Business / Economy

China becomes 2015's most targeted country in Asia Pacific's M&A

By Hu Yuanyuan ( Updated: 2016-01-20 17:14

Outbound merger and acquisitions (M&A) from Asia Pacific in the fourth quarter of 2015 registered an 11 percent year-on-year increase to $71.8 billion, pushing the year's total to a record high of $313.4 billion on 1,268 deals, Baker & McKenzie's Cross-Border M&A Index showed on Wednesday.

The index indicates China, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore are the top 5 most active acquirers in 2015 by deal volume among Asia Pacific countries.

India and Australia emerged as the favored targets by US and European companies, while China continues to be the most targeted country overall with 254 deals worth $42.3 billion, according to international law firm Baker & McKenzie.

Industrials, technology, consumer, business services, financial services and energy & utility were the top targeted sectors by Asia Pacific acquirers. The need for companies to reinvent themselves to stay competitive in the global market has been a major driving force for the robust deal activity in the industrials and technology sectors of China and Japan.

In 2015, China and Japan have become the world's third- and fourth-largest acquirers in the tech sector after the US and UK, with 41 deals (totaled at $19.2 billion) and 38 deals (totaled at $9 billion) respectively.

"China no longer needs so much Western capital for the development of production," said David Fleming, Head of Baker & McKenzie's Asia Pacific M&A Group. "But it does need technology and access to Western markets."

The outlook for cross-border M&A in 2016 remains positive as a number of ASEAN countries undergo regulatory reforms to attract foreign investments, according to Baker & McKenzie. Transactional activity in the Asia Pacific region will continue to rise from 2016 to 2018 on the back of the region's strong economic fundamentals, with M&A activity in Asia Pacific peaking at $755 billion in 2018, according to the law firm's report.

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