Catalyst combines with Alantra to create a leading global advisory business in the mid-market

  • Increase in consolidation among advisors as businesses build international presence to compete in a highly active global mid-market
  • Move by Alantra affirms London as a global financial centre despite Brexit

Alantra, the global investment banking and asset management firm, which is listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange with offices across Europe, the US, Asia and Latin America, has combined with Catalyst Corporate Finance (“Catalyst”). The transaction, which is subject to Alantra Shareholder’s Meeting and FCA Approval, has a value of over £30 million.

Following a transition period, Catalyst will rebrand as Alantra UK and the move will see Catalyst partners driving the UK arm of the Alantra global M&A advisory business. The transaction involves 15 Catalyst partners and directors taking a shareholding in the listed group. In addition, there is further equity allocated for future partner and staff incentivisation.

By increasing its footprint in London, one of the most important global financial hubs, Alantra will benefit from greater reach into the financial investor community and access to a wider pool of talent. Through the combination, Catalyst will draw on Alantra's team of 400 professionals based around the globe, delivering a full range of services to UK clients, including M&A, Debt and Equity Capital Markets capability.

The move comes at a time of increased international consolidation among mid-market advisors as competition heats up in this segment of the market. It also follows a trend towards independent advisors gaining increased presence in global M&A, especially in large transactions. According to Mergermarket’s ranking of the top 20 global M&A advisors the number of transactions advised on by independent advisors has doubled in the last 5 years. The data shows that of the 1,645 total number of deals executed in 2016 independent advisors worked on 34% of these, compared with just 17% in 2011.

This deal is significant in this respect as Alantra is the first European business to be playing an active consolidation role in this space. Following this transaction, the combined Alantra Group will be present in 21 countries across Europe, the US, Asia and Latin America. Having advised in over 650 transactions in the last 5 years across 16 sectors globally, Alantra is one of the most active corporate finance advisors in the mid-market space.

Catalyst’s Managing Partner, Andy Currie, said: “In combining with Alantra, our goal is to build one of the world’s leading mid-market advisory firms and we look forward to capitalising on this momentum as we drive forward the UK arm of the Group. As a result of the merger, we will be in the best possible position to meet the increasingly international needs of our clients, providing them with access to deep sector specialism, a global partnership and a broad, integrated product offering. We will bring this increased capability and deliver it in the style Catalyst has built its reputation on. The deal also brings great opportunities for our people, who will benefit from being part of a leading international business and working collaboratively with likeminded colleagues from across the globe.”

Santiago Eguidazu, Executive Chairman at Alantra said: “The UK is the most important M&A market in Europe and, as such, for a number of years we have had the strategic target to strengthen our M&A and debt presence in the country. We are extremely happy to have fulfilled this ambition by partnering with Catalyst, a firm that shares our values, has a strong leadership, and the same ambition of developing a highly specialized and truly global service for our mid-market clients.”

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