New Delhi: Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the Asia Pacific region, including India, hit a four-year low in the first three months of 2013, as deal value declined over 23 percent to USD 64.5 billion, says a report by deal tracking firm mergemarket.
M&A deals worth USD 83.8 billion were announced in the same period last year.
According to the report, M&A deals announced during the January-March period of this year in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) fell to 453 worth USD 64.5 billion from 484 deals in the year-ago period.
This was the lowest since Q1, 2009, when deals worth USD 45.8 billion were announced.
Moreover, the total deal value tumbled 27 percent from USD 88.4 billion (via 632 deals) in the fourth quarter of 2012, giving little confidence for investors in the region going forward, the report said.
The biggest transaction of the quarter was in the energy sector, wherein SapuraKencana Petroleum acquired the tender rigs business of Seadrill, followed by the cross-border deal between Malaysia and Singapore valued at USD 2.9 billion.
A sectorwise analysis shows that energy, mining and utilities played the largest part in deal making, with USD 19.3 billion worth of deals accounting for 29.8 percent of all Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) targeted M&A.
Inbound deals into Asia-Pacific were up from USD 9.5 billion (121 deals) in Q1 2012 to USD 13.1 billion (122 deals) in Q1 2013, but were down compared to USD 17.6 billion (135 deals) in the last quarter (October-December) of 2012.
Outbound activity saw a decline in momentum. A second consecutive quarterly decrease brought down deal value by 13 percent to USD 17 billion (68 deals) from Q4 (88 deals worth USD 19.6 billion). It was however slightly above a full Q1 2012 (USD 16.5 billion, 83 deals).
China remained the most attractive target (inbound and domestic) in the region, with 142 deals worth USD 26.3 billion being announced, although the value of Chinese M&A was down by 26.3 percent compared to the same period last year.