The Real Deal: Uptick for M&A in 2014
Jonathan Algar, Partner, Corporate Advisory / M&A
Kate Ritchie - Boardroom Radio
Jonathan Algar: Well last year bidders were few and far between, just like the previous year but last year was all time low with only 21 deals over $50 million and this is the lowest level we've seen since 2002; so a very bad year indeed. This year however has been commenced with some decent competitive processes and I think we'll see more competitive processes this year, so bidders need to look out for that and also their strategy in relation to dealing with those competitive process this year. They are also assisted by a market which is clearly a strong equity market so there is availability for them to use their script in acquisitions and also to raise money to fund potential acquisitions. And of course the debt market remains available and open to them so debt is available for the right kind of acquisitions.
Kate Ritchie: And Jonathan what sectors are likely to see the most activity in 2014?
Jonathan Algar: In 2014 our prediction is the property sector will continue to perform strongly in terms of M&A, we'll see more acquisitions in the financial services and tech space as more regulatory uncertainty provides opportunities for acquisition and consolidation and an ongoing but reduced level of acquisitions in mining and resources.
Kate Ritchie: And Jonathan with the upturn in the equity market do you see bidders coming off the side lines this year and participating in the M&A market?
Jonathan Algar: Certainly the ASX200 companies sitting on around $70 billion worth of cash at the moment, so they've got one of two ways to use that. Either they'll apply it for paying dividends, or they can use it for opportunistic M&A. I think we're slowly seeing more consideration of M&A by those companies, particularly with what's been quite a good reporting season, equity markets remaining high and also the availability of debt and low interest rates.
Kate Ritchie: Jonathan thank you so much for joining us.
Jonathan Algar: My pleasure, thanks Kate.