It has become fashionable to talk about global M&A; the reality, however, is that while businesses are increasingly pursuing international deals, these transactions are more likely to involve assets in neighbouring countries, or elsewhere in the region, than in continents that are new to them.
In most parts of the world, businesses are prioritising acquisitions closer to home. For example, businesses based in the EMEA region are focusing on deals in Western Europe (cited by 33% of respondents), though North American acquisitions are also on their wish-lists (19%), and 37% of respondents in Asia Pacific will be looking to do deals in South East Asia, with a further 12% in South Asia. In the Americas, the outlook is more global, with 28% of respondents focused on Western Europe and 17% on South Asia, although 44% are prioritising closer-to-home North America or Latin America.
This preference for doing deals closer to home is natural enough – particularly for companies at an earlier stage in their internationalisation process as it should be more practical to execute such acquisitions and, critically, to integrate and manage them afterwards.