How Attractive are Different M&A Markets Globally

Over the past several years, the M&A Research Centre at Cass Business School has been studying the relative attractiveness of different countries for M&A deals. This has focussed on the domestic and inward investment attractiveness (that is, we did not look at countries or their companies as buyers, but as targets, either from companies based externally to that country or from within). The results are based on a detailed analysis of a number of factors in the following areas: regulatory and political, financial and economic, technological factors, socio-economic and factors relating to the development of physical infrastructure and the availability of assets. There have been some surprising results, but also some not-so-surprising results, as we’ve reported in the April issue of the European Journal of Finance. ‘The USA remains in the top spot, mirroring its position in terms of global M&A activity (currently 21% of global volume), with the UK in fourth position. However, we note that three Asian countries occupy top five positions, with South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong in second, third and fifth place, respectively. Further analysis of the database leads us to conclude that Singapore’s and Hong Kong’s high rankings are driven mainly by their highly developed infrastructure, the availability of sizeable assets to purchase (measured as the number of companies with assets valued at $1 m or higher) and business-friendly regulatory environments. This is in contrast to most of the remaining top ten countries, their competitive advantage mainly being their highly developed technological environments, including high levels of high-tech exports and innovation in terms of patents filed, indicating an extremely skilled business community which should attract investment interest.’ The full article discussing these results can be found here, and includes a chart which shows the five year trends: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/fnQAsYpsmMPzc5aT9Y6e/full#/doi/full/10.1080/1351847X.2014.888362

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