ASX small cap M&A activity has dried up in 2020
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Small cap Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activity on the ASX has plummeted in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year.
The $2.6 billion in M&A among small caps on the ASX since the start of January this year is down ~40 per cent on the same period last year ($4.2 billion).
While the entire Australian M&A market is a larger $22 billion for 2020 so far, this is still the worst first half of a calendar year since 2003.
Investor appetite has improved since March, and most companies have been able to raise capital to stay afloat, and yet global stock markets are still in negative territory in 2020. The outlook also remains foggy.
In such uncertain economic times, a takeover bid would appear a match made in heaven.
This has been a common selling point by recipients of M&A deals, but shareholders are not guaranteed to agree.
This morning, Zenith Energy (ASX:ZEN) warned its shareholders its acquisition offer from Pacific Equity Partners may not proceed. A large enough number of shareholders indicated they’d vote down the deal the company felt the need to issue the warning.
As of this morning, 19.6 million shares (representing 22.25 per cent of eligible votes) had voted down the deal notwithstanding majority support.
Here are all the completed takeovers among ASX companies (with market capitalisations below $1 billion) completed between 1 January and 13 July 2020:
Swipe or scroll to reveal the full table. Click headings to sort.
In addition to these deals, two more are pending but likely to proceed.
Namely, 88 Energy’s (ASX:88E) bid for XCD Energy (ASX:XCD) and Web.com’s offer to Webcentral Group (ASX:WCG) – the latter of which was only announced this morning.