Keynote address: Merger control and regulatory updates in Australia M&A
Regional update: Riding the M&A wave
Australian M&A activity in 2021 hit record-breaking levels across the board, spurred on by low funding costs, growing ESG considerations and high volumes of private capital. According to Dealogic data, Australian-announced deals amounted to $318 billion in 2021. Whether 2022 will be the bumper year that 2021 was remains to be seen, but all signs point towards continued M&A growth in the region despite ongoing geopolitical and macroeconomic concerns, as well as expected volatility in the market. Our panel of esteemed M&A experts will offer their insights into the opportunities the market has to offer.
- What were the drivers behind the mega-deal activity in 2021, and can 2022 carry the same level of momentum?
- What are the current themes and trends that are dominating Australian M&A, and which sectors have come out on top?
- How will macroeconomic factors, including post-federal election sentiment, supply chain issues and inflation impact corporate activity in the region?
- What will the next six months hold for regional M&A, and will a more volatile market lead to more expensive debt and scrip bids?
Capturing opportunities in Australian mid-market M&A
Despite the uncertainties of the past two years, Australian middle market M&A continues to thrive compared to other regions, driven by strong consumer confidence, regulatory stability and deal sourcing opportunities. Private capital is expected to be the biggest driver of middle-market growth in the region, and dealmakers also expect succession planning and increased distressed M&A activity to be contributing factors. However, challenges including the valuation gap between buyers and sellers, as well as financing constraints remain. Our panel of experts will discuss how to best tackle both the opportunities and challenges in this segment.
- How and why has mid-market M&A remained a bright spot in the market and how is deal flow expected to play out in 2022?
- Have succession opportunities in 2021 played out as expected, and what can we expect in the year ahead?
- Which sectors have performed the best and will see the most activity in the next 12 months?
- Private capital: How have superfunds contributed to mid-market activity and will they continue to drive deal activity?
ESG and stakeholder considerations in M&A: The business imperative
In 2021, environmental, social and governance considerations played an unprecedented role in shaping deal activity in the Australian M&A market, impacting significant deals in sectors such as oil and gas. ESG-driven deal flow is expected to continue in 2022, as more regional businesses understand the long-term value creation proposition it offers, leading to divestments and spin-offs of assets that fail to meet investor scrutiny, and acquisitions of assets that serve as solutions for ESG matters. Our panel of ESG experts will offer their insights into this rapidly developing area of the Australian M&A landscape which is no longer a “nice to have” but rather, a business imperative.
- How will ESG considerations continue to drive deal flow in Australia in the upcoming year?
- How has the ESG conversation evolved in the past year, and what are some lessons learned?
- The increasing role of ESG issues in M&A due diligence - how can businesses ensure that they are prepared?
- What are some examples of ESG-compliant assets that corporates are acquiring?
Case study: Dealmaking in 2021- what did we learn from the Australian M&A boom?
In this case study session, a leading dealmaker in the Australian M&A space will showcase a megadeal they worked on in 2021, highlighting the intricacies of the deal, what made the deal unique, and lessons learned.
Sector focus: The rise and rise of technology M&A
Australian technology dealmaking sped up aggressively in 2021, with overseas buyers snapping up appealing local acquisition targets, and this trend has continued into the first quarter of 2022. Additionally, non-tech companies have been reshaping themselves by making strategic acquisitions to help accelerate their transition into a digitalized world. Our panel of technology experts and investors will discuss how to best capture opportunities in this ever-changing industry.
- What trends are driving the surge of technology M&A activity in Australia and what can we expect in 2022?
- What makes Australian tech companies such appealing acquisition targets for multinational buyers?
- Which tech industries have seen the most activity and consolidation? E-commerce, cloud, telecoms, fintech and more
- Digitalization - how can businesses reshape strategically and acquire technology businesses that will help them to innovate?
Australian private equity: driving the M&A surge
Although private equity firms raised new funds and deployed capital into some of the largest transactions of 2021, industry participants did not see a buying frenzy from the traditional PE houses. However, it is expected that in 2022, GPs will spend with more fervor due to record amounts of dry powder and pent-up demand. However, this comes with increased competition amongst other private capital buyers such as superfunds, as well as challenges around valuation. Our panel of leading global and regional private equity managers share their views on navigating the market.
- Are private equity managers getting more deals done in 2022, and what is the outlook for the rest of the year including potential challenges?
- Where are offshore and local GPs finding the best opportunities?
- What are the benefits of partnering with private equity in an M&A transaction?
- What does a post-pandemic value creation plan look like from a private equity perspective?
Cross-border M&A: navigating the geopolitical and regulatory landscape
In 2021, inbound M&A activity saw US$94.6 billion worth of deals, while outbound M&A amounted to US$148.4 billion. Cross-border M&A, both inbound and outbound, is expected by market participants to remain buoyant in 2022, with offshore buyers in North America and Europe attracted to the region’s economic recovery, and with local companies actively seeking overseas targets. Whilst potential COVID-19 and growing geopolitical concerns remain, favourable market conditions indicate that there will be no pause to cross-border activity, especially as borders begin to open. Our panel of leading advisors will discuss the current trends, top transactions and deal flow in the year ahead.
- Which sectors are seeing the most activity from foreign investors?
- Who will be the most active overseas buyers in 2022, and how has the nature of offshore acquirers changed?
- Outbound M&A: Where and which industries are local participants looking abroad for growth?
- How have FIRB reforms affected cross-border M&A activity in the region, and will the China thematic continue to be a challenge?
Close of conference and cocktail reception
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