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Vincent Dirckx


CMS DeBacker
Chaussée de La Hulpe 178
1170 Brussels
Languages French, English, Dutch

Vincent started his career in New York working for Kelley Drye & Warren and then Baker & McKenzie. He then joined Freshfields Belgian practice and worked mostly in Brussels but also from London. From 2003 to 2009, he was a corporate and finance partner at Lydian.

In 2009, Vincent became a partner at CMS Belgium. In addition to sitting on the Corporate/M&A Management Committee of CMS, Vincent heads CMS Belgium’s M&A department. Vincent’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, private equity and capital markets in connection with both private and public transactions, whether cross-border or domestic, essentially on behalf of large Belgian and non-Belgian corporates.

Vincent is ranked and recommended in Chambers Europe.

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"Thanks so much Vincent (...), I couldn’t be happier with the outcome or with the level of service provided by you and your colleagues at CMS."

Lisa Giles-Klein, Burger King

"I value the fact that Vincent specializes not only in M&A, but also in corporate. For an international group like Delhaize it is crucial to be able to rely on the expertise and swift availability of CMS. Vincent and his colleagues understand the dynamics of international business and the Delhaize way of working. This is of vital importance to us."

Philippe Dechamps, (former) General Counsel Delhaize Group

Relevant experience

  • Ahold Delhaize | Advising Ahold Delhaize, the Dutch new parent company of the Belgian Delhaize Group following their recent 10.6 billion merger, in connection with a range of equity transactions both in Belgium and in the US
  • Delhaize Group | Assisting Delhaize Group, Belgium’s largest retail chin, in connection with the 1 billion acquisition of a competitor across eight European jurisdictions
  • Burger King | Advising Burger King on the acquisition (including due diligence, share purchase agreement and merger control analysis and advice with regard to franchise aspects) of Quick Restaurants (Belgium's largest fast food chain) operated in French overseas territories with the help of CMS Luxembourg and CMS France
  • Korys | Assisting Korys in their investment in the equity of a Swedish company – Greenbyte (leading windfarm management system provider). The process involved due diligence exercise and drafting of all requested legal documentation
  • Bakkavor | Assisting in the sale of Bakkavor Limited’s Belgian business (ready meals) to Culinor, a well-known Belgian player in the same sector
  • Delhaize | Assisting Delhaize in the sale of its brand Tom&Co, the specialist store chain for pet food and care, to investment group PetSerCo
  • Deutsche Bahn | Assisting Deutsche Bahn with the restructuring of their Belgian operations
  • Marsh | Assisting Marsh, the worldwide leader in insurance brokerage, in connection with the acquisition of a Belgian market leader in the same sector
  • Johnson & Johnson | Advising the American multinational consumer products company in connection with a range of divestments through asset transactions
  • Assisting large and mid-cap listed companies in connection with both debt and equity public and private issuings of up to EUR 900 million, as well as on a range of corporate governance and market abuse issues
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  • 1991 - Université Catholique de Louvain, UCL (Law Degree, Magna Cum Laude)
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  • Vincent is the author of various publications in French and English in connection with public take-over bids and M&A transactions. He has also spoken at conferences on topics that relate to his practice areas, including directors’ liability. 
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Sep 2018
CMS European M&A Out­look
Wel­come to the sixth edi­tion of the CMS European M&A Out­look, pub­lished in as­so­ci­ation with Mer­ger­mar­ket.560340ht­tps://me­dia.cmsleg­al.com/me­dia/em­bed?key=359d53310ff19bdc048fb1438aec07d0&unique_key=40f0ab7fd6ab47cd40a6d4555ce3a7f8&width=720&height=405&auto­play=false&auto­light­soff=false&loop=false&clean1al­wayseznode://499576The op­tim­ism amongst deal­makers we re­por­ted in au­tumn last year was well-foun­ded: the mar­ket has re­mained buoy­ant but the ques­tion now is can this op­tim­ism sur­vive in the cur­rent frac­tious in­ter­na­tion­al polit­ic­al en­vir­on­ment?Our for­ward-look­ing sur­vey paints a more nu­anced pic­ture than 12 months ago. For many, the sunny up­lands of M&A activ­ity are still in sight with cash-rich do­mest­ic and in­ter­na­tion­al ac­quirers, an on­go­ing drive for con­sol­id­a­tion and an ap­pet­ite for large trans­form­a­tion­al deals driv­ing the mar­ket in the year ahead. Oth­ers, how­ever, ques­tion this op­tim­ism and those ex­pect­ing European M&A to slow and fin­an­cial con­di­tions to worsen have mul­ti­plied, re­flect­ing more mod­er­ate GDP growth but per­haps more sig­ni­fic­antly, con­cern around geo­pol­it­ic­al risk and stock mar­ket volat­il­ity.Key find­ings from our re­search in­clude:M&A con­fid­ence rising. Nearly three-quar­ters of re­spond­ents are con­sid­er­ing a deal in the next 12 months and nearly 25% ex­pect European M&A to in­crease sig­ni­fic­antly (both up from last year’s sur­vey) show­ing con­fid­ence in the mar­ket is still ro­bust.Ap­pet­ite high among over­seas buy­ers. Re­spond­ents pre­dict that over­seas buy­ers will show grow­ing in­terest in the European mar­ket with the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity (92%) ex­pect­ing an in­crease in the num­ber of in­bound trans­ac­tions and nearly two-thirds an­ti­cip­at­ing a fur­ther up-tick in ag­greg­ate in­bound M&A in value for the year ahead.Fin­an­cing con­di­tions re­main buoy­ant. Fin­an­cing op­tions have mul­ti­plied as bank lend­ing cred­it stand­ards and terms and con­di­tions con­tin­ue to ease. Debt cap­it­al mar­kets are more li­quid and private debt and PE funds con­tin­ue to draw in cap­it­al.Our fea­tures in this year’s re­port in­clude art­icles on “Key trends af­fect­ing the European com­pli­ance and reg­u­lat­ory en­vir­on­ment” and, of par­tic­u­lar in­terest in these cur­rent un­cer­tain times, “The rise of pro­tec­tion­ist meas­ures” with­in the EU and oth­er European jur­is­dic­tions.We hope you find the European M&A Out­look in­ter­est­ing and by all means share the re­port with your col­leagues. Our an­nu­al CMS European M&A Study will be pub­lished in spring 2019 when we will re­port back on how this buoy­ant mar­ket has im­pacted M&A trans­ac­tion terms and con­di­tions.
Share­hold­er Act­iv­ism: A European Per­spect­ive
In re­cent years, there has been sig­ni­fic­ant growth in share­hold­er act­iv­ism. These “act­iv­ist share­hold­ers” are fund man­agers (typ­ic­ally hedge funds) who usu­ally ac­quire minor­ity in­terests in lis­ted pub­lic com­pan­ies and then act­ively seek to in­flu­ence the board of the com­pany with a view to gen­er­at­ing profits for them­selves and oth­er share­hold­ers.This in­crease has been driv­en in part by the suc­cess that act­iv­ist share­hold­ers have en­joyed. These act­iv­ist share­hold­ers are in­creas­ingly look­ing for tar­gets in Europe as well as in their tra­di­tion­al US mar­ket.In prac­tice, the ex­pres­sion “act­iv­ist share­hold­er” cov­ers a broad range of strategies, ran­ging from hos­tile and even li­ti­gi­ous battles with the com­pany in ques­tion, through to con­struct­ive and con­sen­su­al dis­cus­sions with the com­pany’s board. For their part, com­pan­ies need to un­der­stand and to en­gage with act­iv­ist share­hold­ers and to be fa­mil­i­ar with the leg­al tools avail­able to help them res­ist ap­proaches that will not be­ne­fit the com­pany and its share­hold­ers as a whole.Each European jur­is­dic­tion has its own char­ac­ter­ist­ics and, to some ex­tent, its own laws. The at­tached pub­lic­a­tion aims to ex­plain the land­scape across Europe’s main mar­kets, and to high­light the key dif­fer­ences in each of those mar­kets.


