On the back of a record year in global M&A, with USD5.8 trillion of deals done and the world economy recovering from the pandemic, the dealmaking prospects for 2022 looked bright at the start of the year. Nine months later, however, and the sentiment is anything but positive, due to geopolitical tensions not seen in decades, rising inflation and interest rates, and a growing energy crisis. Nevertheless, despite the strong headwinds, some sectors and geographies seem resilient. Our panel of top advisors give their views on the outlook for 2023.
- What will the 2023 M&A landscape look like?
- How are dealmakers handling market and regulatory challenges?
- Which geographies and sectors are proving resilient?
- How significant is the impact of supply-chain re-alignment on corporate strategy, and what opportunities does it create for deals?
Technology investment stayed strong throughout the pandemic and is one of the main drivers for deals in the current challenging landscape. Businesses of all sizes and sectors are undergoing a digital transformation to stay competitive or get ahead of their rivals, thereby creating opportunities for strategic and financial buyers to capture the potential growth. Indeed, dealmakers are acutely aware of the importance of technology because it helped facilitate M&A during the pandemic.
- What are the opportunities that have emerged this year, and which sectors look hot?
- What are some challenges of investing in this sector, and how should you navigate them?
- How is digital transformation changing businesses in Asia, and what opportunities does it bring?
- What exits methods are trending?
The increased scrutiny of companies when it comes to sustainability, people, and governance considerations is only going to intensify; so too will ESG due diligence in the M&A process. As ESG comes to the forefront of corporate strategy, businesses and investors alike are increasingly realising that ESG can become a force for driving value rather than a risk management exercise. Our expert panel will look at the impact of ESG on M&A practices, ESG reporting and disclosure, and ESG as a source of deals.
- What are the ESG and stakeholder considerations in M&A?
- How are business navigating reporting and disclosure requirements?
- How should you manage your ever-expanding due diligence with ESG in mind?
- What are some examples of ESG-compliant assets that corporates are acquiring?
As M&A activity continues to diminish this year because of the significant headwinds, private equity, which is traditionally more immune to the market environment, is proving to be a more constant source of dealmaking. Although deploying capital and returns might be more challenging, the opportunities for financial buyers are there to be taken, albeit with an increased focus on value creation and digitalisation. Our panel of leading private equity managers will share their views on navigating the market.
- Why is private equity becoming a major source of M&A activity in the region, and what are the drivers?
- Which up-and-coming sectors are capturing the interest of financial investors?
- What are the opportunities for private equity amid the macro headwinds?
- How to navigate liquidity challenges in the region?
As China’s regulatory action against big tech eases due to the rising economic headwinds, various regulatory developments, such as merger reforms, data and cyber-security regulations, sanctions, ESG, are increasingly keeping M&A professionals on high alert. On the listing side, the recent signing of a protocol agreement between the Public Company Accountability Board (PCAOB) and the China Securities Regulatory Commission might be the first step in preventing companies from being de-listed from US exchanges and could be a game changer for the regional IPO market. A panel of leading experts will examine key challenges ahead and effective strategies to mitigate regulatory risk.
- What are the current regulatory developments influencing deals and listings?
- Data privacy and cyber-security – are they more important than ever?
- Emerging trends-ESG, sanctions, killer acquisitions
- What is the impact of the China/US protocol agreement on the market?
As China M&A activity tumbled in the first half of 2022 (recording USD186.6 billion – down 28.9% from last year), other geographies in Asia are proving to be more appealing for dealmakers. For example, India recorded USD121.5 billion in deals for the first half of 2022 according to Dealogic data. Southeast Asia has also risen in prominence over the last few years, becoming a great destination for strategic buyers and private equity due to its proximity and cultural similarities. Our panel of experienced investors and dealmakers outline the driving forces for cross-border activity and discuss the hotspots in the region.
- Is India likely to overtake China in M&A activity in the coming years?
- What types of opportunity are there in Southeast Asia?
- Are there any bright spots in North Asia?
- What are the key challenges for executing cross-border deals this year?
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