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2020 in review: Clairfield at the top of league tables and strengthened by new geographic coverage

Clairfield International once again ranked among the top M&A advisory boutiques worldwide in the Refinitiv smallcap and midmarket league tables for 2020. Our ranking is of many years’ standing; what was perhaps surprising is that, thanks to a fourth quarter push, worldwide deal volume and value remained stable in 2020. The most active sector was the tech sector, as we have noted in our own work. The numbers confirm our belief that M&A activity will continue at high levels in 2021.

In spite of the challenges of this past year, Clairfield closed over 110 deals with an aggregate value of approximately EUR 3.5 billion. The deals spanned an array of sectors and included landmark transactions such as:

  • The sale of Pilke Päiväkodit Oy, a Finnish private day-care operator, to the Norwegian Læringsverkstedet.
  • A capital raise of EUR 160 million for the French fiber optic operator Ielo.
  • Two important closings in Germany relating to COVID-driven insolvencies: Pluradent (dental distribution) and Gehring (honing technologies).
  • The sale of CloudAlly, an Israeli cloud‐based backup service provider, to Zix Corporation, a publicly-quoted provider of cloud email security and compliance solutions.
  • The acquisition by Nets Group of PeP, a leading Polish payment solution provider, for an EV of EUR 405 million.
  • Several notable capital solutions deals including Terra Patris and Versowood as well as the IPO of Belgian REIT Inclusio.

In addition to our transaction record, Clairfield added capabilities in several geographic regions in 2020: the Czech Republic, strengthening our coverage in the CEE; the US where we welcomed a specialist partner for healthcare; and Brazil, fortifying our LatAm coverage. In addition we launched a special alliance with Yamada Consulting Group, a publicly-listed Japanese investment bank that we can now count on for access throughout Asia.

We have also seen our team expand in Italy as Clairfield Italy has benefitted from a new shareholder with Equita, a leading investment bank in Italy. The investment banking team is now the largest independent team in Italy with more than 45 professionals.

Over the course of a tumultuous year that was challenging for so many, we have noted bright spots in frequent videocalls, time for reflection and focus on back-end business, and fostering connections with our colleagues and clients on a more personal level by frequent COVID-19 update calls and exchange of experience in adapting to the situation.

“We have primed ourselves for corporate finance advisory in an unfolding recessionary environment requiring additional skills in restructuring, insolvency advisory, distressed or non-core disposals, and financing issues,” says Alexander Klemm, executive chairman of Clairfield International. “We expect that with new partners and a renewed sense of the importance of our global community, we will maintain our strong position in 2021 to advise both our thriving clients and those who are facing challenges.”

See the Refinitiv Global M&A 2020 league tables here: midmarket / smallcap.

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