Chinese dealmakers have completed 170 European acquisitions worth $90 billion so far this year, according to analysis by UK business advisory firm Deloitte.
That is 40 percent up on 2015 when 122 deals were finalized. Deloitte’s analysis, which covers the period to November 22, did not include last month’s announcement that Chinese online travel company Ctrip was buying UK-based travel search company Skyscanner for $1.75 billion. Not counting the Skyscanner deal, acquisitions in 2016 were worth $88.4 billion.
“I think there’s a strong need for Chinese companies to internationalize, and get access to the technologies and R&D roadmaps of European companies. M&A suits the Chinese mindset of doing it forcibly,” say Hans Halskov, Managing Partner of Across Partners.
Deloitte found that Germany attracted the biggest number of acquisitions by Chinese companies, with 34 deals. The UK was second with 32, then France with 21. The average disclosed deal value was $900 million, or $350 million if the mega-deal involving ChemChina’s $43 billion takeover of Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta was excluded.Chinese companies looked mainly to the UK to acquire stakes in financial services and the leisure industry, in particular hotels and football clubs, while they looked to Germany to invest in hi-tech manufacturing.
Angus Knowles-Cutler, China Services Group Chairman for Deloitte, predicted a strong 2017 in terms of investment, with increased emphasis on e-commerce. He said that the UK referendum vote to leave European Union has not on balance acted as a deterrent among Chinese investors.
Across Partners predicts increased investments in healthcare sector alongside a strong interests in renewable energy and environmental protection.
“The Nordic countries have favorable attitudes toward China,” according to Hans Halskov, who continues “By equity cooperation, a Chinese investor can unlock the potential of a huge market in China on behalf of the Nordic company”.
The number of Chinese deals in Europe this year massively outdoes the 52 deals and disclosed deal value of $8.2 billion achieved by European acquirers in China.