Global Corporate Divestment Study

23 February 2016

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Divestments are top of mind in corporates’ capital agenda strategy this year as companies seek to extract maximum value from strategic sales, according to EY’s 2016 Global Corporate Divestment Study, Learning from private equity: experts at extracting hidden value, produced in association with FT Remark (part of the Mergermarket Group).

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Deal Drivers Africa 2016

24 February 2016

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Mergermarket is pleased to present the fourth edition of Deal Drivers Africa, a comprehensive review of African M&A, published in collaboration with FBNQuest, Merrill Corporation and Control Risks. Based on interviews with 100 M&A practitioners operating in Africa, this report provides invaluable insight into the African M&A market from those who know it best.
 
Highlights of the report include:
 
  • 2015 saw 290 deals, up 1% from 2014, despite severe headwinds from a slowdown in the Chinese economy and currency woes in South Africa and Nigeria. However, deal value in 2015 fell by 26% to US$27.3bn, mostly due to a smaller number of big-ticket transactions on the continent.
  • 100% of survey respondents anticipate M&A activity will increase in 2016, with 42% expecting a significant increase, with cash reserves and easily available deal finance among the top drivers.
  • The energy, mining and utilities sector is expected to generate the most African M&A activity in 2016, according to 79% of survey respondents, with industrial & chemicals (72%) and consumer (49%) the second and third most-attractive sectors, respectively.
  • India is expected to deliver the most inbound deals in 2016 according to 25% of survey participants, followed by the UK (22%) and the US (15%).

Open for growth: Deloitte 2016 IPO report

25 February 2016

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Australian IPOs: Safe haven in a sea of volatility, and expectations for growth in 2016
 
With $17.6bn in equity listed through 97 initial public offerings (IPOs), 2015 marked another exceptional year for the Australian equity market. While total market capitalisation and capital raised dipped slightly below 2014 totals, performance of market debutantes continues to encourage investors – with 18% weighted average returns for companies listed in 2015, IPOs remain stock market darlings and have continued to outperform the ASX 200 index. IPOs in Australia are also bucking the trend when compared with the US listings market.
 
In an exclusive thought leadership publication ‘Open for growth: Deloitte 2016 IPO report’ Deloitte Australia, in collaboration with M&A intelligence provider Mergermarket, explores IPO activity in recent years to analyse current market opportunities and create an outlook for the Australian IPO market in 2016 and beyond.
 
In this year’s iteration, we speak with Deloitte’s head of Transaction Services, Ian Turner and IPO Transaction Services director, Tapan Verma who contribute to the ongoing private equity debate in the Australian market with a comprehensive analysis on private equity-backed IPOs as well as vendor sell-downs.
 
Highlights from ‘Open for growth’ include:
 
  • Technology IPOs accounted for 37% of market capitalisation and 30% of capital raised, significant leaps from stats in 2014 (8%% and 6%, respectively);
  • Private equity had another exceptional year with 16 listings and overall performance of 17% as of 31 December 2015, while the average performance of all PE-backed IPOs over the last 3 years now stands at approximately 48% (at 31 December 2015);
  • Non-PE vendors retained greater stakes in their respective companies post listing, with sell-down in shares decreasing from 21%in 2014 to 9% in 2015.
 
The report also includes insights on the market from Chris Hadley, Executive Chairman of the leading Australian PE firm Quadrant Private Equity, and from law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.
The Deloitte 2016 IPO Report web page includes a full interactive data set presented in this publication. Click here to view.

North Asia M&A Review: Trends Shaping the Region

25 February 2016

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China’s economy grew 6.9% in 2015, the slowest in 25 years. M&A activity in Asia has nonetheless continued unabated, posting US$984bn worth of deals in 2015. This was spearheaded by a strong showing from North Asia, which contributed to 80% of Asia-Pacific deals by value and 67% by volume. Deal-making in North Asia has been on an upward trajectory since 2012, with deal value rising 58% year-on-year in 2015 and deal volume increasing by 10%. Inbound activity, however, declined year on year, dropping 31% by volume and 42% by value amidst stock market volatility, speculative anxieties concerning overinflated markets in China, and fears of collateral damage from China’s slowdown on regional markets.
 
