Clearwater International’s 2020 showcases continued growth through unprecedented times

Global mid-market advisory firm Clearwater International completed 119 deals in 2020, representing a continued 5% increase in deal volume despite a challenging period.

Clearwater International ended 2020 in 13th place on the Mergermarket European Financial Advisors league table, a position the firm has sustained throughout the year and an improved position on 2019’s 15th position. Clearwater’s rise through the M&A league tables is reflective of the resilience the business and the investment in both geographic and sector diversification.

Most notably, Clearwater’s work with the private equity community has continued to evolve, with 57% of its deals having private equity involvement in 2020. A total of 68 deals were completed at a value of €3.9bn involving 55 different funds across Europe, an increase of €1bn in deal value in comparison to the previous year.

Clearwater completed transactions across the spectrum of sectors with standout increases within business services, consumer and TMT, whilst healthcare and industrials and chemicals continued their strong run of deal completions.

Business services completions increased by 69% in 2020 when compared to 2019, an increase of €1bn in deal value across both M&A and debt advisory transactions. Key transactions included advising LDC on backing the recent merger of Lomond Capital and Linley & Simpson in a €109.3m (£100m) transaction.

As projected TMT was a sector where deal completions flowed with the team completing over 40% more deals in the sector throughout 2020 across both M&A and debt advisory service lines.

With the world’s attention focussed on the developments in pharmaceuticals, the healthcare sector was an active area for Clearwater with the business completing deals worth €1.1bn. Key deals included advising Parquest Capital and the shareholders of 5 Santé, a major French player in post‐acute care private clinics on the group’s disposal to Korian.

Industrials and chemicals experienced another bumper year, completing transactions worth €2.5bn, 70% of which completed after lockdowns were announced showcasing the value of strong industrials businesses within the marketplace.

Michael Reeves, CEO of Clearwater International commented: “2020 was an unprecedented year full of potential challenges but in true entrepreneurial spirit, the teams across the globe remained agile and committed to client objectives. This has resulted in another year of growth for Clearwater International. We have continued to grow our international footprint with a strategic partnership with KeyBanc Capital Markets and the integration of Valentum in Sweden, which have already shown their value to the business. As we head into 2021 with dealmaking steadily making its way back to normal, I am confident of another successful year for the business.”