Brunswick boosts M&A arm with trio

Brunswick has beefed up its European M&A practice with three heavyweight appointments and a new office in Berlin. The moves are in anticipation of a wave of continental takeovers.

The City firm has hired former Financial Times media editor Tim Burt in London and Pinault-Printemps-Redoute V-P of comms and corporate affairs Thomas Kamm in Paris. FIPRA International director Joanna McDwyer, meanwhile, has been brought in and will divide her time between Brussels and London.

All three join as partners.

Burt was the FT's Nordic bureau chief between 1996 and 1999 before taking on the role of motor industry correspondent for the paper until 2002.

Kamm is a former southern Europe bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal Europe.

McDwyer has worked at FIPRA since 2002. The group works with financial comms shop Finsbury on competition issues.

The three appointments are a strategic move for Brunswick, which is preparing itself for resurgence in European merger and acquisition activity. Some are already predicting that 2005 could prove to be the best year for European M&A since the dot com boom of the late 1990s.

If another mega deal similar to last year's £37bn merger of drugs firms Sanofi-Synthelabo and Aventis is struck, total deal value could cross the $1 trillion mark for the first time since 2000.

Brunswick, which worked for Sanofi on last year's deal, is advising French building materials firm Saint Gobain on its £3.6bn bid for UK plasterboard maker BPB.

Regulatory expertise could prove vital next May, by which point the EU's Takeover Directive must become law in member states.

The directive strengthens EU rules prohibiting countries from preventing strategic industries from foreign takeover.

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