Dealmakers are helping Australian companies with everything from urgent equity raisings to restructuring, after the coronavirus pandemic brought mergers and acquisitions to a standstill.
The country’s deal activity delivered the worst start of a year since 2013. Announced deals in Australia dropped to $13.8 billion in the first quarter this year, a 32% plunge from the first three months of 2019, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The biggest deal of the year so far was Macquarie Group Ltd.’s proposed A$3 billion ($1.8 billion) acquisition of data-center firm AirTrunk, which was announced in January.
“The reality is that M&A volumes will dry up materially for the next few quarters,” Alex Cartel, head of investment banking coverage for Australia atDeutsche Bank AG, said in a phone interview. “Bankers at this stage are more focused on the recapitalization side of things. That’s usually the first thing to go.”
Australian bankers are joining their counterparts in other parts of the world in focusing more on keeping their clients in business as the coronavirus devastates the global economy. The travel restrictions imposed by governments to contain the outbreak also ground the bankers and their deals.
33,264 in U.S.Most new cases today
-26% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-1.138 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23