Mergermarket M&A Forum Japan 2024

The premier M&A forum in Japan

The Conrad, Tokyo and online


08.00 - 08.50


08.50 - 09.00

Opening remarks

09.00 - 09.30

Keynote address

09.30 - 10.30

Japanese M&A update: Continue to thrive

In Japan, deal value increased by 38.8% year over year, delivering roughly $123 billion in 2023 - more than anywhere else in Asia, per Mergermarket data. For 2024, the revival of the stock market, favourable interest rates, stability from a geopolitical and social and pressure from the government and shareholders to divest non-performing assets are creating fertile ground for dealmakers. Our panel of experts will share their views on the outlook for the market and what the industry must do to maintain the momentum.

  • What investment themes and strategies will fuel more Japanese M&A in the next 12 months?
  • Will the rise in carve-out transactions remain and how can you access deals?
  • Outbound M&A: How can Japanese corporates compete for international deals?
  • Inbound M&A: How much M&A activity will we see and what makes Japan attractive?

10:30 - 11:00

Networking break

11.00 - 11.45

Cross-border deals: Navigating the markets

Overseas buying has caught the attention of investors, both inbound and outbound, as business owners increase their appetite for engaging in cross-border M&A. Japan is a hotspot for inbound investment as the country has a large pool of solid assets, simultaneously, out-bound deals are also recovering with the opportunity for value creation and overseas expansion. On the other hand, there are long-terms challenges that remain such as an aging population, questions marks on if and when non-core divestitures will happen, ability for overseas investors to gain traction curtailing the growth momentum, and geopolitical issues. Our panel of experienced investors and dealmakers outline the driving forces for cross-border activity, including the hotspots in the Japanese market.

  • How are companies integrating domestic & overseas operations to establish global management systems and structures?
  • How do you navigate the cultural aspects of integration and drive value creation? 
  • Increase in carve out deals. What are difficulties that non-Japanese buyers typically face in these transactions? 
  • More hostile takeover cases in Japanese market recently. What are key areas buyer needs to be mindful about? 
  • Increase in the acquisition of early stage/start up business in Japanese market… What are key areas buyers need to be aware of?
11.45 - 12.30

Regulatory and activist update: Game changing the deal environment

The new regulatory regime, aimed at driving competitiveness has spurred M&A activity and mmanagement buyouts in Japan to their fastest pace in more than a decade as intensifying governance pressure has created more opportunities. With take-privates on the rise and headline deals showcasing what can now be done, the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s recent push for better capital efficiency is also expected to create greater pressure on companies as activist investors pursue more difficult and high-profile investments. A panel of regulators, investors, and advisors will discuss the effects of new regulations on Japanese dealmaking.

  • How is governance and regulatory pressure driving the activist agenda?
  • How are regulations driving more take private deals and how accessible are they?
  • What is the pipeline for deals over the next 12 months?
  • In what part of the market are we likely to see the most corporate divestment? 
12.30 - 13.30

Networking Lunch

13.30 - 14.15

Technology M&A: The new gold rush

Bolstered by disruptive technologies in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and energy transition, businesses of all sizes across sectors in Japan will have to embrace digital transformation into their business model if they plan to compete long-term. For venture capitalists and corporates, finding the technologies and innovators developing the products that will lead the way is paramount to harness the huge potential and ensure they are investing in the game-changing companies. In this panel, technology investors and experts will discuss the opportunity set in the sector and key trends for technology M&A deals. 

  • What strategies are top Japanese corporates using to invest in technology innovations?
  • Where are the strengths in the sector in Japan and what tech companies have led the way?
  • How can you maximise value amid a fast-growing wave of Japanese tech startup going public?
  • How do you find the AI investments that will capture a global market in a sea of opportunities?
14.15 - 14.45

Fireside chat

14.45 - 15.15

Networking break

15.15 - 16.00

Mid-Market growth in Japan: Going big

The fragmented, ageing nature of Japan’s small and medium-sized enterprise space and growing momentum in corporate divestments, have resulted in the middle-market scene growing in popularity as more players enter the market. As competition increases, finding talent, sourcing deals and exits at an attractive price, and navigating the complexities of an evolving market are critical. In this session, a group of expert investors will deep dive into the mid-market space. 

  • How has the mid-market evolved and where do all the participants now fit?
  • What are the most active sectors of Japan's mid-market M&A deals?
  • Valuations and expectations – what’s changed in the past twelve months?
  • What does a downturn mean for middle-market deal flow?
  • How is the M&A advisory landscape evolving?
16.00 - 17.00

Japanese private equity: The Asia bright spot

Private-equity deals hit their highest historic levels with a rate of USD 44.2bn in 2023, outperforming the rest of Asia, according to Mergermarket data. The strong push to restructure and transform conglomerates, the narrower valuation gap between buyer and seller and and availability of has created an attractive deal environment for private equity players that need to deploy capital.

Whether the opportunity can match the amount of capital earmarked for Japan, how the market reacts to a recession, are all questions that will need to be answered as private equity investors look to Japan as the key market for investment in Asia amongst adversity. Our panel of leading private equity managers will share their views on the opportunities and challenges in the market.

  • What are the growth patterns and exit routes of firms in Japan?
  • How do you source sizeable take-private opportunities?
  • Are GPs being disciplined enough on portfolio valuations? 
  • What effect will rising interest rates and a recessionary environment have on the investment landscape?
  • Can the market absorb more GPs and larger fund sizes, or will this distort the value proposition?
17.00 - 18.30

Close of conference and Networking drinks