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H1 M&A deals in Singapore up 19% at US$33.8 billion

MERGER and acquisition (M&A) activity in Singapore in H1 2018 reached heights not seen since 2014 (US$54.6 billion), with the total value of deals up 19.1 per cent to US$33.8 billion from H1 2017, according to a first-half preliminary review on M&A activity published by Thomson Reuters.

The figure for H1 2018 - based on data accurate as at June 18 - was driven mostly by Q2 2018 activity, with deals amounting to US$21.6 billion, up 76.8 per cent from Q1 2018 and up 23.4 per cent from Q2 2017.

Average deal size also increased, as disclosed M&A deals grew to US$127.1 million in H1 2018 compared to US$86.8 million in the corresponding period in 2017.

Meanwhile, domestic M&A activity totalled US$3.8 billion, a 7.5 per cent increase in deal value from first half of 2017, despite number of domestic transactions down by 22.9 per cent.

Across sectors, the property, financial and industrial sector together, accounted for three-quarters of domestic M&A activity in the first half. In particular, property deals (US$10.4 billion) accounted for 30.9 per cent of total domestic M&A activity.

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Private equity-backed M&A in Singapore saw US$166.2 million worth of deals so far this year, the lowest first-half period in terms of deal value since 2013. However, the number of private equity-backed acquisitions grew 14.3 per cent.

Cross-border deal activity amounted to US$16.8 billion, an 11.8 per cent fall over the US$19 billion recorded in the same period last year, due in part to a 51.9 per cent decrease in inbound M&A activity to US$4.3 billion, the lowest first-half period since 2013.

Outbound M&A activity increased 24.5 per cent from the comparative period last year to US$12.4 billion, despite a 23.2 per cent decline in number of announced outbound acquisitions.

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