Sellers taking on less risk in European deals says CMS report

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Sellers in European M&A deals faced less risk in 2014 and the region saw a major uplift in M&A deal value, according to a study by CMS, Europe’s largest legal services organisation.

In its seventh annual review of M&A, CMS analysed over 2,400 of its non-listed European public and private company deals between 2007 and 2014. The Study looks at deal points that are usually heavily negotiated in M&A deals, including MAC (material adverse change) clauses, purchase price adjustments and warranties. The data is broken down by regions in Europe and provides quantitative and qualitative analysis of the trends in the UK, German-speaking countries, France, Benelux, Southern Europe and Central and Eastern Europe. Where there are significant differences with M&A deal terms in the US, comparisons between Europe and the US are included.

CMS’ study indicates that the deal environment for sellers across Europe is back to pre-financial crisis levels. Two particularly notable pro-seller trends are the significant use of locked-boxes and warranty and indemnity (W&I) insurance.

Stefan Brunnschweiler, partner and Global Head of the CMS Corporate/M&A Group, said: "The risk to sellers in European M&A deals has seen a steady decline over the last few years. However, 2014 saw a marked increase in seller-friendly deal structures, in line with the relative boom in M&A value across Europe."

You can download a preview of the report here, or click here to request a full copy.

Your key country contacts

If you would like more details on the study please contact the CMS partner below in the relevant jurisdiction:

Peter Huber
+43 1 40443 1650

Vincent Dirkx
+32 2 74369 85

Helen Rodwell
+420 2 96798 818

Jacques Isnard
+33 1 4738 5500

Maximilian Grub
+49 711 9764 322

Pietro Cavasola
+39 06 4781 51

Roman Tarlavski
+31 20 3016 312

Francisco Almeida
+351 21 09581 00

David Cranfield
+7 495 786 4000

Radivoje Petrikić
+38 1 3208 900

Carlos Pena Boada
+34 91 4519 290

Stefan Brunnschweiler
+41 44 285 11 11

United Kingdom
Martin Mendelssohn
+44 20 7367 2872