Malaysia continues uptick in M&A activity with deals worth $13.6b in H1 2017: Duff & Phelps

View of Malaysia's Twin Towers at night

Deal activity for Malaysia has been on an uptick since last year and 2017 continues the trend as the country clocked higher mergers and acquisition (M&A) deals by both value and volume in the first half of this year (H1 2017) when compared to the same period last year — at $11.7 billion against $ 9.4 billion in the first half last year.

According to the data compiled by Duff & Phelps, a global valuation and corporate finance advisor, Malaysia recorded a total of 233 M&A deals during the year where inbound deals accounted for the majority of M&A deals by capturing a share of 70 per cent.

The period was marked with energy sector witnessing the largest increase in activity with several high-value inbound and outbound deals. The largest energy deal was the $7-billion acquisition by Saudi Arabia’s ARAMCO of a 50 per cent stake in the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project.

Second to the energy sector was real estate, followed by the industrial sector. Domestic M&A deals accounting for 18 per cent of overall M&A deal value. In 2016, the biggest chunk of deals in terms of volume was in consumer and other sectors.

Among other notable deals this year for Malaysia were Malaysian Felda Investment Corporation’s stake purchase in PT Eagle High Plantations for $505 million. The period also marked Chinese auto company Geely Holding Group’s acquisition of Lotus Advance Technologies for $130 million, a deal which is significant as the Chinese firm also become the foreign strategic partner for ailing national car company Proton.

Moving on, in terms of initial public offerings (IPOs) during H1 2017, Malaysia also saw the top IPO in Southeast Asia with the listing of Lotte Chemical Titan Holding on the Bursa Malaysia, which raised $878 million. The second largest IPO on the country’s stock exchange for H1 2017 was the listing of Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd, which raised $91 million. For this period, Malaysia saw 10 IPOs that collectively raised $1.06 billion.

Credit: Duff & Phelps

In the PE/VC space, the large deals in the first half of the year were Innovation Network Corp of Japan and Khazanah Nasional Fund’s investment in Malaysian telecom infrastructure company edotco Group. The second was iflix Sdn Bhd’s $90 million funding round from Naspers Ltd, Sky PLC, Mobile Telecommunications Co KSC and Liberty Global, among others.

For the country, 2016 had signalled a comeback for PE/VC deals after a lacklustre 2015. Malaysia witnessed 27 deals in the PE/VC space worth about $1.13 billion in 2016 compared to the rather subdued performance in the previous year with 21 deals which were valued at $46 million. This marked the recovery trend as compared to 2015, when the PE/VC space raised just one-third of what was garnered in 2016.

In terms of mergers and acquisitions, Malaysia did transactions worth over $14.6 billion in 2016.

In 2015, the scandal around Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund 1MDB with its embezzlement charges against the country’s Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak grabbed international headlines. In the same year, the nation’s economy was marred on account of lower oil prices.

Also Read:

Malaysia 2016: PE/VC activity sees uptick with 27 deals valued at $1.13b

Malaysia 2016: M&As see uptick, poised to gain pace with robust pipeline

Malaysia 2016: Poor IPO show but strong listing pipeline could brighten 2017

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.