Cross-border M&A focus – more regional than global
Global Region

Cross-border M&A focus – more regional than global

While the medium-term prospects for cross-border M&A look very solid, deals are as likely to involve assets in the same region, according to Herbert Smith Freehills’ new global cross-border M&A survey

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.

Contact our experts

Stephen Wilkinson
Global Head of M&A
Tel: +44 20 7466 2038

Roddy Martin
M&A Partner (UK/US)
Tel: +44 20 7466 2255

Nicola Yeomans
M&A Partner (Asia)
Tel: +65 68688007

Andrew Rich
M&A Partner (Australia)
Tel: +61 2 9225 5707

Frédéric Bouvet
M&A Partner (EMEA)
Tel: +33 1 53 57 70 76

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After a record-breaking year for M&A last year, the start of 2016 has been more uncertain with the slowdown in the Chinese economy, depressed commodity prices and falling stock markets coupled with Eurozone instability all causing uncertainty in the global economy. However, despite these uncertainties, our two separate surveys, conducted in late 2015 and updated in 2016, demonstrate that the short to medium-term outlook for M&A as a priority focus for capital allocation by corporates remains extremely robust.

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