The Asia-Pacific witnessed a record year in terms of mergers and acquisitions in the energy space, with 198 transactions valued at USD 77.6 billion in 2016 and the second-largest year-end total going to India. However, the Asia-Pacific energy M&A logged a 33 percent drop in value terms year-on-year while the number of deals (196) was similar to 2015, the report titled Volatility and opportunity: Energy M&A in Asia-Pacific by law firm Eversheds in collaboration with deal tracking firm Mergermarket.
Market-wise, China maintained its top spot in 2016, accounting for 36 percent of deals and 31 percent of value.
India had the second-largest year-end totals, accounting for 18 percent of deals and 22 percent of value, followed by Australia with corresponding figures of 11 per cent and 20 per cent, the report added.
The Indian government has established clean energy targets such as 175 gw of renewable energy, or 15 percent of total capacity, by 2022, of which 100 gw is expected to come from solar power. “This has also helped provide a focus for a strong flow of renewable deals, continuing a trend that started in 2015 when the largest power sector deals were largely renewable deals,” the report said.
Meanwhile, renewable energy transactions accounted for over half of Asia-Pacific energy M&A deals in 2016.
Regarding the current geopolitical and economic trends shaping Asia-Pacific’s traditional and alternative energy markets, Eversheds Partner (corporate) Charles Butcher said “small producers lacking financial resources have been hardest hit by the oil crisis”.
Butcher further said smaller cap deals are likely to continue in the short term as smaller players engage in distressed sales, merge to survive, or deleverage through asset divestment. “We expect that a number of energy majors will continue to exploit current assets while maintaining their balance sheets,” Butcher added.