Renewing our Image after 15 years advising on Corporate Operations

Jul 08, 2019

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Renewing our Image after
15 years advising on Corporate Transactions

 

Renewal is a part of life and a preamble to growth and evolution. In the business world, growth and evolution are fundamental parts of the life cycle, which manifests itself more visibly when there is a renewal of image.

Our brand represents our company’s core values, our unique qualities and all that sets us apart from the competition. It is our reason for being and what we offer you.

 

“OUR INTERESTS ARE THOSE OF OUR CLIENTS”

 

May 3 marked 15 years since IMAP Albia Capital was founded by Alejandro Azcona and Fernando Cabos, two entrepreneurs/dreamers who decided to pursue their passion: corporate finance, advising companies on purchase and sale operations, searching for investors and, in general, transactions of all kinds involving corporate capital.  They could hardly have imagined at that time, when the only resources available to the two founders were a secretary, an office and a dream, that fifteen years later they would be part of the world’s leading independent mergers and acquisitions firm in the SME segment, with a presence in more than 40 countries, over 500 corporate finance professionals and more than 200 deals closed all over the world.

There were many voices that tried to dissuade the founders from their endeavour, but Alex and Fernando listened much more closely to another voice inside of them, the one that told them to fight tirelessly to make their dream come true. This determination to achieve their goals, no matter how difficult, has become the hallmark of IMAP Albia Capital, forging a culture that permeates the entire team and allows them to close deals where others would have given up.

Between the time of that first sale of a tourism company and the most recent transaction between a local firm and a German company, IMAP Albia Capital has evolved in so many ways. We now have better tools and databases and even our offices are completely different than the ones where we first started out. The company remains convinced that success can only come from the successes of our customers. Numerous milestones have been reached between that first transaction and the most recent one:  the first one was when Elías Martínez  joined the firm as a third partner in 2007, marking the first step towards creating the formidable team characterised by its professional talent and human stature, currently made up of Iñaki, Aitor, Pablo, Irache, Aritz and Asier. Another important milestone was when we joined IMAP in 2017, which is when we took the leap from local firm to being part of a global leader. IMAP Albia Capital has also been shaped by the contributions of tax advisors, legal advisors and auditors who have been part of our team or counterparty advisers on different operations.

There are many anecdotes, especially considering that during this time we have had more than 200 different clients, closed more than 100 mergers and acquisitions, close to 30 financial restructuring operations and around 100 company valuations with large companies and SMEs from different cultures: Asia, Middle East, Africa, North America and Latin America.  Anecdotes that are funny when we look back on them now but at the time were embarrassing: like the meeting with an American company where the shareholder stands up in the middle of the meeting, puts on an apron and starts cooking in the txoko next to the meeting room, to the astonishment of the Yankees; or the businessman who regales his Indian guests with an impressive … T-bone steak!; or that working dinner in Morocco where the diners were captivated talking about Iberian ham!

While all the operations we have participated in are relevant, some have been especially significant for the consolidation of IMAP Albia Capital.  We have had large national companies as clients (Iberdrola, CAF, Gamesa, Cie Automotive,…) and international ones (Bidfood, Bridgestone, Hits Telecom,…), although one of the most decisive operations in the early years of IMAP Albia Capital’s operations was the 2006 sale of Multiwork ETT to Temps Employment Consultants, since it was the first company with more than €10 million in turnover to engage our services. The following year we were entrusted with the sale of 25% of Grupo Adelanta, marking our first involvement in a deal with a company value of around €100 million.

2007 was also the first time we took part in operations involving the two forms of management-based transactions: MBO, i.e. managers of the company itself acquiring its capital (Alcorta Forging Group) and MBI, or external managers acquiring shares in a company (Azpiaran Stamping Group). In both cases, these companies have experienced substantial growth at the hands of their directors – shareholders.

IMAP Albia Capital was no stranger to the fascinating opportunities in the renewable energy sector during its first years of life, a sector where the professional experience of the founders allowed them to develop a practice which has, over time, become a benchmark. Since then, the firm has closed numerous deals involving cogeneration plants, mini-hydraulic plants, photovoltaic parks and wind farms, including our first operation in this sector, which dates back to 2007, consisting of the sale of 50% of a cogeneration plant by Campofrío to Sampol, or the purchase of the Portland mini hydropower plant, the sale of a 7 MW of photovoltaic power to Element Power, or the most recent ones such as the sale of the Iparlat plant to CS Energy, or the wind farm and photovoltaic plant deal that is currently in the negotiation stages with a large operator in the sector.

The financial crisis hit when the company was less than five years old and the clients of IMAP Albia Capital began to demand other types of services to deal with the situation of falling demand and lack of credit. Restructuring and refinancing were the order of the day and that gave way to a new line of business that has evolved into a solid debt advisory practice, with around 30 transactions successfully closed since 2009.

The mergers and acquisitions business picked up again once the crisis was over.  The most notable operations by sector are as follows.  Food: advising on the purchase of Sáez Horeca and Igartza by Bidfood Iberia. Automotive: sale of Lahnwerk Rubi and rubiCzech to the German group Meleghi. Technology: advising CAF on the acquisition of Orbital. Health Sciences: finding investors for Histocell. Transport and Logistics: sale of Langarri to the German group Rhenus. Industry: sale of JaeMetalband to the US group Cooper Standard. Mining: sale of Ibérica de Sales to Minersa. Education: finding an investor for Mondragon Educación Internacional Real Estate. Distribution: sale of Comercial Arrate to BGH (Germany). Professional Services: sale of Adigest to Incocert. Infrastructure: sale of parking to Empark and Construction and Engineering: sale of 50% of  Arteche TurnkeySolutions Mexico to a private investor.

In short, together with our team, our clients, our collaborators and our influencers, we have successfully concluded our first fifteen years as a company and we now assume the challenge of ensuring that we continue to evolve so that the next fifteen years will be just as successful.   

 

 

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