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At the recent Mergermarket Germany Forum, we talked to Dieter Veit from Societe Generale
With the increased number of large mega deals and mergers in Germany, assets must be divested. The first topic was discussing whether German companies and funds would be buyers for these assets. The divestments are a result of anti-trust laws. When a mega-deal occurs, it often helps for each company to shed its non-core assets as to avoid any sort of anti-trust entanglement. This in turn increases deal flow as companies and funds buy up these divestments. Additionally, confidence in the sectors of the mega-deals increases, and other companies begin to feel motivated to act. Therefore, there will be an increase of both German buyers and sellers.
Another topic was the rise of shareholder activism, and whether there would be increased M&A as a result of it. The conversation started by mentioning that most of the shareholder activism comes from U.S. investors. It was then mentioned that 25% of all campaigns at Societe Generale included a change to the portfolio, leading to more M&A. The two could be related. There is certainly more awareness to shareholder activism. Additionally, institutional shareholders have now begun to listen to the activists, which has led to more M&A as well.