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9 June 2020
Im­pact of COV­ID-19 on European M&A activ­ity
The CMS Cor­por­ate/M&A Group teamed up with in­vest­ment bank Cred­it Suisse to ana­lyse the fin­an­cial and leg­al im­plic­a­tions of the COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic on M&A trans­ac­tions in West­ern Europe.
10 April 2020
Im­pact of the Coronavir­us on the or­gan­iz­a­tion of an­nu­al gen­er­al meet­ings...
Bel­gian au­thor­it­ies, like some of their European coun­ter­parts, have taken ex­treme meas­ures to fight the spread of Cov­id-19, in­clud­ing re­stric­tions on so­cial gath­er­ings. If these strong meas­ures con­tin­ue...
CMS European M&A Study 2020: Seller re­mains king in Europe while in­dustry...
31 March 2020
Im­pact of Coronavir­us on Bel­gian com­pan­ies’ an­nu­al gen­er­al meet­ings
Bel­gian au­thor­it­ies, like some of their European coun­ter­parts, have taken ex­treme meas­ures to fight the spread of Cov­id-19, in­clud­ing re­stric­tions on so­cial gath­er­ings. If these strong meas­ures con­tin­ue...
CMS Bel­gi­um as­sisted Korys in con­nec­tion with the fin­an­cing of Urb­antz
19 March 2019
What about cap­it­al gains on shares after Brexit?
Al­though the UK par­lia­ment ruled against the pos­sib­il­ity of a No-deal Brexit and voted for an ex­ten­sion of the Brexit dead­line, the out­come of the cur­rent UK polit­ic­al con­tro­versy re­mains far from cer­tain....
CMS As­sisted DuPont Nu­tri­tion and Bios­ciences with its in­vest­ment in­to...
06 March 2019
Plan­ning to sell your busi­ness? Watch out for Bel­gian law re­forms
Plan­ning to sell your Bel­gian busi­ness? Watch out for Bel­gian law re­forms! Bel­gian law is un­der­go­ing ma­jor re­forms. You might have heard about the new Bel­gian Com­pan­ies and As­so­ci­ations Code (“CAC”)...
CMS re­cog­nised for out­stand­ing M&A ad­vis­ory work
Sep 2019
CMS European M&A Out­look 2019
Storms brew­ing: European M&A Out­look 2019
European M&A ex­ec­ut­ives cau­tious over deal­mak­ing pro­spects
European M&A Out­look 2019
CMS as­sisted Ma­gic Leap with the ac­quis­i­tion of Mimesys