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'Pool of capital' available for Aussie M&A

The Australian M&A market is set for another strong year in 2016, buoyed by a lower Australian dollar, a stable economy and the finalisation of free trade agreements, says Herbert Smith Freehills.

In its third annual Asia Pacific M&A Review, Herbert Smith Freehills said the outlook for mergers and acquisitions in Australia will remain strong throughout 2016.

“Factors driving M&A activity in 2016 will be the significant pools of foreign capital now available to deploy and the increasing levels of confidence fostered by the success of various mega deals in 2015.

“The majority of activity is expected to come from the resources and financial services sectors,” the report said.

In 2015, Australian M&A increased by over 200 per cent in terms of the value of announced transactions compared to 2014.

Herbert Smith Freehills head of corporate, Australia, Andrew Pike said: “Last year was big for Asia Pacific M&A, with sustained activity levels throughout the year – particularly in Australia, China, Hong Kong and South Korea –  and a number of multi-billion mega deals helping to push the total value of announced deals to over US$1 trillion.”

Across the Asia Pacific, financial services, property, energy and resources sectors are expected to create “significant deal flow” throughout the year. The uptake in new technologies is also set to increase profitability for technology suppliers and lead to a new wave of IPOs, the report said.

Herbert Smith Freehills head of corporate, Asia, Austin Sweeney, said despite the challenges in equity markets and low commodity prices, dealmakers in the region have “much to look forward to”.

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