30/04/2019 - News

Deal volume increases by 14% at Clearwater International

Mid-market advisory firm Clearwater International completed 107 deals in the last financial year and average deal value increased by 19%. All geographies, sectors and service lines experienced exceptional levels of activity.

The TMT and Consumer sector teams were the most active with deal completions, closely followed by the Business Services and Industrials & Chemicals teams.

In TMT, highlights included the Danish team advising HG on its investment in IT Relation, while the Irish team advised on the cross-border merger of KN Group with Circet. Another key transaction involved the French team advising Primonial Group, for a fifth time, on its €1.6bn acquisition of a 50% interest in a healthcare real estate portfolio of 71 healthcare assets in Germany (belonging to Medical Properties Trust (REIT)), on behalf of institutional investors. These deals demonstrate Clearwater’s track record and culture of advising clients time and time again to achieve their strategic goals.

Private equity (PE) remains a key area of expertise. The team worked with an increased number of PE houses last year advising on 66 deals involving 42 different PE firms. Clearwater continued to release quarterly updates to its Multiples Heatmap research, in association with Unquote. This bespoke analysis of the multiples being paid by PE for businesses across Europe, has led to the Clearwater team helping PE to make more informed investment decisions.

For the fifth year running the business saw a rise in transactions involving debt advisory, with the team involved in 36% of transactions. This increase, and the continued diversification of the funding universe, meant Clearwater expanded its debt team, now with 19 dedicated debt advisers across Europe and a strong footprint in the area. Among key deals, the German team advised Waterland Private Equity on the structuring of acquisition financing, the French team advised RemadeGroup on a €125m financing – one of the largest unitranche transactions in the market in 2018, and the UK team advised on the MBO of We are Discounts – a deal supported by debt and working capital facilities from Muzinich and Natwest.

Clearwater’s success and commitment to developing its team was reflected in its continued recruitment activity across Europe and China with some key appointments made and its headcount of partners and directors increasing by 16 to 69. New partners include Octavius Mihaies in France and Michael Loudon in the UK. In addition, Glenn Clarke joined as Director in the debt advisory team whilst the busy TMT sector saw the appointment of Josemaría Torrrens and Hemavli Bali as Directors in Spain and the UK respectively. Ken Williamson joined as a Senior Adviser to the UK Board, bringing with him 17 years of experience in Corporate Finance from his previous role as Partner at EY in Manchester and London. Ian Edward also joined as Senior Adviser with over 30 years’ experience in the leisure industry. In the last financial year there were over 35 promotions, some 18% of the team, showing Clearwater’s commitments to internal development and progression.

All this progress did not go unnoticed with the team winning a string of awards, with the highlight being named Corporate Finance Team of the Year at the Unquote British Private Equity Awards.

Michael Reeves, CEO, Clearwater International, said: “Last year was an outstanding year for Clearwater in many areas, helping a vast number of clients to achieve their strategic objectives. Clients come back to us several times for our help, knowing that in Clearwater they have an expert and trusted adviser and the team are testament to this high performance. The coming twelve months promise to be full of opportunities, and challenges, and we will continue to strive for excellence for our clients and our team.”

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