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
M&A confidence boost a small win for firms

M&A confidence boost a small win for firms

M&A activity will improve steadily in 2013, but lawyers will have to wait until later in the year to benefit from the upturn, according to the head of Ernst & Young’s transaction advisory practice for Oceania.

Ernst & Young’s biannual Capital Confidence Barometer, which was released today (29 April), has revealed that 70 per cent of Australian and New Zealand companies believe that local deal volumes will be higher this year. This reflects broader economic optimism in the region, with 90 per cent of companies claiming the local economy is stable or improving.

Graeme Browning (pictured), Ernst & Young’s transaction advisory services leader for Oceania, told Lawyers Weekly that, while the survey suggests the M&A slump is over, it will take several months before firms are called in on transactions. Even then, the increase in deal flow will be modest.

“For lawyers to benefit, the sentiment needs to translate into companies actually doing transactions,” he said. “That will happen but it will build over the course of the year.”

Around 1600 global executives were surveyed in February and March on a range of indicators of corporate confidence, including economic growth, corporate earnings and market stability. Despite a boost in confidence, the results reveal that actual acquisition intentions are lagging, with only 24 per cent of respondents saying they expect to acquire in the next 12 months.

“The tough past few years have made many corporates cautious, despite the improving sentiment, and this is slowing the pace of deals,” said Browning, who added that companies may be waiting until after the federal election in September before embarking on major transactions.

The survey also suggests a rise in intentions to divest assets. Browning claimed divestment activity will be most noticeable in the resources sector, as large mining companies sell non-core assets. He predicted that smaller companies would be the main buyers of these assets.

When asked if the mining boom was over, Browning said overall investment in the sector has definitely peaked. He maintained, however, that demand for resources will remain strong for some time.

Browning also anticipates that deal activity will improve in the retail sector, spurred by increased consumer spending and infrastructure, with super-fund investment and government asset sales playing a key role.

A recent report by Mergermarket echoed Browning’s optimism regarding the mining sector.

According to the Mergermarket Energy, Mining & Utilities Asia-Pacific M&A Round-up, Australia has had “an exciting number of live M&A situations” since the start of 2013. Australia had the highest number of M&A transactions in the region, along with China, with both countries announcing 10 deals this year.

Overall, the Asia-Pacific was responsible for $US21 billion in energy, mining and utilities deals, which accounted for 24.3 per cent of the total M&A transactions in the region.

Mining acquisitions made up 23 deals worth $US6.8 billion.

King & Woods Mallesons topped the Legal Advisor League Table after advising four of the top 10 transactions in the sector, with a total mandate of eight deals worth $US9.2 billion. Linklaters and Herbert Smith Freehills took second and third place, respectively.

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

M&A confidence boost a small win for firms
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Jackie Rhodes
Dec 12 2017
Report sheds light on LGBTQI inclusion in law firms
A recent report has revealed the varying perceptions on LGBTQI diversity and inclusion in the Austra...
Women in business
Dec 12 2017
Annabel Crabb headlines Women in Business Forum
Political journalist Annabel Crabb has appeared at the Coleman Greig Lawyers Women in Business Forum...
Dec 11 2017
Warm welcome for new district court judges
Three practitioners who were appointed as district court judges in WA have been congratulated by ...
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'...
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...
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 & ...