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As a result of the economic downturn, M&A activity has been slower in 2002 than in previous years. Whereas in the past few years there have been many takeover bids involving Belgium’s largest public companies, the trend seems to be that the M&A market is now focusing more on transactional combinations involving private companies and management/leveraged buy-outs. In addition, transactions more often relate only to parts of businesses, rather than to entire businesses (for example partial mergers). Due to the market downturn, delistings, corporate restructurings and large insolvency proceedings are also generating new streams of work.

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