In search of growth

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2018 Global chemical industry mergers and acquisitions outlook

In search of growth

The global chemical industry has experienced several years of strong M&A activity, as companies pursued growth, realigned their portfolios, and focused on core competencies. Questions abound: Have consolidation and portfolio realignment achieved their goals for the industry? Will activist investors drive the course of the M&A activities? Will state-owned enterprises begin to impact deal activity? Have valuations driven acquirers out of the market? The 2018 Global chemical industry M&A outlook answers these questions and others.

Key findings of the report:

  • A robust M&A market in the US chemical industry is expected in the coming years as the new tax legislation will provide US-based companies with additional cash flow for investment or other purposes.
  • China outbound activity in 2018 is expected to be at the same level or slightly higher than 2017 due to new opportunities arising from the “Belt & Road” initiative; domestic transactions are expected to remain strong as smaller players are acquired in efforts to reduce capacity and increase profitability.
  • Despite the uncertainties of Brexit, the UK is expected to remain an attractive market for both corporate and financial buyers in the near-term.
  • Deal volume in Germany is anticipated to continue at high levels as companies use their strong earnings to increase their competitiveness through expanding scale, closing portfolio or technology gaps or entering into new customer groups. 
  • In the Netherlands, 2018 may be an active year for some larger transactions as large Dutch players have shown an appetite for both divestitures and acquisitions.
  • Despite uncertainties such as the entry of shale gas-based chemical products and business into the Japanese market, high levels of M&A activity are expected to continue among Japanese chemical manufacturers in 2018.
  • Economic and political uncertainty are likely to have kept foreign buyers from investing in Brazil. Yet, the overall growth forecast, expected favorable exchange rates, higher infrastructure investments and favorable tax rates have started to rekindle investor interest in Brazil´s long-term potential. Activity in 2018 may be higher than in prior years.
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