Clearwater International has completed a busy first half of 2015 which has seen the average deal value increase to over €55m, reflecting the worldwide boom in M&A activity which is currently being reported.
Following a transformational 2014, the first six months of 2015 have seen the firm advise on over 20 deals including the €315m MBO of Partner in Pet Food, the sale of Staffgroup to recruitment giant Cordant Group plc and the cross-border sales of HL Plastics to Quanex, in a deal worth €128m, and TC Group to MUSIC Group.
Of the nine sectors in which Clearwater operates, the Consumer team has been the most active. This includes the sale of Wool Overs, showing that the trend for private equity interest in strong online brands continues, and the sale of Away Resorts, reflecting the ongoing interest in businesses which provide consumers with experiences not just products.
The business has continued to see strong levels of activity from its Debt Advisory practice, with just under half of the company’s deals being structured with debt. With loan pricing reducing considerably in the last 18 months, competition in the European mid-market between banks and debt funds has increased.
The continued success of Clearwater International also means that recruitment is currently taking place in all territories – from graduate level right up to partner.
Phil Burns, UK Managing Partner at Clearwater International, said: « As we predicted in January, 2015 is proving to be a lucrative year in the M&A market and at Clearwater International we are pleased that this has been reflected in our excellent client outcomes. As we enter the second half of the year with a strong pipeline, we look forward to welcoming more colleagues right across the business – a reflection of our ongoing ambition to become Europe’s leading mid-market advisory firm. »