LEADERS LEAGUE: What has been driving demand for corporate/M&A lawyers in Spain in the last 12 months?
JULIO LUJAMBIO: I would say transactions sponsored by large funds (including infrastructure funds, real estate funds, energy funds, private equity funds and those dedicated to acquiring litigation credits and distressed assets). Spain’s economy is still based around medium-sized family-based companies with high growth potential. Furthermore, many of them have yet to venture out of the Spanish market. These sorts of targets are very attractive to large national and international funds. Such companies, which normally have an interesting business model but lack the financial strength to grow quickly, can benefit from the funds’ financial capacity and experience.
In fact, other than M&A carried out by large Spanish entities to diversify their business or enter into other markets, the majority of M&A transactions we have seen in the past year were carried out by private equity firms, or were build-ups of prior investments. During the last few years we have seen a lot of interest in the renewable energy sector. Interest has increased over the last twelve months. There are many factors that encourage investment in the renewable sector in Spain – firstly, we have good natural conditions to exploit renewable energy sources (wind, sun, enough space and a long coastline), secondly, we have clear regulations that provide reasonable return expectations that are very easy to predict and, thirdly, we have large utility companies and hydrocarbon entities which have been investing in the renewable energy sector for the last few years.
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