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Iberia M&A

Latest Update: 1 January 2021

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic throughout the year, Iberia M&A increased by value year-on-year. The region saw EUR 48.7bn across 527 deals, a 17.5% uptick by value despite 90 fewer deals. This was driven by a flurry of deals valued above EUR 500m, three more than in 2019.

  • Portugal saw EUR 10.5bn changing hands across 77 deals in 2020, compared to 90 deals worth EUR 7bn in 2019. It represents the highest annual value since 2014 (EUR 18.1bn), which saw two deals valued over EUR 5bn. In 2020, the country recorded five deals worth over EUR 500m, all of which were conducted by foreign investors. Inbound accounted for 92.9% of the 2H20 value, and foreign investment will likely remain a key factor for the country’s dealmaking activity, according to Mergermarket intelligence.

  • Sponsors remained fairly active throughout 2020, with private equity buyouts reaching 115 deals worth EUR 14.9bn. This represented 21.8% of the total Iberian deal count, the highest annual share seen in the region on Mergermarket record, marginally behind 2019’s 21.9%. There was a noticeable increase in the second half of the year, with the number of buyouts in 2H20 (70 deals) up 55.6% on the first six months (45 deals). Exits, meanwhile, saw an even stronger uptick with the 33 exits recorded in the second half, more than double the amount seen during 1H20 (16 deals).

  • Despite the uncertainty, activity in the financial services sector was fairly strong, with the EUR 7.1bn (27 deals) accounting for a 68.3% rise by value versus 2019 (EUR 4.2bn, 30 deals) despite three fewer deals. This was largely driven by the EUR 4.3bn tie-up between CaixaBank and Bankia – the largest deal in the sector in Iberia since 2012. December saw further banking consolidation with Unicaja Banco acquiring Liberbank for EUR 763m. The deal foresees cost synergies of EUR 192m by 2023 and came after the two reportedly failed to reach an agreement in 2019, before resuming talks in 2020.

Top deals FY20

Announcement     Date
Target Company
Target Dominant     Sector
Bidder Company
Seller Company
Deal value (€m)
Masmovil Ibercom SA (90.8% stake)
Lorca telecom BidCo

Bankia SA
Financial Services
CaixaBank SA

Brisa-Auto Estradas de Portugal SA (81.2% stake)
National Pension Service; APG Group NV; and Swiss Life Asset Management AG
Jose de Mello SGPS SA; and Arcus Infrastructure Partners LLP
Viesgo Espana SL
Energy, Mining & Utilities
Energias de Portugal SA
Macquarie Group Limited

Neuraxpharm Group
Pharma, Medical & Biotech
Permira Advisers LLP
Apax Partners LLP

For more proprietary analysis and opportunities on Iberia, click here.

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