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What will healthcare look like in 2050? Will life expectancy be significantly longer? Will there be a slow, predictable shifting of the burden of disease, or will this accelerate in radical and surprising ways? Will the globalised world mean we experience similar disease patterns and, importantly, will the sector be able to apply nimble and agile technologies to address the needs? A new report by Translink Corporate Finance in partnership with The Institute for Futures Research at Stellenbosch Business School (IFR) explores the possible futures for healthcare by 2050 and the impacts on M&A.

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What will the cars of the future look like? Could they run on cold fusion? Will vehicles even exist, or will they be replaced by travel via the Metaverse? For now, there are many horses running the race to carry the automotive industry into its next big growth phase. And electrification seems like the safest bet, even if it’s a ‘stop gap’ to something greater. What this all means? The automotive sector has emerged from its sluggish state and is entering a new period of prolonged cyclical reinvention. This bodes well for M&A activity, especially for innovative new entrants.

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The food industry is experiencing seismic change and with it, consolidation has become a strategic priority for many food-focused companies the world over. McDonalds is investing millions in the metaverse. The world’s food security is threatened by the longstanding conflict between Russia and the Ukraine. Food inflation is placing financial strain on populations everywhere. And consumers are choosing foods for reasons beyond sustenance.

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Cross-border M&A activity in the IT sector will continue to boom for years to come. Given the scale of market growth and the formidable pace of technological evolution, investors are seeking to acquire competitors with the competencies they need – there’s a cutthroat ‘buy it before it kills you’ approach. New players are entering the scene in growing numbers. Indeed, starting an IT business can be capital expenditure light and start-ups tend to grow fast. Now, the first so-called unicorns are set to be sold or exit their financial sponsors. It will be fascinating to see if they deliver, and the inevitable impact this has.

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In 2021, there were over 4000 deals done in the healthcare sector globally (up 23% from 2020), making it one of the most active industries in terms of M&A. There’s no doubt the sector is booming, fuelled, in part, by Covid-19 and significant global megatrends. Here, Rebecca Zhu, Managing Director at Translink Corporate Finance China, and Jens Borelli-Kjær, Partner at Translink Corporate Finance Denmark, unpack trends, growth drivers, and the implications for M&A.

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In the year 2050, what will the world of industrials and manufacturing look like? Will existing players still dominate the market or will new entrants with dynamic offers win market share? A new report by Translink Corporate Finance in partnership with the Institute of Futures Research (IFR), explores four plausible futures that will pose distinctive opportunities and threats to businesses in the industrials and manufacturing sector. But according to Henrik Schrøder, Head of Translink Industrials Group and Managing Partner: Translink Denmark, the future starts today.

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Uncertainty about the future has dominated headlines in the last two years. On a global level, the COVID-19-related restrictions and, more recently, the Russia/Ukraine war have resulted in ripple effects and, in some cases, tsunamis that will be felt far into the future. The longer-term extent of these knock-on effects is unknown. Futurists therefore dedicate their work to scenario planning, to imagine plausible futures based on the so-called ‘known unknowns’. This is exactly what Translink and the Institute for Futures Research (IFR) has explored in the first of five sector reports entitled Tomorrow : 2050 Alternative Futures. The first iteration focuses on the futures of industrials.

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ESG (Environment Sustainability and Governance) has become an essential concern for deal-making, primarily driven by consumer and investor demand. Now, there are also critical legislative considerations from a myriad of countries. In the move to a stakeholder-centric model, there’s even greater focus on ESG integration, with entire supply chains being assessed. Going forward, we can expect robust ESG frameworks with a host of measurable metrics that will play a big role in acquisition decision-making.

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Global events have an inevitable impact on M&A activity, but, with so much capital in the markets, we do anticipate the ‘boom’ is unlikely to slow down any time soon,” says Maurits Hesseling, Board Member of Translink International and Managing Partner of Translink Benelux. In times of major upheaval like a global pandemic or war, his greatest advice to business owners is to analyse their businesses to identify prospective threats and weaknesses.

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Five decades ago, Dr Roland Schucht started a mid-market corporate financial advisory services firm. His aim from day one was to grow and go global. Thus, in 1972, Translink had its humble beginnings. From inception, it was one of the first ‘small-to-mid-cap’ M&A firms to go cross-border. This pioneering spirit has continued to be a guiding star, along with a long-standing commitment to sharing – investments and expertise. That’s led Translink to be the world-leading, global group it is today, 50 years on.