Asia PE deals down in 2013

Asia's drop in PE-backed deals contrasts sharply with overall M&A, which set a record high this year.

Asia-Pacific private equity-backed transactions were down 17 percent year-on-year in 2013 to $26.4 billion, according to Dealogic data. Volume was flat at 527 deals.

The data excludes real estate and infrastructure transactions and all add-on deals.

Korea accounted for the biggest deal value in Asia, rising to $7.4 billion in concluded transactions compared to $3.2 billion in 2012, the data showed. 

All other major markets showed year-on-year declines except for Australia, with $5.8 billion in transactions compared to $4.2 the previous year.  

China was down about 35 percent to $5.6 billion, with volume falling to 59 from 68 in 2012.

Four of the largest transactions that completed in 2013 were in China, highlighted by the privatisation of Focus Media by a FountainVest Partners-led consortium, according to separate data from Dealogic. Two of the top ten deals were Korea buyouts: IMM Private Equity and H&Q Asia Pacific’s exit of Hi Mart to the Lotte Group in an $1.87 billion deal (which was completed in 2013) and MBK Partners $1.65 billion acquisition of ING Life Insurance.

The private equity-backed deals represent only about 10 percent of the robust overall M&A market in Asia-Pacific, which reached $46 billion (including Japan) this year — a record high, according to Mergermarket.