La Vanguardia, May 12, 2021
The pandemic has changed many things, but the number of M&A transactions is rising, and WindCorp Translink (WCT), based in Barcelona has taken vantage of this trend. With 30 years of experience in the business, the Catalan firm completed four corporate transactions last year in the retail, industrial and technology sectors with a total value of €360 million. In 2019, WCT closed nine transactions with €400 million total value across the pharmaceutical, telecommunications, logistics, distribution and hospital sectors, .
The highlight of WCT’s performance in 2020 is a particularly significant transaction, the 80% stake in Óptica Universitaria acquired last December by the German group Fielmann for €185 million. In addition, WCT has advised on several other noteworthy transactions, such as the sale of 100% of Hospital de Nens de Barcelona to the HM Hospitales group, the sale of 100% of Masvoz to the Dutch group Enreach and the purchase of 85% of the biopharmaceutical company Laboratorios Diater from Ferrer Internacional by Nazca Capital.
The outlook for this year is also positive. “Despite the pandemic and the global recession, the M&A sector is still very active and there are more deals coming up, which is partly explained by the fact that certain sectors are growing faster with Covid, such as technology, medical and food, among others,” explains Òscar Llaudet, a partner at the firm. This increased activity, he adds, is pushing transaction prices up.
This year, WCT expects to close between six and nine deals, says Josep Pere Gutiérrez, another partner, although he declines to specify the details. Gutiérrez stresses that “the pandemic has accelerated digitalization and innovation, and consequently the adoption of technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, biometrics, cybersecurity or blockchain in all sectors”, which in his opinion “will push companies in traditional sectors to rely on technology companies, either via joint ventures or acquisitions”. Agribusiness is also a growing sector.
Worldwide, Llaudet and Gutiérrez explained, the number of transactions fell by 16% last year compared to 2019, although the aggregate value was 11% higher. In Spain, the fourth most active country in Europe in M&A (behind the UK, Germany and France), 2,306 deals were accounted in 2020, of which 47% were international.
With a team of 12 people, five of whom are partners, WindCorp has maintained a partnership with the Translink network since 2013 that provides it with international coverage. Since February 2019, the firm has also been an equity partner of Translink.
Note: La Vanguardia is the second most important newspaper in Spain with more than 475.000 newspapers sold daily and, by far, the leader in the Spanish digital press with more than 22,7 million monthly readers.
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