It is particularly in economically demanding times that strategic positioning by means of targeted transactions takes on especial importance. Against this background, an expert jury, made up of Adriano Agosti, Thomas Held, Ruedi Noser and Patrik Kerler, honored four Swiss companies in three categories for their mergers and acquisitions:
- Zurich Insurance Group, for the most impressive transaction
The Zurich Insurance Group (ZIG) was presented with the award for the most impressive transaction – the takeover announced in 2011 of a majority stake in the Santander Seguros business (Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay) of Banco Santander. With this transaction, two global companies with different cultures and business models are being brought together in an innovative way. ZIG is acquiring 51% of the shares in Santander Seguros, the insurance business of Banco Santander in Latin America, which is retaining 49%. The two companies have also signed a strategic 25-year distribution agreement. The transaction sees ZIG strengthen its position considerably in the growth market of Latin America.
- Bell, for the best national transaction
Then the jury presented Bell with the award for the best national M&A transaction for its deal with Hilcona. Bell and Hilcona, two companies from the food industry, have been dynamically expanding their common markets in a number of areas for some years now. In light of the specific ownership structures and different management cultures involved, an especially creative approach to bringing the companies together was chosen: Hilcona is to take over Bell’s convenience business, with the latter acquiring a 49% stake in Hilcona, followed by an additional 2% in a second step. This solution allows majority ownership to be transferred in stages and facilitates the gradual transfer of employees and values, creating a new major player on the foodstuff market in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
- ABB and Nestlé, for the most transactions
The honor of being named most active deal maker was shared by two companies, ABB and Nestlé, which had each conducted 15 M&A transactions in 2011. Based on the selection criteria of KPMG’s M&A Yearbook, these companies carried out the most transactions alongside other activities such as cooperation agreements, partnerships and purchases.
The jury which presents the Swiss M&A Award is made up of:
Adriano Agosti: Entrepreneur and founder of Golden Peaks Capital
Dr Thomas Held: Sociologist, manager and stakeholder
Ruedi Noser: Entrepreneur and FDP member of the National Council
Dr Patrik Kerler: Head of M&A at KPMG Switzerland (Chair)
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