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S'pore firms set bumper $44.7b in Q3 M&A deals


The appetite for mergers and acquisitions (M&As) has been ravenous among local companies this year, with the value of deals the highest for the year-to-date since 2014.

Singapore Companies racked up M&As worth US$33.1 billion (S$44.7 billion) in the third quarter, up 81.4 per cent on the second, despite a 33.9 per cent drop in number of announced deals.

The bumper quarter reflects what has been a busy year so far, with M&A activity hitting US$62.5 billion since Jan 1, up 31.7 per cent over the same period last year, according to Thomson Reuters yesterday.

The average M&A deal size for disclosed deals was US$143 million since Jan 1 to Sept 14, compared with US$106.9 million for the first nine months last year.

There were also more Singapore companies participating in deals above US$1 billion, including the US$16.4 billion buyout of Global Logistic Properties (GLP).

The Thomson Reuters report said there have been 15 M&As valued in excess of US$1 billion so far this year, with a combined value of US$35.9 billion. This compares with 10 in the same period last year, when the total value was US$21.9 billion.

The industrial sector has led the way this year, accounting for 35.6 per cent of M&A activity worth US$22.3 billion, up 152.8 per cent from the same period last year.

"This is the highest period for the sector in terms of value, surpassing the record annual high in 2015 of US$13.3 billion," the report said.

This was boosted by China's Nesta Investment Holdings acquiring the entire share capital of GLP, a provider of warehousing and storage services, for US$16.4 billion, including net debt.

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