Oct 122012

Nota de Prensa – Incorporación de socios



ARS Corporate, la firma española de asesoramiento en fusiones y adquisiciones y partner español de la red global “M&A Europe”, ha decidido reforzar su estructura con la incorporación de cuatro nuevos socios, en su camino de consolidarse como firma especialista en el Mid-Market y en transacciones transfronterizas.

Los nuevos socios de ARS Corporate son:

  • Como Partners:
    • Fernando Martínez Stinus, especialista en consultoría estratégica y de negocio, procedente de Capgemini (donde ocupó, entre otros, el cargo de CEO de Gemini Consulting y CEO de Capgemini Brasil).
    • Marc Blasco, con amplia experiencia ejecutiva en capital riesgo, así como en consultoría y tecnología, ocio y entretenimiento (como Director General de CIRSA Interactiva) e industria (química, alimentaria e ingeniería).
  • Y como Associated Partners:
    • José María Niella, especialista en industria farmacéutica y healthcare, ha sido director general o de división, entre otras, de Farmhispania, Laboratorios LETI o Medichem.
    • Manel Roure, Director de filiales extranjeras del Grupo DOGA. Antes director de Yorka North America.

Los nuevos socios se unen así al equipo liderado por Martin Mayer y Jordi Blasco, que fundaron la firma en 2008, y Giorgio Maritan, incorporado como socio a la firma a principios de 2012.

A través de “M&A Europe” (alianza internacional presente en más de 30 países de 4 continentes), ARS Corporate asesora a sus clientes nacionales e internacionales en sus planes de desarrollo corporativo a nivel global.

ARS Corporate ha asesorado recientemente varias operaciones de tamaño mediano en España, entre las cuales se puede destacar el secondary buy-out de Guzmán Gastronomía (hoy participada por MIURA Private Equity y el equipo directivo), la fusión y posterior desinversión de Lavinia con Vértice 360º o la venta de Gestión del Conocimiento (GEC) a HEDIMA, posterior al management buy-out anterior que dio entrada a SUMA Capital y el equipo directivo, también asesorado por ARS Corporate.


ExpansiónNota de prensa

ExpansiónNoticia en Expansión

Nov 302011

ARS Corporate appointed Partner by M&A Europe



ARS Corporate, an independent mergers and acquisitions advisory boutique with offices in Madrid and Barcelona has been appointed Spanish partner of M&A Europe during the international convention held recently in Israel. ARS Corporate focus on mid-market and is managed by the founding partners Jordi Blasco and Martin Mayer.


M&A Europe, established in 2004, is a global network more than 30 leading mergers and acquisitions boutiques in 29 countries with proven track-record and expertise. The advisory firms of the network manage several services related to mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and restructuring activities on behalf of clients. In 2010, M&A Europe concluded a variety of transactions within different industries and sectors with an aggregate deal value exceeding USD 1bn.


As a partner of the worldwide network M&A Europe, ARS Corporate offers an extended value proposition especially to those companies that are considering cross-border activities. To count with an advisor network that has the necessary local insight all over the globe is very much appreciated in any mid-market cross-border deal.

Nov 162010

M&A in Spain – it’s time for the reversal of trend



As noticed in our post in May, still no change of trend can be perceived in the Spanish M&A market. Aggregate deal volume drops after summer holiday once again and in October 2010 we record the lowest number of deals (41) since January 2008. 




Currently in Spain, we experience one of the major economic downturns. Why aren't there more transactions then?


There's a lot value for good price out there in the market. Sales in many sectors dropped significantly and margins are hard-pushed what generally leads to attractive valuations. Addtionally, we are in a typical buyers' market that shfits the negotiation power to the acquirer. During the last three years many companies did their homework in order to ensure their survival. And taking into account that economy is about cycles, why don't we see an increased interest in acquisitions? As we know, deals done during turbulent are frequently top performers.


Financial restraints do not explain the entire story. Many companies are counting with a more than decent war chest (refer to Barron's, Denver Post). We don't know whether we reached the bottom of the valley yet. Usually you know ex-post. But will economic downturn continue significantly (BBVA outlook)? Is Spain even expected to be the next Japan? We will see. But current times seem to offer a unique opportunity not seen for decades in Spain for those who dare to lead. 


Data source & full report: Zephyr published by BvD

Jun 212010

The Importance of reasonableness when selling your Business



"Sometimes business owners are their own worst enemies in the sale of their business. this post explores the importance of reasonableness for a business seller.


We recently completed a survey of a broad cross section of business brokers and merger and acquisition professionals. One of the questions we posed was, “What is the biggest challenge you face in your practice?” We gave them eight choices including lack of financing, sell side deal flow, not enough buyers, etc. We asked our professionals to pick their top three. The top answer was Seller Value Expectations with a 68.9% response rate. The next closest answer was sell side deal flow at 55.3%. Why is this the biggest challenge that our industry faces? To me this translates into a great deal of wasted effort on the part of our buyers, our seller clients, and our profession.


This is further exacerbated by the business sellers that expect a full business sale engagement with no monthly fees and the only payment in the form of a contingent success fee. A true professional M&A engagement includes preparation of blind profiles, confidentiality agreements, memorandum authoring, preparing a database of buyers, buyer contact, conference calls, buyer visits and negotiations. A typical business sale takes between 4-12 months and often involves from 500-1,000 hours of Investment Banker work.


