Mila Marinkovic, Senior Consultant at Miramar Global, interviews Jonathan Rabiei, a Global Director in Business Development and Strategy
Jonathan Rabiei started his career in technical sales and project management, before moving into strategy and performance before his current career in developing business opportunities in the specialty chemicals sector. Here, Mila Marinkovic asks Jonathan to share his thoughts on the current market conditions, and what might come next in M&A.
Looking at the M&A market, how is it being in 2022 in comparison to earlier years?
“2022, I think, has really been about navigating uncertainty. I would say that of course depends which sector you look at. The sectors that I’ve been really focused towards, the chemicals and industrials, I would say in the first half what we saw was industrial, already starting to see an impact on what’s happening globally and now with inflation, this means we’re watch for what should we call the Black Swan events and what impact that has on the industry and in the chemicals sector as well, as this is also affected. I would also say that the year is not over, but I don’t think it’s going to be a tremendously bad year in any way. For the chemicals sector there are still some major deals being done so it’s been busy. Having said that of course the impact of global events are being felt”
Looking at some of the previous events we’ve had over the last couple of years: COVID and a more virtual world, how has M&A been affected by this?
“There are two sides of the coin, of course. Let’s say more positive side of it is that you can more easily connect over long distances with people without necessarily the need of traveling, and that’s of course always helpful. But I would say that what I have noticed in 2022 when things have moved back to a normal – if we can use that word – and things are opening up is that common phrases like “it’s really great to see you” or “it’s nice to see you” haven’t just been a courtesy. There is real emphasis behind it. It’s incredibly important to have the personal connections because business is about of course products, technology and markets spaces but it’s also about as people and that connection is of course very important. The virtual world works, but it’s not a substitute for physical meetings, certainly in my industry.”
I think people would agree it was a challenging time for everyone to adapt to this new world and new time frames. What challenges do you foresee happening in your market regarding M&A?
“I think you know that rising capital cost is a challenge and that that that that is affecting the M&A space of course. Navigating this type of uncertainty and where will basically the global economy be in 2023 is a constant challenge. Also we within Europe have a geological situation that’s also affecting rising capital plus the energy crisis which cannot be ignored. Managing unpredictable circumstances and outcomes has become part of everyone’s day to day, regardless of sector, role or experience. We sometimes have to learn as we go and pivot to find different solutions, but the point is there is always a solution that can support growth plans whatever it may be.”