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The number of takeover bids has never been so high for ten years

2022-01-27T08:40:37.658Z

43 offers were declared valid by the Autorité des marchés financiers, compared to 29 in 2020. However, the total amount acquired is down.



A record number of operations and companies ready to pay the price: the managers took full advantage of favorable market conditions to launch public tender offers (OPA) in 2021. Over the past year, 43 offers were declared compliant by the Financial Markets Authority on the Paris market, a number at its highest since 2011, according to data compiled by the Observatory of public offers from the consulting firm EY, a report published Wednesday evening.

A takeover bid consists in proposing to the shareholders of a listed company the acquisition of some or all of the shares of a company, during a given period and at a fixed price, paid in cash.

Among the biggest operations are the delisting of Natixis by its parent company BPCE or of Iliad by Xavier Niel, the ongoing takeover of Europcar by Volkswagen or the soap opera which ends with the takeover of Suez. by Veolia.

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The trend continues that observed during the last quarter of 2020 (14 offers), when business had picked up on the financial markets with the spectacular rebound in prices after the Covid-19 shock in March that year.

In 2021, mergers and acquisitions, such as the sums invested in private equity (mainly unlisted companies) or the amounts raised during IPOs broke records in the world and in France, in unison with the most Western indices.

"

The financing conditions were very attractive and a lot of cash was available

," confirms Julie Madjour, partner at EY and co-author of the report, to AFP.

Interest rates for companies have remained low, and are even negative taking into account the acceleration of inflation.

This allows you to act without having to raise additional funds on the stock

market, ” explains Alexandre Baradez, analyst for IG.

It should be noted that on average the transactions involved smaller amounts than last year.

The amount of capital acquired following transactions closed in 2021 amounts to 5.8 billion euros, compared to 11.7 billion in 2020. It should be noted that out of this amount of 5.8 billion, BPCE's offer on Natixis represents nearly 46% of the total.

Premium up

Financial companies, such as investment funds, were particularly active in 2021, being involved in 70% of transactions, compared to 44% in 2020. Almost all companies chose to pay for shares with cash, not l exchange of other shares, within the framework of public exchange offers.

“It is also a sign of good visibility and optimism about the future: growth prospects are solid”

, including in sectors other than technology, which is pushing companies to act, adds Alexandre Baradez.

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In a context of strong valuation, the premium offered during the operations, namely the difference between the purchase price of the shares and their price at the time of the announcement of the operation jumped: it reached 31.7% for at minus 50% of transactions compared to the last stock market price, according to EY. To establish this median, the firm withdrew five transactions deemed

"extreme"

, because the premiums were either too high (close to or above 100%), or too low (price lower than that of the share price before the announcement of the operation). The median stood at 27.9% in 2020, and hovered around 20% in previous years. The Journal des OPA, which identified 41 operations in 2021, calculated an average premium of 38.4% in 2021.

"Many prices were raised during operations, especially when the reference shareholder wanted to ensure success,"

also notes Julie Madjour.

Veolia had to raise the price of the operation by nearly 14% to afford Suez.

And the momentum seems to continue in 2022, with several offers announced but not filed in 2021, such as that of Vivendi for Lagardère or that of the Banque Postale for CNP Assurances.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2022-01-27

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