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Emerging Market M&A Gains Share on West, Led by Asia
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com
Source Date: Sunday, July 11, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs
Created: Jul 12, 2010

A burst of corporate acquisition activity in Asia shows that executives throughout the region are gaining confidence in their financial outlook and expansion strategy, with cross-border deals on the upswing.

Asia Pacific M&A, excluding Japan, rose 78 percent last quarter, according to Thomson Reuters, with emerging market acquisitions now one-third of total deal volume.

While the largest transactions still mainly originate in the United States and Europe, a slew of recent deals have come from places like China, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

Asia's M&A activity received a boost on Monday with a quartet of Australian deals totalling more than $4 billion and including buyers from Thailand, Singapore, China and Korea.

"What I think you will see over time is a steady increase in confidence of Asian players to go outside and do deals and not just in the West but emerging markets as well, such as Africa," said David Timblick, CEO of Lazard Asia, speaking at the London School of Economic's Asia Investment Banking conference in Singapore on Monday.

Australia's Centennial Coal Co Ltd agreed to a $2 billion takeover offer from Thailand's Banpu Public Co Ltd, while Anglo American sold five Australian coal fields worth $488 million to a South Korean consortium.

On top of those deals, Singapore's Wilmar International Ltd agreed to buy CSR's sugar business for $1.5 billion, while Australian pallet maker Loscam Ltd said it had been acquired by Hong Kong-based ports operator China Merchants Group.

"I think Asia M&A volumes will surpass the U.S. and Europe," said Ronnie Behar, Credit Suisse's co-head of mergers and acquisitions for Asia, excluding Japan, who was also speaking at the conference.
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