In Mergers and Acquisitions
An Interview with Adi Seffer
Partner - Prime Partners
Our dedicated interview on Strategy with ADI SEFFER, Partner at PrimePartners Wirtschaftskanzlei, examines strategy,
business mergers, acquisitions and corporate legal advisory, as Executive Global take an exclusive look behind the
operations of one of Germany’s pre-eminent law firms.
''We know many of the players and will navigate our clients safely and professionally through these troubled waters..''
EG: How fundamental is the role of the client in mergers and acquisitions within both the domestic and global marketplace?
Adi Seffer: M&A is a complex and exceptional transaction even for highly experienced entrepreneurs. It is crucial for the clients that they may rely on their advisor not only for their professional approach and knowledge, but even more importantly that they fully understand their individual needs and provide them with an individually tailored and professional support.
This applies particularly when international players or counterparts are involved. You can rely on us with our experience from many years with international law firms and numerous successfully completed deals, that we understand the customs and traditions which are diverse in all countries of the world and guide our clients as their personal and trusted advisor.
EG: What are some of the greatest challenges involved in implementing an effective strategy for your clients and their businesses that are engaged in mergers and acquisitions?
AS: Our honourable clients form Europe, the U.S., China, India or South America, have to cope with quite a challenging situation when making contact with German customs and market standards. We ourselves held offices and have been responsible for many years abroad and in international law firms. We therefore completely understand and know these differences from our own experience. Apart from the legal framework in international acquisitions, we focus on addressing and aligning the cultural diversity of foreign investors or managers to assist them in doing business (successfully) in Germany.
As a matter of fact, the M&A transaction/acquisition shall be viewed only as the start of the effective business strategy. The integration of the acquired target into the (business) organisation of the investor, is key for its success. With our experience from many deals, we know that the purchase agreement is not a one-time contract, but often shall allow the seller’s help and assistance to start a successful integration process immediately upon signing/closing.
EG: What pertinent macroeconomic trends do you see impacting the world of mergers and acquisitions within the next 12-24 months?
AS: With the Covid-19 crisis many companies will not be able to continue as before. Necessarily, this will have a very significant impact on the M&A activity we will see within the next 12-24 months. We expect an enormous increase of at least of 20-30% of last years’ basis.
EG: What has been the most challenging restructuring task you have accomplished within distressed M&A, and how did this result benefit your client?
AS: With the Covid-19 crisis, many companies will not be able to continue as before or during the crisis. The state-aid programs will stop, part of the market will consolidate through M&A transactions and many will have to restructure their businesses. Consequentially, we will profit from our experience in the financial crisis (2009), although not only through financing, but fundamental factors will have to be redefined. Germany and many other EU countries, have an excellently developed restructuring (legal) tool-box. We know many of the players and will navigate our clients safely and professionally through these troubled waters.
EG: Tell us about the Prime Partners Academy and how this may benefit clients?
AS: With the Academy, we continue our long standing practice that legal and entrepreneurial topics deserve a profound basis and academic support. For more than 20 years, we have organised workshops and symposiums for the legal community and more recently for clients, such as corporate governance, going international, implementing a second management level and - recently - digitalisation and its impact on the workforce/ personnel. Another goal is practical advice to manage complex projects, such as (legal) project management. The feedback from our clients and colleagues who are regularly involved, are clear and very encouraging: they admire the atmosphere, quality and also the stimulating exchange between participants. We definitely are very motivated to continue this practice. EG