Singapore: Transaction Trail 2018 Report

Duff & Phelps recently released the annual edition of Transaction Trail 2018, the flagship publication of Duff & Phelps' South East Asia practice. The report takes an in-depth look at transaction and capital markets activities, including mergers and acquisitions ("M&A"), private equity ("PE") and venture capital ("VC") investments as well as initial public offerings ("IPOs"), in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia (the "Region") over the course of 2018.1

Key highlights of the report:

Total activity valued at US$136 billion

In 2018, the region recorded total deal activity valued at over US$136 billion spread across 1,419 deals, with over 15 transactions valued at more than one billion dollars each. Globally, over 39,000 deals valued at over US$3.5 trillion were registered in the same period.2

Singapore Continues to Lead Deal Making in the Region

Singapore recorded a total of 857 deals (M&A, PE/VC and IPOs) worth US$106.2 billion for 2018 as compared to 842 deals worth US$101.9 billion for 2017. M&A comprised the bulk of the deal volume in Singapore, constituting 688 deals valued at US$99 billion in 2018, compared to 698 deals valued at US$75.4 billion in 2017.

In 2018, there were a total of 458 cross-border M&A deals in Singapore registering US$89.1 billion. The bulk of total deal value came from 315 outbound transactions (Singapore-based companies or Soverign Wealth Funds acquiring overseas companies) worth US$81.1 billion contributing to over 82% of the total deal value in 2018 for M&A deals. Domestic transactions contributed to 10% of total M&A deal value with 230 deals valued at US$9.9 billion in 2018.

Highest Yearly Transacted Volume of PE/VC Deals in Singapore in 2018

PE/VC investments in Singapore companies achieved record deal volume with 154 PE/VC investments in 2018 as compared to 125 investments in 2017. Total PE/VC investments in Singapore accounted for US$6.6 billion in deal value for 2018. While this was below the record high of US$22.8 billion achieved in 2017 (which was driven by sizeable PE/VC buyouts, including the privatization of Global Logistic Properties Ltd. and the acquisition of Equis Energy), the total deal value in 2018 is significantly higher than in the years prior to 2017. Notable PE/VC investments in 2018 for Singapore include, the US$2.5 billion investment in GrabTaxi Holdings Pte Ltd. by Toyota Motor Corp and other consortium investors, and the privatization of Tat Hong Holdings Ltd. by Standard Chartered Private Equity Ltd.

Indonesian IPO Market Witnesses a Record Level of Listings

IPO listings in Singapore for 2018 were significantly below 2017 levels, with a total of 15 IPOs and capital raised on the Singapore Exchange, amounting to US$523 million compared to19 IPOs in 2017 which raised US$3.7 billion (which was driven by the sizeable listing by Netlink Trust). Elsewhere, the Indonesia IPO market recorded a new high for IPO listings over the past five years, with a total of 57 listings raising capital of US$1.1 billion during 2018, compared to US$625 million during 2017.

Technology Sector Remains the Key Driver of PE/VC Deals in the Region

Over the past four years, the technology sector has been one of the largest contributors to PE/VC deals in the region. PE/VC investments into technology companies has grown approximately 10 times from US$672 million in 2015 to US$6.5 billion in 2018. In addition to the sizeable investment in GrabTaxi Holdings mentioned above, the other top deals in the technology sector included the US$1.7 billion investment in Go-Jek by, KKR, Tencent and other consortium investors, and the US$1 billion investment in Tokopedia by SoftBank Group and other consortium investors, reflecting positive investor interest in the sector.

M&A in Indonesia Fairly Active with Notable Domestic Transactions, Malaysian Deal Activity Lower

M&A activity in Indonesia reached a record of US$15.1 billion in deal value in 2018 compared to US$6.6 billion in 2017, driven by large transactions in the materials, BFSI and energy sectors. Malaysia has seen a significant reduction in deal activity with total deals in M&A, PE/ VC and IPO valued at US$12.5 billion in 2018 compared to the record levels last year with deal values at US$20.3 billion. This could be due to political changes and businesses taking a wait-and-watch approach on strategic growth initiatives. However, momentum has picked up toward the end of the year with a few notable transactions in Malaysia's Healthcare sector, such as the acquisition by Mitsui & Co Ltd of a 16% stake in IHH Healthcare Bhd for US$2.0 billion.

Read the complete report here.

1. December 2017 to November 2018
2. Source: Bloomberg (1 December 2017 to 30 November 2018)

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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