美国引领上半年全球并购交易

英国《金融时报》 埃里克•普拉特 纽约 , 阿尔什•马苏迪 伦敦 , 唐•温兰 北京报道
2019.07.01 12:00

唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)喜欢宣称美国总是在赢。但就并购交易来说,这一点没有任何争议。

全球并购交易创纪录的繁荣延续到2019年上半年,但与过去5年不同,欧洲和亚洲的银行家们沦为了羡慕的旁观者,而美国独占鳌头。

从制药商艾伯维(AbbVie)到国防承包商联合技术(United Technologies),再到西方石油公司(Occidental Petroleum),大型公司雄心勃勃的交易推升了美国的并购活动。高歌猛进的股票市场和债券市场的廉价融资帮助推动今年上半年的美国并购活动创下历史最高纪录,美国公司的并购交易价值达到1.1万亿美元。

根据数据提供商路孚特(Refinitiv)的数据,美国交易额比一年前增加了近五分之一,占今年全球并购活动的一半以上。自互联网繁荣与泡沫破裂以来,美国在全球并购中从未占到如此大的份额。

多位顶级并购顾问告诉英国《金融时报》,美国并购交易明显集中在国内——代价则是跨境交易减少——部分是特朗普政府采取更加保护主义的态度的结果,包括与中国的贸易战。

花旗集团(Citigroup)全球并购联席主管马克•沙弗(Mark Shafir)表示,“我们正在进入一个更加重商主义的世界,保护主义盛行,还有与中国的贸易争端。你看到的交易在本质上更具本地性,这是合乎逻辑的。对于跨境交易来说,这不是最友好的环境。”

虽然今年上半年的全球并购交易活动仍然是有记录以来的第三高水平,但2万亿美元的总额比去年下降了13%,其中美国以外地区的交易急剧放缓。欧洲交易暴跌57%至2870亿美元,这是6年来最弱的一个上半年。日本的并购活动下降23%至380亿美元,其余亚太地区的交易价值为3420亿美元,与2018年上半年相比下降28%。

非洲和中东是美洲以外并购活动增加的唯一地区。由沙特阿拉伯策划的一项价值690亿美元、旨在提振其国有石油公司沙特阿美(Saudi Aramco)的前景的交易居功至伟,突显出大型交易可能产生的巨大影响。

在全球范围内,各公司越来越多地回避可能会受到新近变得大胆的国家安全委员会们审查的交易,去年这些委员会否决了几项备受瞩目的交易。

在今年达成的2万亿美元交易中,只有不到四分之一是跨境交易,这是20多年来的最低水平。相比之下,前10大交易全部是同一国家内的公司之间达成的。其中有8笔发生在美国境内。

路孚特的数据显示,这一趋势对美国投行来说是一个福音,摩根大通(JPMorgan)、高盛(Goldman Sachs)、花旗集团和美国银行(Bank of America)都从亚洲和欧洲竞争对手那里抢走了市场份额。

德意志银行(Deutsche Bank)、巴克莱银行(Barclays)和瑞银(UBS)上半年的并购交易份额均出现了下降,德意志银行未能挤入前10大并购顾问之列,精品投行Evercore和PJT Partners则强势晋升。

如果说特朗普为全球并购交易蒙上了阴影,那么在美国司法部就无线运营商Sprint和T-Mobile的合并作出裁决时,美国政府对重磅交易的热情则面临着不同的考验。并购顾问们表示,批准该交易将发出信号,表明美国竞争管理当局愿意在激烈竞争的担忧下放行交易。

如果美国批准Sprint与T-Mobile合并,将与英国以及整个欧洲大陆的结果截然不同——英国和欧洲监管机构在上半年阻止了数项交易。英国超市连锁企业森宝利(J Sainsbury)计划以73亿英镑收购其竞争对手——沃尔玛(Walmart)旗下的阿斯达(Asda)的交易被否决,而德国西门子(Siemens)和法国阿尔斯通(Alstom)拟议的铁路制造部门的合并也被布鲁塞尔阻止。

摩根大通全球并购联席主管埃尔南•克里斯特纳(Hernan Cristerna)表示:“我们被问到的头号问题是,我的交易是否会得到批准?”