Merrill Corporation, a global provider of secure content sharing, regulated communications and disclosure services, has teamed up with Mergermarket in a thought-leadership newsletter entitled ‘North Asia M&A Review: Trends Shaping the Region’ analyzing the shifting trends shaping M&A activity in North Asia. The publication includes an in-depth interview with Michael Buckley, Executive Director and Head of International M&A at CITIC Securities, who presents a market update on investment trends in North Asia, with insights on the rising prominence of China’s outbound acquisition forays.
 
Trends and highlights in the newsletter:
 
  • China’s deceleration has so far had little impact on the country’s booming M&A market, which saw 1,776 deals announced in 2015, nearly double the 745 deals in 2012, with deal value increasing for the fifth consecutive year to reach US$486.9bn, up from US$348bn in 2014.
  • The industrials and chemicals sector saw the highest level of deal activity in North Asia in 2015, accounting for 25% of deal volume, followed by technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) at 22% and consumer at 10%.
  • China remains the top destination for foreign inbound M&A in North Asia, but saw a decline in deal volume with only 90 deals in 2015, down from 146 in 2014.
  • Hong Kong overtook New York as one of the top venues for IPO listings globally, with close to US$30bn worth of new equity offerings in 2015.
  • In Japan, outbound M&A values soared to US$89bn in 2015, up from US$53.3bn in 2014, driven by the search for new growth markets and the divestment of non-core or underperforming assets to salvage shareholder value.
  • South Korea posted 356 deals worth a total of US$87bn, up from 2014’s US$77bn from 331 deals, due in part to the realignment of business portfolios by large corporations, and to family-controlled chaebol companies paring down to leaner operations as part of generational shift.

Market Spotlight: Unicorns

01 March 2016

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Technology M&A has boomed in the last few years particularly in 2015 when the sector recorded over 2,300 deals worth US$416bn. However, economic uncertainty, the opaqueness of valuing unicorn potential and a shift in the financing landscape have turned the pressure up on tech’s most promising startups. According to this month’s Venue® Market Spotlight, 52% of survey respondents expect e-commerce to see the most M&A activity involving unicorns, followed by cloud computing (48%) and big data (40%). Roughly a fifth of respondents predict that Airbnb and Snapchat are most likely to be bought or go public in the next year. RR Donnelley commissioned Mergermarket to interview professionals based in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific to gain insight on their predictions for unicorns and the tech sector for the year ahead.

A towering presence: Asia-Pacific energy M&A

03 March 2016

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As oil prices tumbled to record lows, falling almost 60% over 2015, Asia-Pacific remained one of the world’s busiest markets for energy M&A. According to Mergermarket data, M&A among regional and international energy majors reached near-record levels in 2015, with 200 deals completed, marginally short of the 222 in 2014.
 
Eversheds, a leading international law firm, has teamed up with Mergermarket to trace the shifting investment trends in the Asia-Pacific energy sector in “A towering presence: Asia-Pacific energy M&A”, the first issue in a newsletter series. This thought-leadership publication includes an exclusive interview with Eversheds partners Charles Butcher, Corporate, and Jae Lemin, Banking, presenting expert insights on the latest industry trends shaping the regional markets for oil and gas corporations, as well as those in the renewable energy space.
 
Highlights from “A towering presence: Asia-Pacific energy M&A”:
 
  • According to Mergermarket data, 2015 closed with 200 M&A transactions completed in the Asia-Pacific region, with 85 (43%) involving Chinese companies, at a total value exceeding US$56bn, with the country’s demand for oil due largely to ongoing urbanization and rising household incomes.
  • Australia and New Zealand, with 28 and five deals respectively, together contributed to 17% of Asia’s overall deal count, amounting to a total transaction value of US$20.5bn.
  • While the deal count in Southeast Asia equaled Australasia’s transaction volume (33), the sub-region’s aggregate deal value of US$5.5bn was well behind that of Australasia.
  • Chinese-led cross-border values topped US$10.8bn through 23 deals, up from US$4.1bn through 22 deals in 2014.
  • Private equity investment in the Asia-Pacific energy space totaled US$11.9bn in 2015, with 17 buyouts – the best year for Asian energy buyouts since 2007.

