For the third edition of the European Regional Conference of LawExchange International, 21 delegates of 11 different countries met in the heart of the European Union, Brussels. Caluwaerts Uytterhoeven (Belgium) with offices in Brussels and Antwerp were host to a one day conference on M&A in Europe on 12 June 2015.
Optimistic lawyers gave an ‘around the table’ report on the M&A activities of their offices over the last two years. The general feeling: clearly since mid 2014 the deal flow has picked up!
European colleagues also referred to different success stories of close cooperation in the last few months on due diligence work, and contractual advice for international deals. David Lindgren of Lindsays, Scotland, introduced the open discussions on “the Evolution in Deal Structuring”, and Auke De Vries of Levenbach, Holland, led his colleagues through the topic of “the Evolution and expectancy of clients in the assistance of lawyers in M&A” with concrete do’s and don’ts for lawyers involved in deals.
Kristiaan Caluwaerts of Caluwaerts Uytterhoeven, Belgium, invited three M&A professionals to an interactive debate. Philippe Craninx of Winx Capital House, corporate finance advisors, Mechelen, with 20 years of M&A experience, could enlighten the participants on the actual liquidities in the Belgian market: “there are huge amounts of cash available in the market, but often investors chase the same good investment projects, which drives prices”, Philippe said. Guy Mertens of Buysse&Partners, Antwerp, private equity, gave the members his view on the good reporting practices of lawyers in an M&A deal. Guy expects their lawyers on a deal not only to detect possible deal breakers, but also suggest a constructive solution. Ludovic Mertens accountant of DNF Belgium, Antwerp – Rotterdam, explained the sensibility of the return and the importance of good historical data to evaluate the value of the business.
Of course the conference in Brussels was concluded with some fine Belgian beers and afterwards a nice dinner.