US Companies Top Acquirers in M&A Global Activity


January 16, 2012

On Friday Allen & Overy publis hed the highlights of its latest M&A analysis. The report discusses the extent to which countries have become active in each others’ markets as businesses continue to look abroad for new growth opportunities.


Despite Eurozone worries companies in around the world continue to make bolt-on acquisitions and, for the right target, are prepared to make large scale acquisitions. “For well-regarded companies buying a target which is a good strategic fit, debt finance is still available,” say A&O.


Summary of TrendsThe UK remains the most popular market for US companies, which made 54 acquisitions of UK assets worth USD 47,351  billion in 2011.


Japan and China were amongst the most active countries. China is now ranked 6th most active cross-border acquirer, up from 18th in 2007. China’s growth represents a 195% increase the number of outbound acquisitions since 2007. Japan has risen from 13th to 3rd, representing a 158% increase in volume of outbound M&A.


The UAE has slipped out of the world’s top 20 outbound acquirers since 2007, when it ranked 10th with 36 transactions worth USD 36.385 billion.


Brazil, The Republic of Ireland and South Korea have all joined the top 20 outbound acquirers with 11, 12 and 16 outbound acquisitions respectively.
A&O says that cash held on balance sheets in 2011 has been climbing for the past two years, 32% increase- because companies remain reluctant or unable to deploy capital for M&A.

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