Russian M&A Forum Predicts Deal Drivers

Intralinks sponsored the inaugural Mergermarket Russian M&A Forum at the Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel in Moscow. The event brought together over 200 Russian M&A practitioners and leading industry figures to explore the deal making environment in Russia and discuss the outlook for the next twelve months.


28 December 2010

Hot on the heels of the announcement last month of which advisers will be used by the Russian government in its $60Bln privatization programme, Intralinks sponsored the inaugural Mergermarket Russian M&A Forum at the Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel in Moscow. The event brought together over 200 Russian M&A practitioners and leading industry figures to explore the deal making environment in Russia and discuss the outlook for the next twelve months.

In his opening address the Mergermarket bureau chief Rob Hartley suggested that one of the main deal drivers in the coming months would be the government asset sale programme, however he also pointed to distressed M&A, inward Russian investment, rising commodity prices, the return of IPOs and consolidation in the banking industry as key drivers in what looks likely to be a promising year for M&A in the region.

Andrey GoltsblatAndrey Goltsblat

On this theme, one of the highlights of the day was the presentation by Andrey Goltsblat. Andrey gave a preview of the research of a survey commissioned by Goltsblat BLP on the future of the Russian M&A market. Interestingly, almost 80% of the 100 Russian M&A practitioners surveyed expected M&A activity to increase in the next 12 months. Additionally, some 62% of those taking part feel that M&A activity will be driven by a large number of distressed businesses coming up for sale, or the wider economic recovery. The report also suggests that the main sectors that will witness deal flow will be Technology, Media and Telecoms, Energy, Mining and Utilities and finally the Financial Services sector. Clearly there are some potential obstacles to this, with the complex regulatory environment suggested by some 21%. The full report contains much more interesting information and you can download it here. I recommend it to anyone looking at the Russian M&A market.

One of the other interesting panel discussions of the day was the “Getting a deal done in Russia”. This panel took an in-depth look at what it takes to get a deal done. The discussion ranged from the inherent risk involved in high growth markets, to ensuring a successful due diligence process and conducting the appropriate risk assessment. Not surprisingly, the use of technology in M&A transactions was mentioned, with Intralinks’ head of M&A strategy Philip Whitchelo highlighting that there is plenty of scope for increased adoption of virtual dataroom technology in the region. Indeed, he suggested that with increase activity and international interest, sellers are keen to take advantage of using our technology to close deals more quickly, access more global buyers, ensure compliance and manage risk.

Getting a deal done in Russia” panel discussion (Intralinks’ Philip Whitchelo second from the right)“Getting a deal done in Russia” panel discussion (Intralinks’ Philip Whitchelo second from the right)

Other sessions included a more detailed look at sourcing distressed opportunities in Russia and an investigation of how business can secure acquisition finance in today’s market. The afternoon sessions drilled down into the drivers and trends in three specific sector sessions; Consumer Retail, Natural Resources and Technology Media and Telecoms.

As with all the European Mergermarket M&A events we have been involved in this year, the forum was well attended, insightful and offered a great opportunity to network with local M&A practitioners. Click here for a full list of Mergermarket upcoming events.