The country’s biggest annual merger and acquisition (M&A) forum took place today in Ho Chi Minh City with 30 speakers and 450 participants from leading corporations and investors.
The 2012 M&A Vietnam Forum’s main conference focuses on this year’s M&A outlook, banking restructuring, takeovers/anti-takeovers, and post M&A strategies.
“The forum highlighted overall 2011 market analyses, new moves in M&A deals this year as well as crucial factors to create synergies,” said Nguyen Anh Tuan, editor-in-chief of co-organiser Vietnam Investment Review (VIR).
“In the meantime, the forum provides an opportunity for sharing and exchanging practical experiences involving M&A deals through appraising and getting inside prominent cases,” said Tuan, chief of the organising board.
Deputy minister of Planning and Investment (MPI) Dang Huy Dong said M&As in Vietnam have earned a great deal of attention from state management agencies. “Soaring numbers of M&As over the past years show that companies are looking at M&A as a viable investment channel and one of solutions to business restructuring and boosting efficiency.
He said Vietnam’s legal corridor for M&A had codified in the recent years. “However, M&A laws in Vietnam still expose many shortcomings and many more need to be done to have in place an explicit, transparent and consistent M&A legal framework.
The full-day forum was co-organised by VIR and AVM Vietnam, with the support from the MPI.
Its networking programme and exhibition features the current investment wave into Vietnam from Japan. The “Deal of the Year” Awards are to be presented during the forum, which also includes the launch of “M&A Outlook 2012”, a publication with updated M&A trends and investment opportunities, and a post-conference master class on negotiation strategy and post-M&A management under the instructions of Nigel Denscombe from the US.
M&A activities in Vietnam increased sharply by 135 per cent last year, totaling a record $4.7 billion, in which $2.6 billion involved foreign investors, according to the MPI.
In 2012’s first quarter, the total value of M&A deals in the country reached $1.5 billion, ranked eighth among nations which witnessed the busiest M&A activities in Asia-Pacific.
The total M&A value of the region in the first quarter, excluding Japan, reached $92.4 billion, said Tuan.
In terms of deal quantity, local firms involved in 77 per cent of last years transactions, proving the activities were busy among domestic players despite their small values.
Regarding deal value, foreign investors represented 66 per cent, showing that they tended to buy quality companies in Vietnam, said Tuan. Among those investors, Japan led foreign countries whose enterprises had carried out M&A activities in Vietnam.
Last year, Japan had 16 M&A deals with Vietnamese enterprises and the figure was expected to double this year, he said.
VinaCapital managing director Andy Ho said foreign participation in M&A in Vietnam would continue to expand. “The activities will provide valuable investment inflows throughout 2012.”
The most sought after sectors would continue to be dominated by domestic related consumption such as consumer goods and banking, he said.
Ho added infrastructure in Vietnam was emerging “as an alternative asset class with stable and consistent return.”
The government was encouraging investments in the power sector, he said, adding that an expected $14 billion would flow into this area over the next few years.