Mining to drive mergers and acquisitions in 2017

A major consultancy has said that mining and infrastructure deals will drive a continuation in the trend of large M&A deals in 2017.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Asia Pacific M&A Review 2017 said that deals including Ausgrid, Port of Melbourne and Asciano dominated the business landscape in 2016.

The larger deals meant that overall Australian 2016 M&A activity was steady on 2015, they masked the softer M&A market at lower value levels.

“The hopefully green shoots in some mineral prices might spur confidence with positive M&A driving the sector,” said Herbert Smith Freehills.

The report also pointed out a larger role for Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) or the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) which have both called in deals in the mining sector recently.

“We expect FIRB considerations to remain a significant part of transactions across a wide array of sectors (not least infrastructure, utilities and agribusiness),” said the report said.