Twelve financial consulting firms scoop EMEA M&A Advisor awards

08 May 2018 8 min. read

Twelve financial advisory firms have managed to scoop an award during M&A Advisor’s 2nd EMEA Corporate Growth Summit, held in London last week. The Awards Gala recognised and celebrated the leading corporations, transactions, teams and professionals – including the financial, legal and consulting team members, that played a key role in successful corporate development across the region in 2017.

Since the inception of the M&A Advisor Awards in 2002, the annual competition – run by US-based M&A community The M&A Advisor – has grown into one of the globe’s premier events that celebrate excellence in deal making and the performance of industry professionals, spanning corporate finance, restructuring, M&A transaction support and debt advisory services, among others. Last year, this saw the body expand in order to include a new Corporate Growth ceremony in its awards calendar.

At the end of April 2018, The M&A Advisor announced the winners of the Annual EMEA Corporate Growth Awards, in partnership with financial and industrial analytics firm S&P Global Market Intelligence, at a sold-out Black Tie Gala. The event at The Lansdowne Club was hosted by CNBC Anchor Tania Bryer, and recognised and celebrated the leading corporations, transactions, teams and professionals, with an independent judging panel of industry experts leveraging S&P’s Capital IQ platform in order to evaluate nominations representing over 300 individual companies from across Africa, Europe and The Middle East. The fierce competition featured deals valued from £10 million into the tens of billions.

EMEA Corporate Growth Awards

David Fergusson, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of The M&A Advisor said of the second outing for the Corporate Growth Awards, “Each year we celebrate the creativity, perseverance and ingenuity of our industry’s professionals. It is our great pleasure to partner with S&P Global Market Intelligence to award the leading corporations, transactions, teams and professionals in the EMEA region that played a key role in successful corporate growth strategies in 2017.”

This year saw 12 financial consulting firms pick up silverware at the ceremony. In the Healthcare/Life Sciences Deal of the Year category, Big Four firm Deloitte was praised for its role in the acquisition of Zytoservice Group by IK Investment Partners. IK did big business last year, following a successful fundraising period which saw it bring in $1.96 billion in capital, which it invested in more than one deal featured in the awards.

Fellow Big Four rivals EY and KPMG were also celebrated at the event. EY picked up an award for the Consumer Staples Deal of the Year, with the firm’s involvement of the acquisition of Profi Rom Food by Mid Europa Partners, and shared another with BCMS Corporate for the firms’ roles in the acquisition of Zytoservice Group, also by IK Investment Partners. The transaction attracted the Professional Services B-to-B Deal of the Year gong.

KPMG was meanwhile honoured for two deals of drastically different sizes. Sharing the prize with Alvarez & Marsal for the sale of Abengoa SO by Sec. 363, the firm picked up the award for Transaction of the Year worth between £250 million and £500 million, along winning the award for transaction of the year for between £1 billion to £3 billion beside FTI Consulting – both firms helping with the acquisition of Stillwater Mining Company by Sibanye Gold.

There was also a double award scoop for Drake Star Partners. The firm, which also helped RTX raise $46 million in growth funding last year, won the Transaction of the Year for deals worth between £50 million and £75 million for its role in the majority purchase and equity growth funding of Acrolinx by Genui. The firm was further praised for its work in the acquisition of NewMotion by Shell, as the energy giant looks to diversify away from oil, picking up the prize for Energy Deal of the Year in the process.

Since leading the NewMotion transaction for Drake Star Partners, Frank Verbeek, Managing Partner was present to collect the Energy Deal of the year award. He commented, “We are humbled to receive yet another award for this landmark, cross-border deal. M&A Advisor’s recognition of this transaction as the energy deal of the year is further proof that the future of mobility is truly electric and that oil & gas companies like Shell are currently on the lookout for such innovative solutions to accelerate their transition towards low-carbon transport. We see strong cross-border activity within this sector, with many more electric vehicle companies eyeing such growth opportunities and believe that Drake Star Partners is ideally positioned to support more companies operating in the EV space, along with their growth objectives.”

Winners EMEA M&A Advisor award

Ralf Philipp Hofmann, Managing Partner and Member of the firm’s Global Executive Committee was also at the M&A Advisor’s awards ceremony to accept the Transaction of the year award, having led the Acrolinx transaction. He commented, “We are honoured to receive this recognition, especially coming from such an industry staple like the M&A Advisor and its judging panel. Acrolinx is the only AI software platform that uses a unique linguistic engine to read content and provide immediate guidance and powerful analytics to make it more effective. We are thrilled to have supported an innovative growth tech company like Acrolinx in achieving its goals, and to have M&A Advisor not only acknowledge the quality of our work as dealmakers but also recognise the trend-setting nature of this transaction involving the use of AI in enterprise content creation.”

In the transaction category of the year, up to £25 million, Clearwater International was given plaudits for its role in the acquisition of Orchard Energy by Kinect Energy Group. Kinect is part of World Fuel Services, and the deal saw over 70 employees operating across the UK transfer to the North American outfit for a total cash consideration of £12.4 million. Clearwater International was also named a winner for the Advisory/Consulting segment in the Organisational Performance Award category.

In the category for Transaction of the Year worth between £75 million and £100 million, the acquisition of Pinarello by L Catterton saw Alantra Corporate Finance honoured for its involvement. Last year, professional services firm Alantra expanded its capacity by combining with Catalyst Corporate Finance. The transaction, valued at over £30 million, came at a time of increased international consolidation among mid-market advisors, as competition heats up in this segment thanks to new innovative market disruptors leveraging technology to challenge established companies.

Aon Risk Management and Grant Thornton were meanwhile part of the winning transaction of 2017 worth between £100 million and £250 million, the sale of Continental Midland by Monomoy Capital Partners. Finally, Capstone Headwaters was handed the prize for Information Technology Deal of the Year for the firm’s work on the acquisition of Vector Software by Vector Informatik.

Related: Good start to 2017 for M&A in the consulting industry.