José Diogo Horta Osório, Cuatrecasas

M&A activity in real estate, finance and retail demonstrates increased investor confidence in Portugal – Cuatrecasas

Investors from Spain, the UK, the US and China also targeting assets in the health and insurance sectors, while lawyers face challenge of using technology to become more efficient

Investor confidence in Portugal is increasing and this is exemplified by significant M&A activity in sectors such as real estate, finance and retail, according to José Diogo Horta Osório, partner at Cuatrecasas in Lisbon.
However, he adds that lawyers face the challenges of adapting to the digital age in order to use technology to provide services in a more efficient and profitable way.

More investor confidence
Horta Osório says it has been a strong year for M&A in Portugal and adds that he is optimistic that results for the final quarter will demonstrate a continuation of that trend. “It was a very good year from an M&A perspective for law firms, and we believe the fourth quarter will also see sustainable growth,” Horta Osório says. He adds that there has been significant activity in the real estate, financial, health and insurance sectors in the last year, and that the increase in M&A in Portugal is due to stronger investor confidence in the country.

Energy assets popular
Horta Osório picks out the retail and real estate sectors as being particularly attractive to investors, while renewable energy and infrastructure assets are also proving popular. He adds that a large proportion of the inward investment – especially in the real estate sector – is coming from Spain, though there is also significant interest from the UK, the US and China.

Machine learning
Meanwhile, Horta Osório believes that adapting to technological developments will be one of the main challenges that law firms have to face. He adds: “We have to adapt our business model to new technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and we have to use those tools in order to be more efficient and provide legal services to our clients in a profitable and efficient manner.”