of family-owned biologics CDMO IDT Biologika. Panellists will discuss: 

  • How have trends in dealmaking in the Mittelstand evolved in recent years? What are the emerging patterns and strategies employed by private equity professionals in navigating Mittelstand transactions? 
  • How have Mittelstand companies adapted and innovated in the face of economic volatility? 
  • How does familial structure impact deal dynamics, and what considerations should be made when dealing with these entities? 
  • How can private equity professionals collaborate with Mittelstand companies to foster mutually beneficial partnerships? Are there specific sectors where collaboration is particularly promising? 
Jorik Fritsch
Jorik Fritsch Managing Partner, SOUZIUS MITTELSTAND INVEST
Giovanna Maag
Giovanna Maag Partner, ALTOR EQUITY PARTNERS
Patrick Costello
Patrick Costello Germany Reporter, MERGERMARKET
13.10 - 14.10


14.10 - 14.45

Fireside chat: The rise of family offices in Germany

Recent statistics show a notable increase in fundraising, strategic deployment, and successful exits within the family office sector. Family offices globally have started to move funds allocated to real estate towards start-ups, with the top ten family offices and family-backed investment companies investing in start-ups dominated by US and German players, including Germany’s Samwers’ Global Founders Capital and Picus Capital. Panellists will debate: 

  • How are family offices strategically deploying capital? Are there distinctive investment strategies or preferences emerging? 
  • Can you highlight specific successful strategies employed by family offices for profitable exits? 
  • To what extent are family offices collaborating with traditional private equity firms in deal sourcing and execution? 
  • Are there anticipated shifts of developments that may further shape the trajectory of family office engagement? 
14.45 - 15.30

Panel: German ECM outlook – Where are the exit opportunities for private equity funds?

The European IPO market was subdued in 2023, but several European companies are expected to launch rights issues in 2024 after a slowdown in cash call activity in 2023. In Germany, only three companies listed in 2023 – Ionos, Thyssenkrupp Nucera, and Schott Pharma. The total issuance volume significantly decreased to €1.9bn, marking the second-lowest value in the past ten years. Hope is directed towards 2024 with perfume chain Douglas and long-distance bus operator Flix prepared for IPOs. Techem and Stada might transition to the stock market from private equity ownership. DKV Mobility and Personio are also said to be considering their positions.  

  • What are the reasons for such low ECM activity in Germany recently? Are IPOs still an attractive exit option for private equity funds? 
  • How are industry-specific dynamics affecting IPO activity in the DACH region? What other exit opportunities remain attractive? 
  • How are alternative funding methods, such as SPACs and direct listings, impacting the traditional IPO landscape? 
  • Are private equity funds considering dual-track processes when they are considering exits?
15.30 - 16.00

Networking coffee

16.00 - 16.45

Panel: Distress and insolvencies – Navigating challenges in Germany

Insolvencies in Germany are set to rise as German businesses are hit by a triple-whammy of high energy costs, inflation, and the end of post pandemic aid. According to Debtwire, Germany saw a 59% increase year-on-year in the number of large-cap restructurings, whilst the German office of statistics has reported double digit growth rates year-on-year since June 2023 with no expectation slowing.  According to Debtwire, Germany accounted for 55% of new European real estate restructurings, where the combination of higher funding costs, collapsing demand, and inflation saw PREOS, HELMA Eigenheimbau, GERCHGROUP and Euroboden file for various debtor-in-possession and non-debtor-in-possession insolvency processes. Panellists will discuss: 

  • What are the key challenges that German companies are facing that are leading to insolvencies and why is the rest of Europe fairing differently? 
  • How is the intersection of higher funding costs, collapsing demand, and inflation leading to insolvencies in the German real estate sector in particular? 
  • Which strategies can businesses employ in restructurings, including the implications of debtor-in-possession and non-debtor-in-possession processes? 
  • What is the outlook for German insolvencies for the rest of 2024 and beyond? 
16.45 - 17.30

Panel: Unlocking investment insights – LPs' perspectives on the German landscape

German private equity funds raised €4.88bn in the first nine months of 2023, showcasing an uplift of from last year’s annual total according to Mergermarket. However, in contrast to wider European trends, German funds tend to be on the smaller end of the scale, between the €250-€500m mark. As well as this, the number of funds holding closes in 2023 decreased from 16 to just seven. This panel will delve into the crucial perspectives of Limited Partners shaping the investment landscape. As LPs continue to play a pivotal role in driving private equity strategies and allocations, this session will provide an opportunity to gain deeper insights into their perspectives, preferences, and expectations within the German market. Discussion points will include:  

  • How are LPs strategically allocating their capital in the German market? What factors influence their decision-making process and portfolio diversification strategies? 
  • How do LPs balance risk and return in the context of the German landscape? What is the appeal of smaller funds in Germany? 
  • To what extent are ESG considerations in LPs’ investment strategies in Germany? 
  • What is the outlook for co-investments with GPs in Germany? 
Harriet Matthews
Harriet Matthews Funds Editor, MERGERMARKET
17.30 - 18.30

Chair’s closing remarks and networking drinks