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Survey reveals rise in overseas M&A plans

By Hu Yuanyuan | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-17 00:31

Overseas merger and acquisition plans by Chinese businesses have reached a record high, fueled by potential opportunities brought about by the gloomy global economy, according to a survey from international accounting firm Grant Thornton.

Nearly half of Chinese businesses polled (47 percent) for the Grant Thornton International Business Report 2013 said they were planning international moves, the highest level since the company first asked the question of Chinese companies in 2008.

"China businesses are now better prepared for cross-border M&As after years of high growth, and more said they will seek growth from these kinds of transactions when the time is right," said Xu Hua, CEO of Grant Thornton

According to the survey, 61 percent of businesses said establishing a presence in new geographical markets was the primary motivation to participate in M&As.

Businesses also put emphasis on using M&As to acquire new technology or establish brands (58 percent) and build scale (54 percent). Some 40 percent said possible M&As could lower their operational costs.

Retained earnings (36 percent) and bank finance (28 percent) are still the two most common financial channels for China businesses, the report showed.

Despite the gloomy IPO market, willingness to launch IPOs (22 percent) was higher than last year (18 percent).

On the other hand, businesses willing to raise money from private equity dropped from last year's 17 percent to 13 percent this year.

Chinese businesses still prefer traditional financing channels, although the survey said that businesses were aware of the financial reforms being implemented in Wenzhou and the Pearl River Delta, to broaden the financial channels for small and medium-sized businesses.

The report warned that businesses should rely on advice from investment banks, accounting firms, and law firms to conduct due diligence to avoid risks.

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