Supporting clients in their strategic transformation

31/01/2022

2021 has been a stellar year for acquisition finance in Europe, with Societe Generale leading the way as #1 Bookrunner for 2021 (source : Dealogic & IFR).

Driven by record M&A dynamics, European syndicated acquisition loans strongly increased in 2021 by c. 60% in volumes vs. 2020 at €165bn (representing c. 30% of the overall loan market according to Dealogic), boosted by consolidation trends in all sectors with ample liquidity from corporates, banks & investors.

In this favorable context, Societe Generale led several landmark deals across EMEA clients, sectors and credit profile. Notably, the bank delivered a jumbo €22.4bn underwriting for German client Vonovia in the context of the Deutsche Wohnen acquisition. Laurent Vignon, Head of EMEA Loan Syndicate noted: “In Europe, this transaction is the biggest takeover in 2021 and the largest syndicated loan over the past five years”. And as Global Coordinator, Societe Generale led Vonovia’s subsequent €9bn bond issuances and €8.1bn rights issue, the largest equity transaction in Europe since 2017. 

Societe Generale also underwrote a €5.5bn acquisition finance package supporting Faurecia’s bid on Hella, the largest corporate non-investment grade M&A financing in 2021. Embedding ESG in our client offering for strategic deals, we acted as ESG & Credit Rating Advisor and structured a tailored-made takeout solution, acting as Sole Structuring Bank for €1.2bn Sustainable-Linked Bond.

$6bn Meridiam-GIP/Suez deal, $6.8bn Bouygues/Equans, $5.5Iliad take-private or $2.8bn CPI Property Group / Immofinanz are among the numerous deals led by the bank across Europe. As a result, Societe Generale is the market leader in 2021 in acquisition finance, ranking #1 as Bookrunner in EMEA and in France (source : Dealogic).  “This is a fantastic accolade from our clients in our ability to be a key partner as they embark in strategic moves and accelerate their energy transition and/or digital transformation” says Bruno Magnouat, Global Head of Advisory & Financing Group, “and our capacity to deliver one-stop shop advisory, large underwritings and access to capital markets”

2022 has kickstarted with good confidence from the different stakeholders, despite raising inflation and geopolitical uncertainty or around the sanitary situation which could affect valuations. As such for now, the pace of the M&A activity is in line with 2021 trends. Corporates still show strong credit profiles, ample liquidity, and good access to capital markets across asset classes. Private equity players have massive and growing firepower. Stakeholders and new entrants continue to force corporates to refocus, be more agile and adapt their business models to the energy transition, tech/digital transformation, and Covid-linked disruption.  

Hence the flow of strategic deals (acquisitions, alliances, spinoffs, corporate reorganization, take-to-private…) should remain strong, with the involvement of funds (PEs, Infra-funds, sovereign funds, SPACs…), potentially in partnership with corporates and on very large deals. 

Societe Generale will continue to leverage on its leadership position and integrated investment banking franchise to accompany its clients in today's changing environment. 
 

Bruno Magnouat Global Head of Advisory & Financing Group Société Générale
Laurent Vignon Head of EMEA Loan Syndicate Société Générale