We are delighted to welcome you to the first edition of "M&A Pulse in APAC", our newly launched newsletter focused on M&A in Asia Pacific. The premise for the newsletter is to share with you, news, insights and conversations that are pertinent to the M&A landscape in Asia Pacific, geographic insights/nuances, as well as a curated snapshot of the top news we felt shaped the industry during the quarter.
Natixis’ M&A story in Asia Pacific is for us, very inspiring, and we are incredibly proud of the progress that we have made to reach the point we are at today.
In 2015, in congruence with our strategy in APAC, we started our APAC M&A business in Hong Kong, as a blank sheet of paper. In phase one, we developed and established our competencies, built-up the team and created the network effect, especially with Europe, to begin generating ideas for our clients. After about 12 months of developing these competencies, we successfully concluded our first transaction to advise Eurazeo portfolio company Fintrax in a J.V. with Cube Refund from the Lotte Group. This transaction was done in conjunction with Natixis Partners in France.
During the next phase, we accelerated our development by consistently showing M&A ideas to our key clients in China, thereby helping them achieve their global expansion strategy. This effort was also accentuated by momentum in the China outbound M&A trend, which allowed us to advise on landmark transactions like Fosun and Sanyuan in a consortium acquiring St. Hubert, a deal also done in conjunction with Natixis Partners. In 2018, with Tsinghua Unigroup’s acquisition of Linxens, we led the financing in addition to being the M&A advisor. Simultaneously, leveraging Natixis’ deep sector expertise in Infrastructure we were able to provide global sell-side reach for clients such as Ardian for the sale of its stake in Encevo, which was bought by an Asian client of Natixis, China Southern Power Grid International.
By 2018, it was evident that M&A would become a core pillar of our ongoing APAC strategy and we further strengthened our regional offering with the acquisition of Vermilion Partners to add to our global multi-boutique network. Vermilion has one of the largest cross-border advisory teams on the ground in mainland China, and a successful 20+ years track record of advising prominent multinational and Chinese private and state-owned companies.
In the third phase of the last 12-months, we began developing a sustainable business by securing sell-side mandates in addition to developing our network connectivity. In this chapter, we have achieved an appropriate mix of buy-side and sell-side mandates to make our pipeline even more robust.Our role as the Financial Advisor to APM Monaco on the 30% stake sale to TPG was an example of a successful sellside in 2019.
We also added a new member to the Natixis M&A family in May 2019 – Azure Capital. Azure has one of the largest teams of corporate finance professionals covering the Western Australian market and is focused on the energy & natural resources – notably mining, mining services and oil & gas – and infrastructure sectors. This transaction allows us to accelerate our Australia and strategic sector advisory offering for clients in APAC.
For that purpose, we have also invested in teams of sector bankers for ENR, Infrastructure, Aviation and Real Estate and Hospitality, which give us deeper capabilities in linking M&A to evolving sector themes, and beyond the traditional sector financings we were leading at Natixis.
Our top priority for 2020 and beyond is to continue driving the synergies with our boutique partners, growing our business from strength to strength and leveraging our collective expertise to deliver results for our clients.
We are confident that with our network partners and our in-house expertise we will continue to move from strength to strength - the results are already evident in the work that we are doing.
We wish everyone safety and recovery post coronavirus. We have no doubt that M&A activity will return as we collectively emerge stronger from this crisis. Our commitment to serving our clients in APAC and globally remains strong during and after this crisis.
Back to the matter in hand – we hope you enjoy the first edition of our quarterly newsletter!
Bruno Le Saint
Head of IB
Head of M&A