Acquisition bandwagon continues to roll

Updated: 2016-01-22 08:38

By Mike Bastin(China Daily Europe)

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It is important to appreciate that this trend is set not just to continue but probably grow. Many commentators regularly refer to overseas takeovers by Chinese companies as the driving force of the global M&A market.

Acquisition bandwagon continues to roll

The Belt and Road Initiative and the launch of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will only serve to assist Chinese companies in their international takeover endeavors.

The Chinese government's determination to push through reforms in the state-owned enterprise sector will also no doubt lead to more overseas takeover activity. Chinese SOEs, in their quest to adapt to a more market-oriented business culture and competitive markets, will no doubt view international takeovers as an excellent learning opportunity.

Of course, growth via acquisition is fraught with difficulties and challenges, which is highlighted perfectly by the six out of 10 failure rate. But what is most impressive about the majority of the Chinese takeovers in recent years is the level of "strategic fit": Takeover targets appear to offer complementary products, markets and skills, and all have a string of successful, global brands.

It also appears clear that Chinese companies appear much better equipped to manage the often complex process of post-acquisition integration. Talented professionals are retained and a blend of styles and cultural backgrounds now often features in the newly formed organization.

Quite simply, it is abundantly clear that Chinese companies are pursuing growth via international brand takeover not for some sort of short-term financial fix, but as a key plank in their long-term, global brand building process.

Let's hope we will see more media coverage in this area and not just the wholly simplistic presentation of a few macro economic indicators such as quarterly GDP figures.

In summary, the state of the Chinese economy is most accurately assessed by the extent and speed of the modernization of Chinese industry, and a key indicator here is overseas company and brand acquisition. Expect more, and soon.

The author is a visiting professor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing and a senior lecturer on marketing at Southampton Solent University's School of Business. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

( China Daily European Weekly 01/22/2016 page10)

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