他补充说:“如果今年迄今的这种北美公司宣布绝大多数最大交易的趋势继续,欧洲公司将需要做出反应,包括打造欧洲冠军企业以挑战‘美国优先’政策以及中国扩张性战略的威胁。”

在欧洲开展并购交易的努力遭遇障碍。菲亚特克莱斯勒汽车公司(Fiat Chrysler Automobile,简称FCA)和法国雷诺(Renault)拟议的价值330亿欧元的合并交易,本来可以打造世界第三大汽车制造商,但在FCA董事长对雷诺董事会迟迟不批准该交易感到沮丧之后告吹。

德意志银行与其国内竞争对手德国商业银行(Commerzbank)期盼已久的合并在经过数周的谈判后泡汤,这两家德国银行警告称,这样一项复杂的交易存在着太多的障碍。在股东出于对价格的担忧而阻止赫尔曼•弗雷德曼(Hellman & Friedman)和黑石(Blackstone)收购Scout24之后,德国公司发起的最大杠杆收购之一也在今年5月失败。

瑞信(Credit Suisse)欧洲并购业务负责人卡塔尔•迪西(Cathal Deasy)表示:“当你研究100亿美元或以下的交易时,欧洲的并购活动是健康的。但是超过这个规模的大型跨境欧洲交易就是没有。如果你看看过去几年的跨国并购交易,就会发现它一直由日本和美国买家进入该地区的入境交易主导。它们现在不见了。”

激进对冲基金越来越多地将欧洲作为目标,这成为该地区交易活动的一个推动力,因为各公司寻求精简计划来解决或阻挡攻击。在德国,西门子和大众(Volkswagen)都宣布了将大型业务单位分拆出去的计划,而在瑞士,诺华(Novartis)也做了同样的事情。雀巢(Nestlé)以超过100亿美元的价格将其护肤健康业务出售给私人股本集团EQT。

亚洲也出现了交易的去全球化,该地区内的交易活动有所增加。包括日本和澳大利亚在内的国家之间的并购交易依然稳固,立邦涂料(Nippon Paint)今年4月以27亿美元的价格收购多乐士集团(DuluxGroup)的交易对此有所助益。日本公司也活跃在东南亚各地。

美银美林(Bank of America Merrill Lynch)亚太区并购联席主管汤姆•巴尔沙(Tom Barsha)表示:“亚太地区并购活动上升的一个领域是区域内跨国并购,而亚洲的对外并购活动受到谨慎程度提升的影响。”

近在2016年还引领亚洲并购的中国企业,海外雄心已经减弱。贸易战、中国在美技术交易受到日益严格的审查以及国内更为艰难的融资条件都是阻碍因素。

富而德律师事务所(Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer)驻香港合伙人李谦一(Philip Li)表示:“许多中国企业现在都非常谨慎,信贷额度也不再那么宽裕。”

译者/裴伴

原文:Trump’s America leads charge in global dealmaking

By Eric Platt, Arash Massoudi,Don Weinland in New York, in London, in Beijing

Donald Trump likes to claim that the US is always winning. But when it comes to the business of dealmaking, there is no dispute.

The record-breaking boom in global mergers and acquisitions has extended into the first half of 2019, yet unlike the past five years, bankers in Europe and Asia have been left as envious observers while the US takes a dominant role.

Ambitious deals by large companies ranging from drugmaker AbbVie to defence contractor  United Technologies, to oil group  Occidental Petroleum, have driven US activity. Buoyant stock markets and cheap financing in the debt markets have helped oil the wheels of a record first half in which $1.1tn worth of US corporate takeovers have been struck.

The volume of deals, up almost a fifth from a year ago, accounts for more than half of the activity this year, according to data provider Refinitiv. America’s share of the global takeover pie has not been this big since before the dotcom boom and bust.

The striking concentration of M&A within US borders — at the expense of cross-border deals — was in part a consequence of the Trump administration’s more protectionist approach, including its trade war against China, multiple top M&A advisers told the Financial Times.

“We are heading into a more mercantile world, with protectionism [and] the trade dispute with China,” said Mark Shafir, the co-head of global M&A at Citigroup. “It is logical the transactions you see are more local in nature. It is not the most hospitable environment for cross-border deals.”