Because deal flow is the second largest problem that the industry faces, many business brokers and merger and acquisition professionals will agree to this success fee only seller demand. I believe it was Rockefeller that said, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” One of the large industry players estimates that the average business sale closing ratio is less than 10%. This is so important that I am going to say it again. The business sale closing ratio is less than 10%. It fails 90% of the time.


Let's look at the natural result of this dynamic. The business broker, if he is doing it the right way, is going through this very labor intensive process to contact buyers, get confidentiality agreements signed and bring qualified buyers to the table. Here is what typically happens. The owner is getting all of this work for free, has unreasonable value expectations and since he is not paying any fees, has no sense of urgency. The broker could bring in legitimate market offers that are fair and the owner says, “That is not nearly enough, you are doing fine, just keep going.”


Well it doesn't take a business broker too many situations like this before something has to change. The first thing that usually changes is that he now refuses to take on any engagements without an up-front payment or a monthly consulting fee to offset some of his costs in this low closing environment. What happens over the next year is that his deal flow totally dries up, because he is competing with those professionals that are still willing to operate with only a contingent success fee.

The next question is how do those brokers that operate on a contingency basis stay in business?


The simple answer is that they can no longer afford to perform a true M&A process. They take on a large number of clients and try to sell their business through newspaper ads, industry publication ads, email blasts to private equity groups, email blasts to other brokers and the favorite – putting the business on several business for sale Web Sites.


All of these approaches, with the exception of contacting private equity firms (about 1 % of businesses for sale meet their rigorous buying criteria) invite individual buyers, not corporate buyers. Individual buyers are looking to buy a job and to the extent that business sellers have inflated value expectations, these buyers have equally deflated valuation expectations. It looks something like this. Do you have the $XXX minimum needed for the cash at closing? No but I have investors. These investors never show up.


The individual's analysis follows this logic. Well, at the height of my career, I was making $150,000, so I am going to have to get at least that out of the business each year. Also, because this is high risk, the equity I put in will command a 25% return, and I have to cover the 75% of transaction value debt at 10%. So, by my calculation I can afford a price of 60% of what the true market value of the business is.


This gap is almost never bridged between business seller and individual buyer. And yet the approach most of the business broker profession is forced to take based on the unreasonable expectations of the sellers invites this dynamic. This is often hugely damaging to the seller's business. No matter how much he tries to focus on running his business, this stream of bargain hunters is a big drain. The business often suffers a significant drop in performance during this period, and like an overpriced home, often becomes stale in the process.


As the owner of a Main Street Business – bar, restaurant, salon, convenience store, gas station, etc. the economics and the likely universe of buyers really dictate this approach. Just be prepared for this process and at least have your non-paid broker screen out the totally unqualified buyers.


For owners of B2B type businesses and larger businesses, your buyer will not be an individual, but rather a corporation or a private equity group. Let's focus here on the corporate buyer. If the potential buyer is under $50 – $100 million in revenue, the M&A contact is usually the president. If the company is larger, it usually will have the initial deal vetting completed by the head of strategy, business development or mergers and acquisitions. Those people are not visiting business for sale Web Sites or searching the business opportunities section of the newspaper.


The business owner's first reasonableness hurdle is whether he/she recognizes that to reach these corporate buyers is a very difficult and labor intensive process and a firm that specializes in reaching these targeted buyers is the right choice to hire. These professionals normally require either an up-front fee or a monthly fee in addition to the contingent success fee.


Well, you did it. You interviewed several firms, checked references, felt comfortable with their process and felt confident with them as you partner for the next 6-9 months. Your M&A firm takes you to the market and gets several companies interested. You arrange multiple conference calls and corporate visits and then the subject of value comes into focus. This is where deals usually break down. There is a natural valuation gap between buyer and seller and the challenge becomes how to bridge that gap with both valuation and deal structure. The seller's reasonableness will be put to the test as he tries to balance his emotions with the ultimate arbiter of value, the marketplace. But that is the subject of a future post."


This article is published by courtesy of Dave Kauppi of MidMarket Capital and originally posted on his blog Business Broker Chicago

Jun 182010

Iberia M&A – May 2010 – No recovery on the horizon




Investments targeting Iberia based companies are further dropping in May reaching the all-time low during the last twelve months, not taking into account August (typical vacation period in Spain). The evolution is somewhat worrisome: deal volume is down 62% on a month-on-month basis and a 80% on a year-on-year basis, whereas the number of transactions slipped 17% compared to April and 56% on a year-on-year basis.



There is a clear tendency over time:

  • Fewer transactions
  • Smaller deal volume by transaction

And a recovery is not in sight!


The current development of the Spanish economy and the perceived country risk, which became manifest in the recent downgrading of Spain's sovereign credit rating, does not give reason to expect a recovery of the M&A activity in the short term.


With regards to the perceived country risk “Spain yesterday got through a critical test to borrow money by offering high interest rates, but strong demand for the debt showed the markets were not as alarmed about the nation's finances as had been previously thought”, as Today Online reports. Spanish Treasury issued EUR 3 billion in 10-year bonds at an average yield of 4.864% and EUR 479 million of 30-year bonds at 5.90%. Last Tuesday EUR 5.2 billion were placed at the markets.


Nevertheless, the Spanish market offers interesting opportunities in terms of current pricing as well as of pending market consolidation in many industries. Recalling Warren Buffett's saying “The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can't buy what is popular and do well.”, it might be the right time for long-term oriented investors to do a good bargain in Spain.


Data source & full report: Zephyr published by BvD

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