Welcome to the February 2016 issue of Global Corporate Advisor.

We continue to review 2015 in M&A updates from Benelux, Brazil, Central and Eastern Europe, Italy, Switzerland and UAE. Cross-border transactions are being increasingly seen across geographies and may set the tone for 2016, affected positively or negatively by currency fluctuations.

Major transactions have continued the increased activity in both Benelux and Italy region in 2015, where the picture for 2016 looks encouraging. With several large deals crossing the €1 billion threshold, growth in both transactions and values can be expected.

In case of Brazil, although the country continues to lead M&A activity in Latin America and deal values have increased, it has seen decline in deal volumes. The currency and economy are under stress and may have an implication on pricing and risk appetite for deals, although lower valuations may be attractive to foreign investors.

In Switzerland, on the other hand, the decision to remove the CHF/EUR exchange rate floor resulted in the strengthening of the Swiss Franc since early 2015, leading to a decline in M&A activity. Domestic deal activity is expected to strengthen in 2016.

In Central and Eastern Europe, while deal activity hasn’t reached the precrisis peak, transactions are stable with Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Romania taking the lead.

With 2020 on its horizon, the UAE, our local office says, is attractive to investors, particularly as it builds on its reputation as a regional safe haven.