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Global M&A levels expected to stay positive in 2016

Global M&A levels expected to stay positive in 2016

The latest edition of KPMG’s International Global M&A Predictor expects the world’s largest businesses to show an increasing appetite for M&A transactions during the remainder of 2016. The appetite to do deals is predicted to rise by 4 percent over the next months, as indicated by predicted forward P/E ratios (our measure of corporate appetite or confidence). The capacity of corporates to fund M&A growth, meanwhile, is expected to rise by 13 percent over the same period, measured by net debt to EBITDA ratios (our measure of capacity), as companies continue to pay down debt and bolster their cash reserves.

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Ramachandran Narayanan

• 4 percent increase in appetite

• 13 percent increase in capacity

• Market capitalizations expected to outstrip reductions in net profits

• The GCC countries attracted combined US$4.57 billion investment across 64 transactions

The latest edition of KPMG’s International Global M&A Predictor expects the world’s largest businesses to show an increasing appetite for M&A transactions during the remainder of 2016. The appetite to do deals is predicted to rise by 4 percent over the next months, as indicated by predicted forward P/E ratios (our measure of corporate appetite or confidence).

The capacity of corporates to fund M&A growth, meanwhile, is expected to rise by 13 percent over the same period, measured by net debt to EBITDA ratios (our measure of capacity), as companies continue to pay down debt and bolster their cash reserves.

With the Chinese economy cooling down, the US starting to raise interest rates and oil prices depressing the economies of oil exporting countries, uncertainty has increased significantly going into 2016.“We expect strong transactional activity in many western economies in 2016 with healthy balance sheets, profit levels and strong liquidity in the debt markets among the highlights,” said Leif Zierz, KPMG International Global Head of Deal Advisory. “Increased sector convergence and ongoing digitalization make a compelling case for future strategic adjustments. However, emerging market economies are expected to remain challenging.

”NewsAccording to Ramachandran Narayanan, Partner and Head of Deal Advisory at KPMG Middle East and South Asia (MESA), countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) significantly contributed to regional M&A deals “65 percent of total Middle East and North Africa (MENA) deal making for the first quarter of 2016 was attributable to GCC countries. The region attracted combined investment of US$4.57 billion across 64 transactions, of which 23 had UAE targets while Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had 15 each, Oman had seven and Qatar and Bahrain had two each” he added.

The positive picture comes despite some uncertain economic indicators, such as a predicted fall in net profits of 7 percent globally. It appears that analysts are pricing this decline into their predictions, however, with market capitalizations only expected to see a 3 percent reduction.

Europe is expected to be one of the strongest performers. The 10 percent increase in appetite seen here is more than double the global average. In Asia Pacific (Other) and Asia Pacific (Japan), the figures area a more modest 6 percent and 4 percent respectively. In North America, the positive environment for M&A activity in 2015 is expected to continue, with analysts expecting confidence levels to remain unchanged. In relation to the MESA region, the transactions pipeline still looks positive despite of the changing economic landscape.Sector strengthsEnergy is expected to see the highest increase in M&A appetite during 2016, at 23 percent. Basic materials is at 12 percent and Consumer staples at 6 percent. In terms of capacity,Technology is the star performer, with an expected increase of 90 percent, as tech companies continue to increase their cash stockpiles.“Despite recent market jitters, the expectation that M&A activity will remain robust in 2016 is well-founded based on corporates’ ample cash reserves and their desire for growth coupled with consistent demand for quality opportunities from private equity sponsors,” commented Phil Isom, Global Head of M&A.Deal announcements outstrip completionsThe total value of all announced transactions worldwide climbed by 31 percent in value from US$2,828 billion to US$3,709 billion.

This diverges significantly from the total value of all completed transactions worldwide, which declined by 40 percent during 2015 (from US$2,513.5 billion to US$1,510.3 billion).

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