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Pitcher Partners leads Australian M&A deal volume in 2019
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Pitcher Partners leads Australian M&A deal volume in 2019

James Beaumont and Michael Sonego, Corporate Finance Partners at Pitcher Partners Melbourne have secured the top two spots among 200 mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisors for deals completed in Australasia throughout 2019.

Mr Beaumont said topping the list is a testament to the great clients and team that he and Mr Sonego have the privilege of working with every day. Having strong relationships with these clients and the high levels of activity that are still abundant in the mid-market made 2019 an exciting year to help businesses achieve their unique goals through M&A.

“We’ve seen a lot of uncertainty in the broader economy over the last twelve months, but this has also created opportunity for M&A activity in the mid-market.

“Environments like this are an excellent time for businesses to realise their corporate development strategy, whether that be on the buy side or sell side.”

“There’s plenty of capital available in corporate and private equity, and we saw that filter through to strong mid-market deal volume in 2019.”

Mr Sonego said Australia’s relatively stable geopolitical environment has made the country a prime target for M&A activity.

“There’s been a lot of global uncertainty over the last few years, but Australia remains relatively stable in terms of geopolitical and economic risk.”

“This has driven some of the deal volume in Australia throughout 2019, but I expect cross-border M&A into Australia to continue growing in 2020.”

Continually low-interest rates have also provided a strong environment for corporate and private equity firms to take advantage of the low cost of capital in the market.

In a year when Australian M&A activity was down 6%, and deal value was down 35%, Mr Beaumont and Mr Sonego, along with their teams, worked with their clients on several deals. Mr Beaumont secured five deals with an average enterprise value of $35m and Mr Sonego secured four deals worth an average of $45m.

Standout transactions that Mr Beaumont and Mr Sonego worked on in 2019 include OC Energy’s sale to Origin Energy for AUD$58m and the sale of Winemaking Tasmania to Tasmanian businessman Rod Roberts and WA-based Fogarty Wine Group. The year was capped off with the Donric Group’s AUD$100m+ sale of bus services to two parties.

Pitcher Partners, which last year relaunched its brand under the tag ‘Making business personal’, attributes its corporate finance successes to its one-firm approach to client service. Some of 2019’s M&A transactions involved long-term clients of the Melbourne firm, which is testament to the quality of the firm’s clients and the trust they place in the firm when embarking on significant milestones or tending to complex matters.

While the nine completed deals were substantial for the Melbourne firm, there were occasions where their advice to other clients was not to take deals forward. Honest appraisal being a key factor, Beaumont and Sonego say, in their reputation for quality client service and independent advice.

Pitcher Partners’ Corporate Finance team specialises in advising business owners on mid-market transactions. Contact your local Pitcher Partners representative to discuss your situation.

This content is general commentary only and does not constitute advice. Before making any decision or taking any action in relation to the content, you should consult your professional advisor. To the maximum extent permitted by law, neither Pitcher Partners or its affiliated entities, nor any of our employees will be liable for any loss, damage, liability or claim whatsoever suffered or incurred arising directly or indirectly out of the use or reliance on the material contained in this content. Pitcher Partners is an association of independent firms. Pitcher Partners is a member of the global network of Baker Tilly International Limited, the members of which are separate and independent legal entities. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.
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