03/07/2023 - News
Clearwater International prospers in a challenging market
Global mid-market corporate finance firm Clearwater International continued its strong performance during the 2022/23 financial year. The business witnessed revenues of €140m, falling by just 9%, in a market which is estimated to have dropped by some 25%-30%.
Despite the political and economic challenges of FY 2022/23, Clearwater completed 126 M&A and 54 debt advisory transactions, together worth €12.4bn.
Thomas Gaucher and Phil Burns, Managing Partners & Co-Chairs, commented on the year's performance:
“In FY 2021/22, we more than doubled revenues in a buoyant market. Last year we locked in this new scale against a tougher market backdrop. Our ability to take market share in both strong and uncertain markets is a tribute to the drive and ingenuity of our people, the trust our clients continue to place in us as we accompany them on their journeys, and to our challenger mentality. We are proud to keep this mentality very much alive, despite our growing scale, which now ranks us as one of the top 10 European mid-market advisers by deal volume and as one of the largest independent players in the market.”
Following a year of significant investment in senior hires and promotions, Clearwater International now houses one of the largest debt advisory teams in Europe, comprising nine partners and over 40 professionals. The Debt Advisory team increased year-on-year deal value by 139% and collectively raised €5.4bn in debt in FY 22/23.
Clearwater’s commitment to private equity (PE) continued across the year, with 64% of transactions involving PE funds. The team successfully interacted with 93 PE funds across Europe and worked on deals worth close to €7bn.
Clearwater is proud of its cross-border activity which made up 49% of all completed M&A deals
Clearwater is proud of its cross-border activity which made up 49% of all completed M&A deals across the year and as such the business is always keen to develop its international footprint, providing access to a wider pool of buyers and investors across the globe. In April 2023, Clearwater announced its merger with Netherlands-based PhiDelphi Corporate Finance, which increased the overall office count to 17, across 10 European countries. PhiDelphi was established in 2001 and has a proven track record in international mid-market deals. Over the past 22 years, the team has successfully completed over 250 transactions, a third of which were cross-border. Partners Joris Heerkens, Harald Miedema, Willem Daris, and their team of 13 professionals, joined the firm to drive its M&A advisory business in the Netherlands.
significant investment has been made in senior talent, growing partner numbers throughout Europe
In response to ongoing demand for Clearwater services, significant investment has been made in senior talent, growing partner numbers through external appointments and internal promotions. In the UK, Christopher Jones was appointed as Managing Partner and Head of Consumer, as well as of the London office. Three other new partners also joined the UK team. Greg Cant became Head of Financial Services, alongside Richard Clark and Simon Chambers, who strengthened the European Debt Advisory team. In addition, Jo Daley was appointed as Director, Head of Impact, with a mandate to develop and implement Clearwater’s ESG strategy, as well as launching a client offering in the ESG space.
Outside of the UK, Bertolt Mueller joined as Managing Director and Co-Head of Energy & Utilities in Germany, Marco Morfino joined as a Partner in Italy, to lead the TMT team there, and Sam Nolan joined as a Partner in Dublin, in recognition of the significant opportunity in the Irish M&A market.
Three internal appointments were made at partner level. Laurence de Rosamel was promoted to Managing Partner and International Head of Debt Advisory, with a remit to further develop the service across Europe. Tom Barnwell became a Partner within debt advisory in the UK, and Miguel Ángel Lorenzo, who is responsible for the Healthcare team in Spain, was promoted to Partner.
We feel truly privileged to be at the helm of Clearwater at this important time
Thomas Gaucher and Phil Burns added:
“As we look ahead to FY 23/24, we're confident that we will continue to win market share. We have shown in the second half of FY 22/23 that tighter market conditions play to our strengths in deal-craft and delivering tailor-made processes, aligned to the bespoke needs of our clients. We feel truly privileged to be at the helm of Clearwater at this important time, and alongside our fantastic team, look forward to sharing in its success in the coming financial year.”