Interview: Felix Frohn-Bernau, palero

“I have personally worked with Clearwater partners for more than a decade and in many ways our relationship is a logical one because we operate in the same deal space. Our relationship is characterised by a lot of trust, while we find Clearwater partners very hard-working, pragmatic and reliable.

“Once we kick off a project together it is like being one firm, we understand each other and do not have to explain much to each other. That is built upon the trust we have built up over many years. There is a real cultural fit between the firms. Half of the Clearwater team could work with us and vice versa, and that is extremely helpful. It is all about travelling together on a transaction. Indeed sometimes we will second Clearwater staff to help us with a specific part of the deal process such as financial modelling.

Once we kick off a project together it is like being one firm

“It is also about Clearwater knowing what we are looking for in a deal, as we are specialist investors who invest opportunistically across a broad range of sectors.

“If someone asked me what Clearwater’s USP was I would say it is the very good mix between a really motivated and strong team, and the fact that the firm charges a fair price. Clearwater’s set-up also allows the firm to be competitive in the small cap market regarding fees. You can trust that Clearwater will give everything to get something done.

“We use Clearwater for all aspects of M&A and for its dealmaking skills, and although we don’t specifically focus on any one sector we have used Clearwater’s sector knowledge in the past which we find very helpful.

“In terms of global reach, we will always tend to buy local in Germany. However sometimes the target acquisition is owned by an international player, and when we sell we are very international too and can tap into Clearwater’s international footprint.”

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