find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Australia attractive in tough M&A market

Australia attractive in tough M&A market

A M&A report by Allen & Overy has revealed that Australia was a popular destination for overseas raiders in a slumping market.

The London-based global giant released its M&A Index for 2012 yesterday (21 January). According to the report, which tracks deals of more than $US100 million, the value of global deals fell by just less than 10 per cent to $US 1.9 trillion, and deal volume fell by 14 per cent, the lowest level since the “dog days” of the GFC in 2009.

“Throughout 2012, investors were mostly much happier to preserve cash and hold off on deals, until some of these unpredictable global forces became easier to read,” said the report.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, Sydney-based equity capital markets and M&A partner Tony Sparks (pictured) said that A&O’s Australian deals team, like the rest of its global workforce and M&A  teams at other firms, had a difficult year

“Geo-political and economic uncertainty played into this market as much as anywhere else,” he said.

The independent industry league tables showed that Australia was not spared from the global downturn.

According to Dealogic, Australian investment-banking revenue last year fell almost one-fifth to $US1.9 billion from $US2.35 billion, while Mergermarket noted that M&A in Australia represented just 10.6 per cent of activity in the Asia-Pacific last year, down from 19.6 per cent the previous year and 22.9 per cent in 2010.

Despite that, according to the A&O analysis, Australia remains an attractive target for overseas buyers.

It found that Australia was the fifth most popular inbound target market, behind the US, UK, Germany and Canada.

In terms of Australian companies investing overseas, Australia was ranked as the 13th most active country looking to make overseas acquisitions.

“Our dollar is quite strong at the moment so you would think there is the capacity there to go out and buy,” said Sparks. “People are being quite cautious and you don’t know what is around the corner, whether it is Australia or anywhere else in the world, a lack of confidence has constrained people’s willingness to do deals if they are well priced or even if your home currency is strong.”

Sparks added that the deal struck by American legislators to avoid falling off ‘the fiscal cliff’, an improving All Ordinaries share index and a belief that the worst of the uncertainty surrounding European financial markets is over has provided lawyers with a degree of cautious optimism in 2013.

“Certainly the back-end of the year demonstrated some promise for this year,” said Sparks, noting that for capital markets work November and December felt like “business as usual”. “There was a significant amount of activity for rights issues and placements in the absence of IPOs,” he said.

The Bloomberg M&A analysis for 2012 also showed that, in the Asia-Pacific region, there was a 38 per cent increase in activity in Q4 2012 as compared to Q4 2011.

For an in-depth feature on what M&A lawyers did in 2012 and what they hope to be doing in 2013, see Lawyers Weekly 613 on Friday 8 February.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Australia attractive in tough M&A market
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microscope
06:04
‘Exorbitant legal fees’ under government microscope
With the growing number of class action proceedings in Australia, the government is looking at how ...
Funds, money, cash
06:00
Law Access WA receives welcome funding
Law Access Western Australia has received a grant from the state government to fund its pro bono leg...
Thomson Reuters adds to Practical Law team
06:00
Thomson Reuters adds to Practical Law team
Thomson Reuters has appointed an experienced real estate lawyer to its Practical Law Australia team....
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...