We are here to get the deal done
Category: Mergers and acquisitions
This article was published in Brookz, the largest M&A platform of the Netherlands.
SPECIALIST WORK PERFORMED BY BLENHEIM
Blenheim’s M&A lawyers assist entrepreneurs with the purchase or sale of a company. Carrying out a M&A transaction is specialist work and requires expert advice. Blenheim has extensive experience assisting with the entire transaction process, from drafting the non-disclosure agreement and conducting the negotiations, to performing a due-diligence investigation and assessing the purchase agreement.
‘For most entrepreneurs, buying or selling a company is a once-in-a-lifetime event,’ says Blenheim founder Arjen Paardekooper. ‘That is why we want to make it an enjoyable experience. As a law firm, we do that by informing clients about what this process entails, setting realistic expectations, and, sometimes, keeping things light-hearted in a language that entrepreneurs can understand.’
Not only does Paardekooper himself come from an entrepreneurial family, but the 33 other lawyers at Blenheim also have a link to entrepreneurship. The Amsterdam-based law firm focuses on deals with a transaction value between ten and thirty million euros, assisting the director/major shareholder.
More and more of these transactions have an international dimension. Almost half of the deals that Blenheim handles have a foreign component; according to Paardekooper, the takeover of German companies by Dutch parties is particularly on the rise. ‘But also the other way around, from the Netherlands to the German market, we are seeing a lot of activity. We have established a German Desk, with a German lawyer, in order to have those transactions run as smoothly as possible’.
One of the aspects that Paardekooper has seen as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the corona crisis is an increase in the use of earn-outs to make deals possible. Paardekooper: ‘I try to keep an earn-out as simple as possible for both parties, and always have it relate to the turnover. The other party does not want any hassle regarding the variable part of the purchase price either. Ultimately we are there to make the deal, not break it.’
Blenheim’s M&A team deliberately chooses not to act for investment companies. This is mainly to prevent conflicts of interest. ‘It’s a small world, so you always come across the same investors in our industry,’ explains Paardekooper. ‘Surely we can’t assist in a sale for an investor one week and then sell an entrepreneur’s company to them the next week?
Furthermore, many entrepreneurs are not able to withstand the force of private equity. For entrepreneurs, the sale of their business is the crowning achievement of their life’s work, so I always advise them not to focus only on the returns.’