Financial quick check: What companies can do now

The rapid global spread of the corona virus has taken companies and governments around the world by surprise. The effects of the corona pandemic cannot yet be estimated. One thing is certain: The economy will undergo a profound change "post-Corona". Many companies are already experiencing dramatic declines in orders and sales. Other companies will follow in the coming months.

In our experience, it is important in the current situation to create transparency about the financial status quo and assess the situation. The dynamic development requires short-term action and forward-looking thinking.

We offer our clients financial analyses that include integrated financial planning for the next few years.

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IfW advises long-standing client on a company acquisition

IfW advises a wholesaler for medical products, which has been one of our clients for many years, on the acquisition of the "medical" division of a German company. The seller put the business unit "medicine" up for sale as it was no longer part of the core business. The buyer was able to acquire the assets of the business unit in exclusive negotiations. The acquired product range excellently completes the buyer's previous product range.

IfW advised the buyer during the due diligence and exclusive negotiations.


Protective shield for supplier credits

The loss of receivables is one of the typical causes of crisis and insolvency. This can be deduced from many studies on the causes of corporate crises. "Force majeure" - such as the current Corona crisis - is threatening the existence of many companies. In conjunction with internal causes, such as underestimation of liquidity requirements, they can even lead to insolvency.

In "normal" times, the loss of receivables is often the cause of a crisis - in the current situation, the risk of bad debts is difficult to calculate. Many companies hedge this risk by taking out debtor credit insurance. However, enquiries in recent weeks have often led to the realisation that many risks from receivables are no longer insurable

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KfW fast loan and consulting cost subsidy

Since 06.04.2020, medium-sized companies have had the opportunity to apply for a "KfW Quick Loan". With this loan, the financing bank receives a 100% indemnity from the KfW, secured by a guarantee from the Federal Government. The loan is approved without further credit risk assessment by the bank or KfW. This allows the loan to be approved quickly.

But: the KfW Quick Loan cannot be combined with other KfW loans, not even with the instruments of the Economic Stabilisation Fund. In the event of early repayment there is no early repayment penalty.

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IfW seeks equity investments in medium-sized companies for various investors despite corona crisis

Of our currently more than 50 active clients, an increasing number of prospective buyers have come forward who would like to continue acquiring companies despite the crisis triggered by Corona. In addition to the typical succession problems, the competitive situation, industry concentration, product innovations or necessary high investments can also trigger sales considerations.

There is great interest in established companies with a proven business model. The operating result should be between EUR 1 million and EUR 10 million. A crisis-related decline in earnings is accepted if the company's business model is sustainable.

Other investors are also interested in minority holdings for a limited period of time when family companies need to be temporarily strengthened.

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Equity investments as an asset class

By Britt Niggemann, partner

In today's low interest rate environment, wealthy and less wealthy investors are looking for investments that promise a return above the inflation rate. Neither overnight money nor bonds with high credit ratings can currently generate real returns. For this reason, investors are increasingly switching to other asset classes. Due to the high demand, equities, bonds and real estate have recorded high increases in value in recent years and are sometimes considered overvalued. The relatively high valuation of these investments reinforces the desire to invest in other asset classes. One asset class that is increasingly in demand is investments in companies, so-called "private equity".

In contrast to shares, "private equity" cannot be traded at all times and can only be sold at high discounts during the term of the investment. This illiquidity is the price for the high return opportunities.

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IfW advises the owners of a Swabian mechanical engineering company on the disposal of shares

IfW advises the owners of a Swabian mechanical engineering company on the sale to a Swedish industrial holding. The mechanical engineering company, founded in 1969, manufactures transport systems for various industries, such as automotive, consumer goods and medical technology. With 45 employees, the company generates sales of around EUR 10 million.

IfW advised the owners exclusively and in all phases of the process as part of a structured sales process.


Targeted acquisition of companies as a strategy for SMEs

By Swen P. W. Wietzke, partner

The implementation of the corporate strategy includes the targeted acquisition of companies. This competence is increasingly becoming a strategic competitive advantage, even for small and medium-sized companies.

Due to the high speed of changing market conditions and the resulting changing economic and legal framework, M&A and the associated M&A strategy is of particular importance. Targeted, inorganic growth is increasingly becoming a strategic competitive advantage.

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