Big M& A deals rarer in Q2 but volume up

Big M& A deals rarer in Q2 but volume up

SINGAPORE - Mega merger and acquisition (M&A) deals here were rarer in the second quarter but the overall volume of corporate activity picked up, according to new data. Still, the first quarter was always going to be hard to match.

It included one of the biggest deals ever seen here - a US$11.2 billion (S$14 billion) deal involving the takeover of Fraser & Neave by Thailand's TCC Assets.

The M&A data, from American Appraisal, indicates a higher level of interest in mid-sized to small deals, said its managing director Srividya Gopalakrishnan.

The firm's latest report covers M&A activity in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia in the first half of the year.

"There seems to be a slowing trend in deal-making for the high-value deals in the second quarter this year... but a significant increase in volumes over the period," Ms Srividya told The Straits Times.

Current market volatility aside, corporate deals here shot up 35 per cent in the first half from a year earlier to US$19 billion. This was largely driven by firms in the consumer staples, industrials and real estate sectors.

Some of the significant deals here include two sizeable reverse takeovers - a US$735 million deal involving Catalist-listed Cedar Strategic Holdings and China's Trechance Holdings, and a US$481 million deal between Singapore-listed Contel Corp and YuuZoo Corp.

Other notables were United Engineers' takeover bid for WBL Corp and FPM Power Holdings' acquisition of GMR Energy.

A large chunk of the deals involved cross-border transactions - 98 in all, worth US$17.2 billion, including the F&N deal.

Of these, nearly three quarters, or 74 per cent, involved inbound deals.

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