M&A Awards Belgium: the six winners and report of the evening

M&A

The Belgian M&A Community celebrated its first jubilee (five years) in grand style on the 24th of November. In the packed hall of Maison de la Poste in Brussels, a record number of M&A professionals gathered to reflect on the hard work and successes of the past deal year.

 

The opening remarks by community manager Daphné Debaenst were all about celebrating the important five year anniversary, which is also a milestone on the way to further growth. She announced that in 2023, the number of activities will increase, that the Belgian M&A website will launch and that efforts will be put in getting and/or staying in touch with as many M&A professionals as possible.

The jury was the same as last year: president Urbain Vandeurzen wielded the gavel for the fifth time, aided in his efforts by Pierre Demaerel, Michael Sephiha, Philippe Haspeslagh, Renaat Berckmoes and Sophie Manigart. There was no dearth of excellent deals to choose from this year.

 

The winners

 

The award in the Large Cap Corporate category went to Recticel. The jury was impressed with the way the company turned a situation in which it was threatened with a hostile takeover into a great deal, accompanied by a sharp and focused strategic turnaround. In the Mid Cap Corporate category, Stadbader took home the gold. The family-owned construction company took over the Belgian activities of the Dutch concern BAM. The jury took the opportunity to point out the centrality of strong, optimistic and daring family-owned businesses in the economy.

The prize for the Best Large Cap Private Equity Deal went to the acquisition of the fast-growing human resources company House of HR by Bain Capital. The nominees for the Mid Cap Private Equity deals were mainly software companies, but eventually the jury gave the nod to Sigma Conso, with the exit of Fortino Capital and the acquisition by Prophix, praising the fast growth Fortino managed to realise in the short time of owning Sigma Conso.

It will come as no surprise that the winner in the Venture Capital – Technology category was Collibra. The jury felt honored to provide the award for best venture capital investment to the biggest unicorn of Belgian origin, stating that it’s a rare thing for so many national and international VC powerhouses to come together on a deal. In the ever competitive Venture Capital – Life Sciences category, the award went to Precirix, a spin-off from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel aiming to bring the next generation of smart cancer drugs to market, raising € 80 million.

 

A bittersweet note

 

The official part of the evening ended on a bittersweet note. Urbain Vandeurzen announced that after five years of being the president of the jury, it’s time for him to step down. Mr. Vandeurzen felt he was ending his term on a high note, which was confirmed by the size of the crowd and the excellent quality of the deals presented earlier in the evening. He thanked his fellow jury members, praising the way the group always managed to arrive at a satisfactory consensus after informed and open discussions.

The presentation of the evening was expertly handled by Francesca Vanthielen. The band “GetSomeWine” provided the musical backdrop to the award ceremony and turned it into a swinging show. Thanks to the main sponsor of the event, Ansarada, all the guests enjoyed a well deserved glass of champagne. Professor Mathieu Luypaert provided some background on the process leading up to the event. Vlerick Business School is the knowledge partner of the Belgian M&A Awards and thus supports the organisation with the continuous optimisation, definition of the regulations, the analysis and categorisation of the submitted deals. Mathieu jokingly remarked that a room full of students was easier to quiet down than a hall of M&A professionals.

After the award ceremony, the community moved to the foyer to catch up and dance the night away.

Watch some pictures of the evening here.

Winner Best Large Cap Corporate Deal 2022:
Carpenter Corporation acquires Engineered Foam business of Recticel

Winner Best Mid Cap Corporate Deal 2022:
Stadsbader Group acquires BAM Contractors 

Winner Best Large Cap Private Equity Deal 2022:
Bain Capital acquires House of HR from Naxicap Partners 

Winner Best Mid Cap Private Equity Deal 2022:
Prophix acquires Sigma Conso from Fortino Capital Partners

Winner Best Venture Capital Deal – Technology 2022:
Collibra

Winner Best Venture Capital Deal – Life Sciences 2022:
Precirix 

Read more about the deals and the motivation of the jury.

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Het werd een ware thriller, beginnend met een vijandig overnamebod dat evolueerde tot een verkoopdeal ter waarde van 656 miljoen euro. Het Belgische Recticel won de M&A Award voor Best Large Cap Corporate Deal 2022 voor de verkoop van haar Engineered Foams divisie aan het Amerikaanse Carpenter. Hoe kijkt Recticel hierop terug, en wat zijn de punten op het programma van ‘het nieuwe Recticel’? CEO Olivier Chapelle vertelt het ons.

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