Investing in Vietnam: Open for business – Kroll Quarterly M&A Newsletter

08 March 2016

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Inbound mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Vietnam totaled US$3.5bn in 2015, posting an exponential increase of 406% from US$706m the prior year and accounting for 94% of deal activity in the country. Inbound M&A is a component of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam, which totaled US$13bn in 2015, a decline of 13% from 2014, but a significant increase from investment barely reaching the US$2bn mark in the early 2000s. Even as China’s slowdown sends shockwaves across neighboring markets, sentiment remains strong that FDI in Vietnam will continue unabated as investors set their sights on Southeast Asia’s next emerging market.
 
Kroll, the global leader in risk mitigation and response, has once again teamed up with Mergermarket to analyze the challenges and potential of foreign investment in Vietnam in “Investing in Vietnam: Open for business”, the latest edition of their Spotlight Asia series.
 
This issue seeks to trace the contours of Vietnam’s swiftly evolving investment landscape, replete with pressing risks and compelling attractions at every turn. It includes an interview with Richard Dailly, Managing Director at Kroll, presenting insights on mitigating business risks and conducting pre-transactional due diligence on potential investment targets in Vietnam.
 
Highlights and trends in “Investing in Vietnam: Open for business”:
 
  • Vietnam recorded the second-highest number of cross-border transactions into Southeast Asia and the third-largest by deal value for inbound deals, while inbound M&A in Vietnam continues to be dominated by Asian acquirers, who completed 77% of inbound deals in Vietnam in 2015, accounting for 94% of deal values.
  • The traditionally favored manufacturing sector came up tops again in 2015, contributing to 46% of total inbound deal value and 27% of volume with US$1.3bn from eight transactions, as rising wages in China enabled Vietnam to receive manufacturers looking for cheaper places to manage their operations.
  • The consumer sector accounted for 39% of total inbound value and 20% of volume in 2015 from six deals worth a total of US$1.1bn, driven in part by expectations for Vietnam’s middle class to double in size from 12 million to 33 million by 2020.
  • Private equity remained active in 2015, albeit at decreased levels of investment, with total investment dropping 74% from US$988m in 2014 to US$260m – almost US$1bn short of 2013 totals, though activity is expected to rebound in the year ahead.

Mid-Market M&A: The valuation gap

09 March 2016

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Over the last year, a paradox has persisted in the North American mid-market: buyside interest in deals has been at an all-time high, and yet the number of deals has fallen. With corporate cash holdings and private equity dry powder still at high levels, the appetite for mid-market deals will remain robust. The question is: how can buyers and sellers close the valuation gap?
 
Mergermarket, on behalf of virtual data room provider, Firmex, interviewed six leading experts for insight on how big a part a valuation gap has played on North American mid-market M&A in the newsletter Mid-Market M&A: The Valuation Gap.
 
Points of discussion:
 
  • Factors contributing to the widening of a valuation gap in mid-market deal negotiations.
  • Sectors seeing a pronounced gap.
  • Effects of the widening valuation gap on private equity

William Fry M&A Review 2015

14 March 2016

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Mergermarket is pleased to present the fifth edition of the William Fry M&A Review. This year’s report reveals a vibrant Irish M&A scene in 2015, with a significant rise in deal value, from €45.3bn in 2014 to €189bn in 2015, although there was a drop in deal volume, from 120 in 2014 to 104 in 2015. These figures include Pfizer’s acquisition of Allergan announced in November 2015, which was worth €172.6bn, and Medtronic’s acquisition of Covidien in 2014, which was worth €33.9bn. Excluding these deals, Ireland’s M&A sector still recorded a significant increase, with value up 41% on 2014, from €11.4bn to €16.1bn.
 
Highlights from the report include:
 
  • Outbound deals account for 50% of transactions: The most notable trend in 2015 is that half of all transactions with an Irish element were outbound, the highest on record for Irish businesses making overseas acquisitions and higher than recorded in other countries such as France (31%); Germany (29%) and the UK (29%).
  • Availability of affordable finance: In large part due to the European Central Bank’s €1.1tn quantitative easing programme, bank borrowing remained readily available and affordable as a source of finance. Ireland also continues to attract capital from debt financiers and private equity sources.
  • TMT sector dominates: A number of key sectors saw strong year-on-year activity by volume, including Telecoms, Media & Technology (29%), Business Services (13%), Leisure (13%) and Pharmaceuticals, Medical and Biotech (12%).

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