While everyone is talking about the various M&A opportunities at Investment Banks and Boutiques, little is known about the work of an In-House M&A Analyst. Therefore, we are happy to share with you one of our latest interviews, which is shedding a new perspective on Mergers and Acquisitions.
Internship: 6-month Off-Cycle at E.ON, In-house M&A in Duesseldorf, Germany
ASTi Grande Ecole, female from Italy. I had no previous work experiences but a sound academic background having done my Bachelor at Bocconi and two exchange programs abroad.
How did you find the job offer? What was the application process like?
I checked the internship offers directly on the E.ON website around five months before my wished starting date. I submitted my CV and motivation letter and then the HR called me to schedule the one round-interview.
What were your day-to-day responsibilities? How did a day in your internship look like?
At the beginning of the internship I chose with my chief three projects. As the M&A environment is very dynamic and things change very quickly, interns may or may not work on the same project from the beginning to the end of the internship. As far as concerns my experience I worked on the divestment of a power plant from the very early stage of the process on until the signing of the binding offer, having the chance to see the entire execution of an M&A transaction. This allowed me to gain a good and broad overview of a M&A transaction’s execution.
At the same time, I worked on other projects at different stages of the process on a less regular basis. For example, when an M&A team starts to work for a project at the very early stage, there is the risk that the Board won’t approve to go ahead with that project because it may be considered not to be in line with the MTP (Medium Term Planning) or with the company’s strategy. For this reason, projects may be taken and dropped very quickly.
As far as concerns my responsibilities and every day task, it can be summarized as the following:
- Evaluate acquisitions, divestments and joint ventures in coordination with other group functions including Strategy, Controlling and Legal
- Support the execution of M&A transactions of both buy-side and sell-side:
– Evaluate potential counterparties from a financial and strategic perspective, through market analysis and research
– Prepare and coordinate process documentation (Due Diligence Material, Teaser, Information Memorandum, etc.)
– Analyze of deal structure scenarios
– Support the team in preparing negotiations and sale/purchase agreements
– Manage contacts with external advisors and engage in meetings with investors and counterparties
– Manage Due Diligence activities:
- Set-up a Virtual Data Room for investors and to monitor buyers’ activities
- Coordination of Vendor Due Diligence Material
- Coordination of Question & Answer sessions
- Organization of site visits, management presentations and expert sessions
- Analysis recent market developments
- Preparation of materials for decision by Management Board
What is the company culture like? How does the company culture differ from banking?
What I really appreciated of working in a company is that you feel like being part of a big family. You see the practical goal of what you are doing and how the different departments work together as part of a perfectly balanced machine, to provide to customers the best service.
Nonetheless, I have never worked for a bank, and I cannot really compare the two cultures.
Does In-house M&A differ from M&A in Investment Banking? If yes, how?
I have never worked in M&A at an Investment Bank or Boutique; I cannot compare the two experiences.
How many hours do you work a week? Do you have to work on weekends?
On average 45 hours per week. You do not usually work on weekends, but it depends on the stage of the process of the project you are working on (usually the later stages as Signing and Closing are the busiest)
How do you like the Energy sector? What is specific to this industry?
It was my first experience and first approach to the energy sector and I enjoyed it for several reasons. The energy sector is a dynamic field that is changing a lot during the last years: the transformation of yesterday’s power lines into tomorrow’s smart energy networks, the global growth of renewables as people worldwide do their part to tackle climate change, and the increasing demand for innovative customer solutions. For these reasons companies try to adapt to the new trends building more sustainable energy businesses.
I really appreciated my experience at E.ON since I have joined it a couple of months after the spin-off that generated two entities: new E.ON and Uniper. New E.ON focus on renewables, innovative customer solutions and energy networks, while Uniper kept the conventional generation and the energy trading businesses. This as evidence that E.ON follows a green and sustainable strategy. Indeed, this is an important point on which I chose the internship: getting to know the energy business I felt was contributing to a better and more sustainable world.
What was it like to work as an international student in (Duesseldorf/Germany)?
Having worked for a multinational company I have never felt to be a foreigner during my time in Germany. The 13-member team was composed of people with 7 different nationalities. This makes the team a very challenging environment where people are open-minded and where the differences in culture and way to work are strengths rather than weaknesses.
Not only in the company but also in the city of Dusseldorf itself, German people are friendly and help you if you do not speak their language.
Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your experience !