The M&A market in Europe grew considerably from 2009 to 2010 as the market conditions stabilised, the credit markets recovered and the performance of the corporate sector improved. Energy deals accounted for around one quarter of the M&A deal value, with continued interest from Asian buyers. Consumer deals marked by a strong private equity exit activity and asset disposals by large banks were also among the highlights of the past year.

The Dutch M&A market showed a cautiously upward trend in 2010. Deal value was up for the first time since the recession and the value of private equity driven deals continued to grow. In spite of the crisis, foreign investors seem to have been drawn to the Netherlands in the second half of 2010 as in the first half, and for the first time, nearly 75% of the deals concluded were cross-boarder deals. The most active buyers on the Dutch market came from the USA, UK and Germany. Considering the worldwide increased earnings expectations and reduction in forecast net debt rates, it seems that things are looking up for the M&A market for 2011.

De Brauw has been part of this growth trend leading the latest Dutch league tables of legal advisers categorised by deal value, with a total value of EUR 22.64 billion for deals in 2010. The league tables also feature four of De Brauw’s partners in the top 10 legal advisers, representing deals with the largest value.

Source: Overfusies, Mergermarket.