The acquisition of General Electric’s Australian Consumer Finance Unit by KKR, Varde Partners and Deutsche Bank for AUD 8.2bn made headlines this month. This became the largest deal announced in Australasia recorded by Preqin’s Buyout Deals Analyst online service since 2006. A series of strong exits were made last year, contributing to a vibrant private equity-backed buyout scene in Australasia.
Preqin Buyout Deals Analyst records 625 deals made in Australasia since 2006, with a total value of $64.5bn. Fluctuating aggregate deal sizes in Australasia are evident in the chart shown below, with dips in times of financial crises and increases when the global economy picks up pace post-crises. In terms of the number of deals made, Australasia may have been off to a slow start; only a few deals have been completed this year. However, it is still too early to tell what the year holds in store for the region.
Taking a step back to observe the wider Asia-Pacific region, Greater China has accounted for a large proportion of aggregate deal value in each year since 2009. 2015 YTD has bucked the trend with a large cap deal made in Australasia. Currently, Australasia has accounted for 67% of the aggregate value of deals made in the Asia-Pacific region, far more than Greater China (12%), South Asia (11%), Northeast Asia (7%) and ASEAN (2%). This is in stark contrast to the proportion of the number of deals made in the region, of which Australasia accounts for just 7%.
Trade sale has always been the preferred strategy for private equity-backed buyout exits in Australasia, accounting for more than 40% of the number of exits made in each year since 2006. Last year, however, IPO exits rose to account for 44% of the number of exits made in Australasia, with a total value of $7.2bn. To name a few, firms such as Healthscope, Spotless Group and Asaleo Care were listed on the Australian stock exchange last year.