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Clairfield International 2022 in review

In a turbulent year with a decrease in M&A activity worldwide, Clairfield International has maintained top rankings in financial advisory league tables. With a track record of over 155 deals announced worldwide in 2022, including many landmark deals, and enhanced partnerships in Europe and Asia, Clairfield looks back on a remarkable year. It seems fitting that our new branding launched in 2022 asks our clients to think about how they define success. Under our new slogan, “Defined by your success”, we are pleased to share in our clients’ successes and our own.

Clairfield closed over 155 transactions in 2022 on behalf of clients ranging from founder-led growth companies  to large listed corporates. Deals were closed in all sectors. Our credentials this year, many of them crossborder, include:

  • The sale of Italian third-generation family business Salice to Cobepa, a Belgian investment firm. Salice is the world leader in furniture fittings, opening systems and wardrobe accessories, with over EUR 200 million in revenues.
  • The sale by EMK and Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited of Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), a leading technology and engineering services business founded in 2010 as part of the Formula 1 motorsports business, to Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) for GBP 164 million. This deal is a significant step in the electrification of the automotive industry.
  • Scope Fluidics’ EUR 170 million sale of Curiosity Diagnostics to Bio-Rad Laboratories. Curiosity has developed game-changing diagnostics techniques that are increasing relevant in the post-covid world.
  • The sale of UK industrial company Stuart Turner, whom we have accompanied as a trusted advisor for many years, to Epiris.
  • Acquisitions by Customs Support, backed by German investor Castik Capital, of targets in Italy, the UK, and Sweden, deals involving a crossborder team in five countries and support from our multinational services team.
  • The sale of the AixSwiss probiotic company to Vision Healthcare (VHC), a digital-first omnichannel consumer healthcare group with over EUR 250 million in sales. VHC is backed by Avista Capital Partners.
  • Nine deals in the dental sector where we are establishing ourselves as the leader in the European consolidation wave.

Our successful transaction record was once again reflected in rankings of financial advisors by Mergermarket and Refinitiv. Clairfield takes great pride in ranking alongside the biggest names in investment banking. In addition to our longstanding position at the top of the tables for Europe, Latin America, Japan, and Australia/New Zealand, we are delighted to have achieved top 10 placements in the Nordics and Eastern Europe.

We credit our track record to the calibre of our partner firms around the world. New partners in 2022 expanded our reach in Europe and Asia. In July, we welcomed new partners in Denmark with MHS Corporate Finance. With the addition of Martin Muff, Klaus Frandsen, and Peter Krabbe, Clairfield strengthens its top-ranked Nordic team, already present in Sweden, Finland, and Norway, and consolidates its position as the leading firm for midmarket access in the Nordics, Europe, and beyond.

In November, we concluded an exclusive partnership agreement with Yamada Consulting Group in Japan. This partnership cements both companies’ commitment to global expansion and the provision of top-quality M&A advisory services. The formalisation of this partnership will make Yamada the gateway for Clairfield clients into Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. Clairfield will provide Yamada access to its corporate, private equity, and family business clients based in Europe, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific region. The joint forces of Yamada and Clairfield create a midmarket global powerhouse with a combined track record that makes it one of the top 15 advisory firms worldwide by deal count.

Our practice groups continue to thrive and contribute to internal knowledge-sharing. Under the auspices of our seven broad sector groups, we are focusing on subsectors of special relevance. One such subsector is chemicals and plastics, where in 2022 we forged an agreement with strategy consulting group JF Chemicals. Clairfield and JF will collaborate in a joint sector effort to assist clients in the chemicals and polymers industry over the full company life cycle. The firms will offer early-stage strategic consulting, valuation and structuring work, mergers & acquisitions and disposals, including carve-outs.

Lastly, we have instituted an ESG practice group including external senior advisor experts and our own bankers. If there is one constant in the world, it is the need to embrace ESG goals in engaging with our clients in business transformation, to capture opportunities that sustainability entails. We are pleased that this subject resonates among Clairfielders and inspires the next generation of advisors.

“While macro uncertainties and very different deal pipelines moving into 2023, with our new initiatives and continuing strength of Clairfield’s client offering,  Clairfield is well equipped for the future,” said Alexander Klemm, executive chairman of Clairfield. “Specialised knowledge such as that underpinned by the chemicals initiative, our ESG focus, and our greater ASEAN coverage will bear fruit on the client side. Internally we will continue to invest in digitalisation, best practise, and outstanding talent, as enhanced by  the new 2023 Clairfield Academy analyst and associate programme.”

See the Refinitiv Global M&A 2022 league tables here: midmarket / smallcap.

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