May 15, 2017

When politics collides with dealmaking

by Thomson Reuters

On June 12th Reuters will host its inaugural Global M&A Summit, an exclusive event that will bring together senior investment bankers, M&A lawyers, international investors and corporate executives in our Thomson Reuters 30 South Colonnade office in London.

Reserve your seat today

The Summit will serve as a platform to discuss the current global M&A landscape with a special focus on protectionism, including the handling of politically sensitive transactions in spite of calls for protectionist measures by British and European politicians. Cross-border M&A activity will be another highlight of the Summit, with a special focus on the political implications of the latest wave of major cross-border deals between Europe and the U.S.

Highest Q1 in a decade

Cross border activity continued to thrive in 2017 with US$349 billion worth of deals announced during the first quarter of 2017, up 17% from the value recorded in 2016 and the highest first quarter total in a decade.

The United States dominated with US outbound M&A totaling US$121.2 billion and breaking the all-time record set in 2007.  In fact, one of the largest deals of the quarter involved a US buyer and a foreign target – Johnson & Johnson unveiling a US$29.0 billion takeover of Swiss drugmaker Actelion back in January.

While in 2016 China outbound activity doubled from 2015, posting US$220.9 billion from 906 deals, a 45% increase in number of transactions, the trend has definitely now changed. In fact, following domestic capital controls, China’s recent overseas spending spree slowed with deals totaling US$28.0 billion marking a 67% decline from last year.

Regulators Step in

But some of the biggest and boldest deals didn’t make it to the finishing line amid rising political concern and regulatory hurdles.

An attempted merger between the German and British stock exchanges to create Europe’s biggest stock market was struck down by European regulators in March, claiming the pair’s fifth attempt to combine, would have resulted in a monopoly in the processing of bond trades. “We could not approve this merger on the terms … proposed,” said European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, blocking the 29 billion-euro ($31 billion) deal to combine Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE.L).

In February Kraft abandoned a controversial 115 billion pound takeover approach for rival Unilever. Reuters reported that the premature exposure of Kraft’s bid finally left the aggressive acquisition machine scrambling to craft an appetizing message for shareholders, the press, Unilever’s rank and file, and British and Dutch leaders.

Reserve your seat today and don’t miss your chance to hear our distinguished guest speakers:

  • Karen Cook,Chairman of Investment Banking, Goldman Sachs
  • Steve Baronoff, Chairman of Global M&A, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Hernan CristernaCo-Head of Global M&A JP Morgan
  • William Rucker, Chief Executive,Lazard UK
  • Yorick van Slingelandt,Co-Head of Europe, Moelis & Co.
  • Wilhelm Schulz,Chairman of EMEA M&A, Citi
  • Sanjay Patel, Head of Europe,Apollo Global Management
  • Dietrich Becker,Co-Head of European Advisory, Perella Weinberg Partners
  • David Wyles, President, Greenhill & Co  

Reserve your seat today

Thomson Reuters is a global leader in investment banking league tables and transaction data, featuring new issues and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deal coverage since 1974. Find out more

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