On 10 March the SACC and ABCS (Australian Business Council of Sweden) presented our second joint webinar on Mergers & Acquisitions –
The state of play in the market and some of the cross border issues that can arise
This webinar was moderated by Sonia Kaurah, ABCS Board Member & former Program Director at Antler (Global VC Fund)
Trade & Invest Commissioner to Australia and Business Sweden Global M&A Lead, Martin Ekberg set the scene for the discussion topic covering M&A global activities and in the APAC region including the strong and growing M&A potential for Swedish and Australian companies. Martin presented trends that have been accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis and rounded up the introduction with a quote by Andrei Vorobyov “As the world locked down and masked up, M&A endured”.
Jonas Bergquist, Swedish attorney-at-law (Sw. Advokat) and partner at Magnusson, Stockholm described the M&A activity situation in Sweden which is showing very similar trends as in Australia. Many companies in Sweden have continued their M&A activity during the crisis and a positive outcome has been the innovative and accelerated use of digital means to conduct transactions. The swift digital development in M&A has contributed to a high level of M&A activities. Ken Wong, Partner at EQT and Head of Australia and New Zealand, also underlined how virtual data rooms and virtual site visits and management presentations has potentially changed the way we will be doing M&A deals going forward. Ken described how the market looks like for private M&A vs going public and gave a general view from a PE perspective and gave examples of how EQT as a PE fund future proof their portfolio companies following the pandemic. Companies need to be leaders in sustainability, such as 100% renewable, gender diversity, as well as leaders in digital capabilities. Portfolio companies can’t just have a strategy to be a market leader they also need to be a digital leader. Ken also covered scrutinies for foreign buyers/M&A actors in the Australian market and highlighted that national security interests are very important and foreign investors need to be mindful of this. Jonas covered scrutinies related to investments in Sweden and new legislation has been introduced one by the EU and additional scrutiny in Sweden for foreign investments which came effective from 1 January 2021. Warren Campbell, Early Stage Investor and Antler Venture Partner, described two investment areas that can be specific opportunities in the Australia/Nordics ecosystem which was energy transition, renewables and health innovation and digital tools. These two areas could present many opportunities for collaboration between Sweden and Australia.
Summary of areas covered in the discussion:
- Review: the situation today and how we got here
- Local market resilience
- Sectors/industries driving activity
- How disruptive technologies act as a driver for M&A
- Things to consider: counsel and investor experience
- Cross-border issues
- Financing issues
- Contractual/legal/regulatory issues and trends
- Future outlook: what post-Covid opportunities are there?
- Looking to the future and the scale of opportunities
- M&A trends – Sweden & Australia post-pandemic
- Pandemic and uncertainty – how to succeed in a volatile M&A market?
Introducing the moderator and panellists:
Sonia works with early-stage tech startups on their fundraising and growth journey. Sonia holds a double degree in Psychology and Nutrition and has previously founded a company in foodtech. Most recently she ran the startup program at Antler and before that was Head of Startups at SUP46 in Stockholm. Originally from Melbourne, she has lived and worked in six different cities across the world before moving to Sweden in 2017.
During the last two decades, Martin has been assisting Swedish multinationals in achieving organic and inorganic growth. He is an experienced advisor in the field of international business development focusing on growth strategies, M&A, and transformational programs across a wide variety of industries. Before joining Business Sweden Martin was part of Accenture Europe’s Strategy and M&A service line.
Ken spent a number of years in EQT’s Singapore office and returned to Australia in February 2020 to establish EQT’s Sydney office. Prior to joining EQT, Ken was at Affinity Equity Partners in Sydney, focusing on private equity investments in the TMT, data & digital and consumer sectors. Prior to that, Ken was at Macquarie Capital, based in Melbourne.
Jonas has over 15 years of M&A experience advising Nordic and international clients from both the public and private sectors. He also has experience of real estate, corporate and commercial and international joint ventures, among others. He is regularly recommended by rankings institutes Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.
Warren is Chairman of the Australian Business Council since 2018. Warren runs his own investment company investing in scalable digital startups, and is an advisor and Board professional. Previously Warren was a partner at McKinsey and founder and CEO of Vireo Energy.
Keep your eyes on the SACC socials Linkedin and Facebook for further updates as announcements are made about future events, and check out the Recent Events and Webinars page on the SACC website for summaries and recordings of our recent presentations. Please contact us for questions and further information: firstname.lastname@example.org.