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Australian M&A set to rise in 2011
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Australian M&A set to rise in 2011

Australian M&A figures soared last year and are expected to increase even further in 2011, according to new figures.

AUSTRALIAN M&A figures soared last year and are expected to increase even further in 2011, according to new figures.

New figures released by mergers and acquisitions intelligence service Mergermarket has revealed that in 2010 a total of 379 M&A deals, valued at US$104.1 billion, were announced in Australia last year. The results show a year-on-year increase of 182.3 per cent in value.

The figures also show that Australia was the most active M&A market in the Asia-Pacific last year, accounting for 22.8 per cent of the region’s total M&A transaction value.

The 2010 year was the busiest for M&A since 2007, according to Thomson Reuters figures, when it hit US$432.4 billion.

Australia was an attractive target to bidders last year, the mergermarket figures show, with a total of 156 inbound deals worth US$51 billion.

The energy, mining and utilities sector continues to dominate the M&A activity chart in terms of both deal value and volume.

“Ongoing demand for Australian resources continues to drive M&A activity in the resources space and the related infrastructure sectors, a trend expected to continue well into 2011,” said Rimin Dutt, senior reporter at mergermarket.

“The financial services sector is expected to be hot as a number of regulatory changes globally lead to potential consolidation and regional asset sales from global banks,” he said.

For the first time in ten years, the total value of announced M&A transactions in Australia exceeded an astounding USD100 billion in 2010, suppressing the 2007 record by 7.3 per cent despite the fact that the number of deal last year was 27 per cent less than that in 2007.

The fourth quarter contributed heavily to the annual record, with US$55.9 billion worth of deals announced accounting for over half of the annual deal value.

Dutt pointed to the proposed merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Singapore Exchange, which he said would likely impact the economics of public listings and that of mergers among listed companies.

“Private equity interest in Australian companies across a range of sectors including financial services and health care is expected to continue this year.”

For more on 2010 leading M&A legal advisers, CLICK HERE.

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