Australian M&A deals throughout the first quarter of 2017 saw an increase of more than 50 per cent by value compared with the prior corresponding period, according to Mergermarket.
The company’s M&A Market Trend Report for the first quarter of the year said there were 107 merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in Australia in the first quarter, cumulatively worth $28.3 billion.
Much of this value was found in the energy, mining and utilities sector, which increased 8.1 times on the previous year to deliver $21.2 billion in total value, Mergermarket said.
“It contributed 74.9 per cent to Australia’s overall deal value, with this sector claiming the top three inbound deals,” the company said.
Those top three inbound deals, for Duet Group, Coal & Allied and Alinta energy, accounted for 72 per cent of all M&A deal value in the energy, mining and utilities sector, the report said.
The first quarter of 2017 also saw the country’s highest first quarter deal value in 15 years at $19.5 billion, comprised of 42 deals, Mergermarket said.
“There is general optimism that strong M&A activity in 2017 will continue on inbound interest and mid-market deals,” the company said.
“However, there are concerns that inbound transactions will be subject to prolonged review due to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) scrutinising deals. Foreign investors seeking larger deals in Australia may look to partner with a local investor to facilitate FIRB approval, as reported.”