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M&A Is Breaking Records in Asia Pacific

Confidence — and IPOs — are fueling APAC’s surge in dealmaking.

Asia Pacific M&A Intralinks

As we head into Q4 2021, Asia Pacific (APAC) has a strong mergers and acquisitions (M&A) pipeline. Driven by high investor confidence, early-stage M&A activity is at record levels in Australia, eclipsing pre-COVID-19 levels. The recovery of cross-border activity is fueling growth in Japan, as are initial public offerings (IPOs) in North Asia. 

In Australia, continued focus on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) components of deals are a key driver, particularly in the Energy and Natural Resource sectors. Digitization is driving activity in Japan, along with the reorganization of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and a revision to its listing criteria.

In North Asia, private equity (PE) firms are shaping the deal landscape. Likewise, increasing valuations are helping boost activity in South Asia. In South Korea, the boom is being fueled by large conglomerates with deep pockets that survived the pandemic.

Private equity flexes its muscles amid rising valuations

A large, competitive market — and PE firms with record levels of dry powder— are driving valuations up in ANZ. In Japan, valuations are driven by a strong recovery in exports to the U.S. and China. In North Asia, however, M&A is still not a number-one priority as the valuation for IPOs are still higher and more stable. (Some companies here are starting to focus on pre-IPO as well.) Valuations are at an all-time high in South Asia, with a correction expected soon. For South Korea, valuations are high in some deals, but not as high as in other countries.

There are consistently strong sectors across APAC. In ANZ, Natural Resources and Technology transactions are drivers, while in Japan TMT will likely continue to be the most active sector.

Energy deals are likely based on a new policy enacted by the Japanese government.

In North Asia, TMT, Healthcare, Consumer and Real Estate are leaders, while Financial Services, Pharma and Power show strength both in North and South Asia. Top picks in South Korea are Technology and Retail due to a digital transformation, followed by Manufacturing and Healthcare.

Rising IPO market in the region

IPOs are hot in APAC. In ANZ, Technology assets are in demand, while in Japan, IPO activity hit a record 14-year high in H1. SaaS companies account for about 40 percent of new listings in this period, and this trend will likely continue. IPO activity will remain high in North Asia as well, while South Asia is experiencing a record year. In South Korea, there’s no shortage of IPO activity until the end of 2021, in industries ranging from Biosciences to Shipbuilding.

Related: Key Trends that Will Shape the IPO Market in Asia Pacific

The post-pandemic outlook is strong for APAC, and the coming quarter is expected to continue the trends we’ve seen in H1 here.

The SS&C Intralinks Deal Flow Predictor for Q4 2021 gives you the full picture of APAC. The report is independently verified as a highly accurate six-month forecast of M&A activity by tracking early-stage transactions globally that are in preparation or have begun due diligence. I invite you to download it here.

Christophe Montane