Business executives across 45 countries have expressed weakening appetite for M&A.
The new survey by EY revealed that 46% plan to acquire in the next 12 months, down from 56% a year ago and the lowest share for four years.
Among the main reasons for the reduced sentiment, regulation and political uncertainty is cited by almost half of respondents. The issues include Brexit and the US-China trade dispute.
It appears that this may just be a pause in dealmaking though with 90% of executives saying that they expect M&A activity to improve in the coming 12 months and 9% expecting it to be stable.
Rising risk of technological disruption, geopolitical uncertainties and ever-changing consumer preferences means that a larger share of executives are reviewing their portfolios every six months rather than annually.
Companies from Japan (62%) and China (61%) cite this frequency more than other countries’ respondents.
Latham & Watkins strengthens corporate team in Singapore
Experience corporate partner Farhana Sharmeen has joined the corporate team at Latham & Watkins as a partner in Singapore.
Joining from Withers KhattarWong in the city state, she has more than two decades of experience with a focus on public and private mergers and acquisitions, privatizations and acquisition financing, particularly financing for public takeovers.
Together with a team of Singapore qualified lawyers, Sharmeen will play a leading role in the further growth and development of the firm’s Singapore law capability and will work closely with its other corporate lawyers across Asia.
Ashurst prepares for German expansion
Ashurst has made a key hire to help drive its business development strategy in a key European market.
David Scholz has been appointed head of business development in Germany, reporting to the management team there and taking responsibility for marketing, PR and business development.
He was previously head of client solutions for Germany and Austria at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.