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Merger & Acquisition

Time£º2017/02/18 12:45:14 View£º hits

On a global basis, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) were the prevalent method through which multinationals conducted foreign investment, while ¡°green field¡± investments were virtually the only option available to foreign investors in China in the past. However, the environment for M&A in China has fundamentally changed in recent years, affected in party by the global economic trend and with the intention of stimulating M&A related activity, Chinese Government have introduced and consolidated various laws and regulations since 2002.

The robust growth of China¡¯s economy and its further liberalization of the domestic market after its accession to the World Trade Organization have worked together to fuel the accelerated pace of M&A activity in recent years. It is foreseeable that M&A activity, which offers foreign investors a more immediate method of entering the China market as opposed to ¡°green field¡± investment, will continue to boom in China in the years to come.

Suppose a US-based company ¡°ABC Co.¡± has preliminarily identified an ideal target company in China, which it intends to acquire. Before proceeding to conduct an in-depth financial assessment and structure the prospective acquisition, it is advisable to take the following into consideration: 1. M&A transactions in China require examination and approval by Chinese government agencies. 2. The sectoral restrictions applicable to ¡°green field¡± investment in China are also applicable to foreign-related M&A transactions. 3. Ascertaining the nature and desirable businesses of the target is essential to structuring the M&A transaction. 

Due to the general lack of transparency or proper regulations in China, many Chinese companies may have certain irregularities incurred somewhere or sometime in the course of its business. It is imperative that a foreign investor resolve any irregularities before entering into the transaction. Therefore, conducting a legal due diligence exercise is often just as important as conducting a financial due diligence to determine the viability of the target company in a merger and acquisition deal.