LONDON – Major merger and acquisition deals this year have been put on hold due to market volatility amid the COVID-19 crisis, with a decline of 25% in the first half of 2020. Global market research company Euromonitor International investigates into the future of global and regional M&A activities and the expected level of attractiveness using its latest M&A Investment Index.
Between 2015 – 2019, China and the US led the way as the two most dynamic M&A markets accounting for 38% of global transactions. However, with the political landscape affecting the global economy, countries are diversifying their supply and value chain strategies away from China to Southeast Asia.
The region’s low borrowing costs and depressed asset values will present acquisition opportunities for businesses from the US and Western Europe. “Countries such as India, the Philippines and Vietnam are forecast to grow rapidly at a total of 26% in industries including interactive media services, distribution networks and sustainable alternatives in packaged food,” comments Joao Luiz Paschoal, consulting practice manager for investor services at Euromonitor International.
China on the other hand will shift its manufacturing capabilities to focus on its domestic market, especially in engineering and industrial machinery. Its M&A activity index is expected to grow by only 5.4%, the lowest in the last five years.
The US will aim to counter China’s past influence in the Western Hemisphere by focusing on Latin America, with industries such as renewable energy, e-commerce and education leading the way. Fueled by countries like Brazil, Mexico and Peru, the region is set to achieve 13.7% growth, the highest globally.