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Thommessen tops M&A advisory league table for Nordics in H1 2020

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Thommessen ranks as the number two law firm in the Nordics in Mergermarket's overview of legal advisors who advised on deals involving Nordic-based target/seller or bidder in 1H 2020.

Thommessen takes the second spot on Mergermarket's Nordic legal advisory charts – behind the Swedish law firm Vinge.

- While the Nordic M&A market in general contracted significantly in the first half of 2020, our M&A team has been tremendously active and involved in a significant number of transactions. Technology M&A has dominated the scene, such as our advisory to Goldman Sachs Merchant Bank Division in their investment in EcoOnline, in the sale of Confirmit to Verdane, to the founders in the sale of Holte to Fransisco Partners, and more recently this summer, the advisory to eBay in connection with the MUSD 9.2 billion sale of eBay Classifieds Group to Adevinta, to mention a few, says Christian G. Sagstad, partner and Head of M&A and ECM at Thommessen.

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Source: Mergermarket (updated as of 27 July 2020). This League Table Analysis (LTA) is a snapshot of the top Nordic-based financial and legal advisors who worked on deals involving Nordic-based target/seller or bidder in 1H 2020. This includes advisory work on any deal where the target/seller or bidder considers the Nordic as a dominant geography and the advisors are headquartered in the Nordic region.

As the Covid-19 pandemic rolled through the Nordics, a majority of the planned and ongoing M&A processes were put on hold. Some of them eventually came through as the reopening progressed, while others – in particular the larger sell-sides with high value expectations – remains on hold pending increased visibility of the path forward and a climate and trading that supports such valuations.

- There's a significant volume of sell-sides eager to proceed to the starting block, and the buy-side appetite also seems to have picked-up. Private equity have intensified their sourcing activities after having stabilised their portfolio and looks actively for opportunistic situations in the current environment, and add-on opportunities for their portfolio companies. Fuelled with plenty of dry powder and good access to leverage finance, we expect them to play a more active role in H2. The resurgence of the virus in Europe and Nordics and risk of new lock-downs raises however new uncertainty around timing of when assets will be put to market, and a rebound of the M&A-market may drag-out. We still however expect that there will be a number of Covid-19 resilient, high-quality, small and large companies coming to market the next few months, in particular within technology, life sciences, renewable energy and essential consumer goods, says Christian G. Sagstad.

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