Although the level of global dealmaking in the first half was still the third-highest on record, the $2tn total was down 13 per cent from last year and included a sharp slowdown outside the US. European transactions tumbled 57 per cent to $287bn, marking the weakest first half in six years. Activity in Japan dropped 23 per cent to $38bn, with the value of deals in the rest of Asia Pacific coming in at $342bn, down 28 per cent from the first half of 2018. 

Africa and the Middle East was the only region outside the Americas to see a pick-up in activity. A single $69bn deal engineered by Saudi Arabia to bolster the prospects of its state oil company Saudi Aramco was chiefly responsible, underlining the outsized impact large deals can have.

Across the world, companies are increasingly steering away from deals that are likely to face scrutiny from newly emboldened national security panels that last year blocked several high profile transactions. 

Less than a quarter of the $2tn worth of deals struck this year have been cross border, the lowest level in more than two decades. By contrast, the 10 largest transactions have all been between companies located within the same country. The US has accounted for eight of them.

The trend has been a boon for American investment banks, with JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Bank of America all gaining market share over Asian and European rivals, the Refinitiv data showed. 

Deutsche Bank, Barclays and UBS all saw their share of M&A fall in the first half of the year, with Deutsche failing to make the top 10 merger advisers as boutiques like Evercore and PJT Partners muscled in.

If Trump has cast a shadow over global dealmaking, the US administration faces a different test of its enthusiasm for blockbuster deals when the justice department rules on the merger of wireless carriers Sprint and T-Mobile. Approval of the deal, M&A advisers say, will send a signal that competition authorities in the US are willing to wave through deals over fierce competition concerns.

A green light for the Sprint-T-Mobile combination would stand in contrast to outcomes in the UK and across continental Europe, where regulators have blocked several deals in the first half. UK supermarket chain J Sainsbury’s  planned £7.3bn takeover of its Walmart-owned rival, Asda, was blocked, while a proposed tie-up of the train manufacturing arms of Germany’s Siemens and France’s Alstom  was scuppered by Brussels. 

“The number-one question we get asked is will my deal even get approved?” says Hernan Cristerna, global co-head of M&A at JPMorgan Chase. 

“If the trend of North American companies announcing most of the largest deals so far this year continues, European companies will need to react, including creating European champions to challenge an ‘America First’ policy and the threat of an expansionist China strategy,” he added. 

Efforts to kick-start dealmaking in Europe have run into roadblocks. An  attempted €33bn tie-up between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and France’s Renault that would have created the third-largest automaker, was abandoned after FCA’s chairman grew frustrated with delays from the board of the French carmaker. 

A long hoped for merger between Deutsche Bank and its domestic rival Commerzbank  collapsed after weeks of talks, with the two German lenders warning there were too many hurdles to justify such a complex deal. And one of the biggest attempted leveraged buyouts of a German company unravelled in May, after shareholders  blocked the takeover of Scout24 by Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone on concerns over the price.

Cathal Deasy, head of European M&A at Credit Suisse, said: “When you look at $10bn or less, the activity in Europe is healthy. But the big cross-border European deals over that size just are not there. If you look at cross-border M&A over the past few years, it’s been dominated by inbound deals into the region by Japanese and US buyers. They just are not there right now.”

A pick-up in activist hedge funds targeting Europe has been one impetus for deals in the region, as companies pursue simplification plans to either address or head off attacks. In Germany,  Siemens and  Volkswagen both announced plans to hive off large units of their business, while in Switzerland, Novartis did the same. Nestlé sold its skin health business to private equity group EQT for  over $10bn. 

The deglobalisation of dealmaking has played out in Asia, too, as activity within the region has increased. M&A between countries, including Japan and Australia has remained solid, helped by Nippon Paint’s $2.7bn buyout out of DuluxGroup in April. Japanese companies have also been active across south-east Asia.

“One segment of Asia Pacific M&A activity that’s up is in-region cross-border M&A, while Asia outbound activity has been impacted by a heightened level of cautiousness,” said Tom Barsha, co-head of Asia Pacific M&A at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Having led Asian M&A as recently as 2016, the overseas ambitions of Chinese companies have been blunted. The trade war, increasing scrutiny of Chinese technology deals in the US and tougher financing conditions at home have all been headwinds.

“Many Chinese corporations are being very cautious and the credit lines have not been as strong,” said Philip Li, a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Hong Kong.

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