The shareholders of Siemens Gamesa gave the go-ahead last week for the company to stop trading after 22 years on the stock market. A procedure that practically closes the takeover bid launched by Siemens Energy, after acquiring 92.72% of its subsidiary. That of Siemens Gamesa is one of the four takeover bids that were registered last year in Spain, a year marked by high volatility and uncertainty about economic growth and geopolitical tensions. To this was added the one executed on Mediaset España by its parent company, the one of FCC on Metrovacesa and the one launched on 100% of Zardoya Otis that led to its delisting.
The instability that plagued the market throughout 2022 stopped a good part of the attempts to go public, take a takeover bid or corporate movement, both in Spain and globally. Although market sources acknowledge that in the Spanish case the operations most affected were the large ones, which also implied going to the capital market for financing, while those of a smaller size –mid market, in the jargon– had an easier time to get ahead and be stored in the drawer.
Looking ahead to this year, in which the liquidity levels of venture capital funds are at their highest, the experts still have little visibility but have slightly increased their expectations. “Investors and companies are more encouraged to carry out transactions at the start of the year than was expected just a few months ago, although there is a part that will prefer to wait for the second half to have more clarity about the end of the rate increases says J.osé Antonio Zarzalejos, partner responsible for Corporate Finance at KPMG in Spain.
Carlos Jiménez de Laiglesia, Senior Associate of M&A and Capital Markets at Baker McKenzieconsiders that despite the open unknowns “there is still an investor appetite in our country, which, accompanied by accumulated liquidity, is waiting for the right moment to continue with its investment plan, for which reason we are confident that we will be able to see a rebound in operations corporate as the year unfolds”.
It is true, the sources consulted acknowledge, that the recent recovery of the Stock Market has led the listed companies to recover part of what they lost and they are not as cheap as a few months ago. “I don’t see either that investors and companies are preparing for a debauchery of corporate operations,” says Zarzalejos.
From Baker McKenzie they recall that “some of the limitations are still in force when formulating a takeover bid by foreign investors in certain strategic sectors”, after the extension until the end of 2024 of the anti-takeover shield. To this is added, other sources point out, the increase in liabilities and reduced financial profitability (ROE).
Among the candidate sectors to host corporate operations this year, Zarzalejos cites “food, consumption and industrial products, with companies highly dependent on energy costs and imports”, as those where the commitment to economies of scale can host operations of consolidation.
Furthermore, the punishment on the Stock Market of certain companies in recent months has caused the takeover drums to resound and the market puts a price on values such as Cellnex being within reach of competitors and funds, after having been since its IPO, back in 2015, in the pool of opable values of the analysts. Jiménez de Laiglesia does not rule out, in turn, movements in the energy sector and that his firms “continue to be protagonists of some of the main corporate operations this year, as has been the case in recent months.”
Among the values to be targeted by funds and investors, analysts point to Applus+. Javier Ruiz, an analyst at Renta 4, even sets a price band of between 8 and 10 euros per share before a possible offer on the value. “We believe that the operation would make more sense for a private equity company than for an industrial company,” adds this expert.
Metrovacesa is once again in the box of possible bids, despite the one launched last year by Carlos Slim, according to comments Iván San Félix, from Renta 4, who adds that within the socimi sector the conditions are in place for this type of operation to continue – last week the businessman Amancio Ortega did not rule out entering a socimi if the appropriate circumstances exist. Furthermore, other market sources point out that some securities listed on BME Growth they could capture the appeal of investors and star in corporate operations.
Leave a Reply