Corporate Finance Awards2023

Lucrative M&A Deals in risk-averse environment

The year 2023 was defined by uncertainties. As a result, many transactions are being honored for effectively mitigating risks.

Lucrative M&A Deals in risk-averse environment

Challenging times marked 2023, with wars, high interest rates, and an economic downturn, prompting many companies to shy away from risks or intentionally reduce them. Among the six transactions receiving the Corporate Finance Award from Börsen-Zeitung, a significant portion involved sales and divestitures, reflecting the trend of mitigating risks. In the realm of M&A business, it is not just about taking on new risks but also about redeeming existing bets at the right moment. The 2023 awardees include Viessmann, SAP, Fielmann, Deutsche Börse, Schott Pharma, and CVC. The awards, spanning categories such as M&A, Large Caps, Mid/Small Caps, Digital, IPO, and Private Equity, will be presented by Börsen-Zeitung in collaboration with PwC on April 25 in Frankfurt.

Perfect timing

The M&A transaction of the year solidified its frontrunner status early on. In April, Viessmann, based in North Hesse, successfully concluded the sale of its climate division to US competitor Carrier Global. It was hailed as perfect timing. And indeed, the 12 billion dollars purchase price might not have been achievable at any other time. Following the dispute over the Building Energy Act, demand for heat pumps in Germany temporarily declined.

In the Large Caps category, SAP wins for the highly lucrative exit from Qualtrics – a company once acquired by former CEO Bill McDermott. Schott Pharma triumphs in the IPO category, beating competitors such as Thyssenkrupp Nucera. Private Equity winner CVC successfully exited the industrial gas company Messer. Meanwhile, in two categories, the buyers took the lead. Fielmann, recognized in the Mid/Small Caps category, expanded into the US market with two acquisitions, strengthening the digitization of its business. Deutsche Börse, a Digital category winner for the second time since 2021, is honored for the acquisition of Simcorp this year, contributing to the exchange operator's digital services strategy.

Podcast and article series

The Corporate Finance Awards jury, chaired by Editor-in-Chief Sebastian Schmid, includes Joachim Englert, Partner at PwC Germany, Alexander Dibelius, Managing Director of the Private Equity firm CVC, Daniela Favoccia, Partner at the law firm Hengeler Mueller, Martin Reitz, Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at Rothschild Germany, Christoph Schalast from the law firm Schalast & Partner, Professor for M&A at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, and Vodafone CFO Luka Mucic. Mucic and Dibelius abstained from voting in the Large Caps and Private Equity categories due to personal conflicts of interest.

The awards recognize transactions or capital market measures that stand out strategically and/or financially. The awardees will be featured in an article series starting in March and will share their insights in the podcast "Nachgefragt."