2014 presents opportunities for prudent investors
This time last year, Minter Ellison’s view was that a time would come when enough owners and management would accept complex and challenging circumstances as the new normal, and recognise that although conditions are not benign they are not hopeless. The firm expected that mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity would then gain momentum.
As 2014 arrives, that time is upon us, with predictions of 2014 as a stronger year in M&A appearing since mid-November.
Corporates and investors have access to capital again and are more willing to consider growth by acquisition. The financial services sector has been particularly active — Westpac acquired Lloyds Banking Group’s Australian asset finance business and its corporate loan portfolio for approximately AU$1.55bn (£835m), and Insurance Australia Group announced the acquisition of the Australian and New Zealand insurance underwriting businesses of Wesfarmers for AU$1.845bn. Activity in real estate and infrastructure has also been firm, including the AU$5.2bn trophy deal struck by the New South Wales government on Port Botany and Port Kembla…
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