Insights

Expert Spotlight: How Will Swiss M&A Navigate Forward?

December 05, 2023 | Blog

The Swiss M&A market appears to be poised for more in 2024 and stakeholders remain optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead. At our recent Dealmakers Dialogues event in Zurich moderated by Patrick Dewayne, experts Philipp Haumueller, Andy Roth, Marius Buxkaemper, Vincent Thiebaud, and Merlin Piscitelli shed light on the driving forces and dynamics shaping the Swiss M&A scene.

Innovation and Regulation
In Switzerland, companies are innovation-driven and constantly seek growth. Innovation acts as a catalyst, propelling Swiss businesses into the international arena.

This is playing out in board rooms, where boards are increasingly focusing on strategic opportunities rather than fixating solely on risk avoidance. This change in mindset is identified as a significant driver for M&A activities in the coming months.

The landscape of succession planning is also evolving. While it has always been a crucial consideration, the profile of sellers is changing. Younger entrepreneurs are proactively seeking succession solutions, recognizing the importance of planning ahead. This is particularly seen in the healthcare sector, a critical sector in Switzerland, where practitioners often transition from a firm "no" to a sudden willingness to sell when faced with the challenge of finding a successor.

The healthcare industry also faces regulatory challenges. The expectation is that as regulatory conditions become more favorable, transactional activities in the sector will see an upswing.

Opportunity and Trends 
Consolidation is also emerging, emphasizing the increasing need for businesses to join forces for survival on a global scale. As businesses evolve post-acquisition, a logical cycle of portfolio readjustment ensues, contributing to a dynamic M&A landscape.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations are expected to continue to be important in dealmaking. The availability of dry powder and the need for private equity firms to deploy funds are also projected to drive M&A activity. Additionally, reshoring, especially in the US, is identified as a significant trend, with companies realigning strategies to tap into resilient consumer bases.

Lastly, the impact of stabilized interest rates and improving macro-political conditions should be a significant tailwind, providing a basis for calculating deals with more certainty in the region.

Technological Evolution
Technology is coming into play more and more for dealmakers. And that’s partly because of the advancements and enhancements being made for due diligence, including AI. With M&A technology, dealmakers can manage through cycles better, spend less time on repetitive tasks, and more time on value-added work – making the deal process more efficient, accurate, and secure.

Datasite recently surveyed 500 global dealmakers across the US, UK, France, and Germany, and more than half said generative AI could speed up M&A deals by 26-50%,” explained Merlin Piscitelli, CRO, EMEA, Datasite. “Moreover, there’s been an increase in the amount of documentation required to get deals done. So, AI can positively impact the dealmaking process, offering unprecedented insights and efficiencies for M&A dealmakers.”

To learn more about Datasite events, click here.