BLOOMBERG HAS released its Asia-Pacific legal mergers and acquisitions rankings, showing 2,754 deals were announced in the second quarter of 2007 worth US$175.9 billion ($205.1 billion), up 10.5 per cent on the same period in 2006.
All up, 5,300 deals were announced for the first half of 2007, worth US$362.5 billion ($423 billion), up 13 per cent on the first half of 2006.
The financial services industry was the most active by dollar volume in Asia with 517 deals announced worth US$83.6 billion ($97.6 billion), up 57 per cent on the same period last year. This was led by banking sector consolidation, in particular Citigroup’s acquisition of Bank of Overseas Chinese in Taiwan. Communications was the second most active industry for M&A in the region.
Bloomberg predicts markets will enter the second phase of maturity following an influx of Chinese IPO listings on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Growth in emerging markets is expected to continue as India and China continue to provide companies with lower factor costs and new demand.
Freehills was ranked first in M&A activity in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan, by both deal count and volume. The firm also scored 50.9 per cent of the market share for announced deals in Australia and New Zealand, with Allens Arthur Robinson coming in second with 20.5 per cent. Allens Arthur Robinson snuck into first place in the Asia-Pacific private equity announced deals ranking by volume, with a 19.8 per cent share of the market compared to Freehills’ 18 per cent.
Australian law firms did not rank among the top 20 Hong Kong and China announced deals by volume and number, with UK firms continuing to dominate this part of the market.
- By Clare Buttner