06 Nov '23
In the legal profession, parties are often diametrically opposed. Unless it concerns mergers and acquisitions. Then everyone benefits from remaining open and constructive, because a transaction can only take place if parties reach full agreement. Partner Albert Wiggers specialises in mergers and acquisitions in the transport and logistics sector, assisting both buyers and sellers.
"In acquisitions, parties try to achieve something together, which is why the atmosphere is often positive and we think in terms of solutions rather than problems. Our main job is sparring with clients on the right structure and conditions, and drafting the contracts. Because Ploum assists buyers just as often as we assist sellers, we recognise both perspectives, and know what is important to both parties. For us, the important thing is that our client gets the best deal. In doing so, we not only look at the current situation, but also at how future-proof the agreements are."
"As a Rotterdam firm, we have many clients operating in the transport and logistics sector. Particularly in container logistics, shipping and freight transport. Mergers and acquisitions in the logistics sector often involve much more than just negotiating the transaction agreement. Permits and environment, for example, usually play an important role. Does the company have the right permits for the location? It is great to have a specialist in-house team, which can contribute at a high level. Another theme in recent years is that the sector has become very dynamic, leading to great volatility in prices, among other things. Especially since Corona, some companies have posted big losses one year and nice profits the next. Incidentally, we see transactions in both expanding and declining markets. Some companies think after a nice profitable year: this is the moment to sell my company. Another company thinks: I'm going to use my profits to take over a competitor."
"When we assist a party, we look at the long term"
"What I sometimes encounter in practice is that clients knock on our door quite late. If your company is considering a sale or purchase, involve a legal expert as well as a financial specialist early in the preparations. Once you have entered the negotiation phase, you do not want to be faced with surprises or delays, especially if they could have been avoided in the preliminary phase. At Ploum, we are happy to spar with you in the preliminary phase, because well begun is half done."
"We have many disciplines under one roof here, allowing us to assist clients in different areas. We act as a multidisciplinary team, each from their own expertise: from customs and transport law to corporate law. Everything to better serve the client. We keep each other informed of developments and if something is relevant to a client, we often inform them proactively. What happens at one company is usually also relevant to other companies in the sector. For example, a few years ago, when a transport company was taken over, a discussion arose with unions about drivers' holidays. Shortly afterwards, this turned out to be an industry-wide problem. Our employment law section was one of the first to be involved in the discussion, which benefited other clients."
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