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Deal Pulse: Queensland M&A 2024

Deal Pulse: Queensland M&A 2024

Pitcher Partners is pleased to present Deal Pulse for its tenth year, with our “Resourceful” report highlighting Queensland merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the calendar year 2023.

Queensland M&A has remained remarkably “Resourceful” during 2023 and a globally reducing deal environment. Overall, the 10th annual Queensland Deal Pulse report saw:

  • Volumes – 250 deals (down 16% on 2022 and its 296 deals); and
  • Values – $20.9bn (up 18% on $17.9bn in 2022)

Deal volumes were supported by overall strength in Energy, Mining and Utilities (EM&U) where coal dominated, together with consistent volumes in Construction, Leisure and Financial Services.

Resourceful coal transactions included:

  • BMA divesting $6.5bn in Met. Coal assets to Whitehaven Coal (Queensland’s largest deal during 2023);
  • New Hope, Stanmore divesting assets, along with Idemitsu Australia selling its 85% interest in Ensham; &
  • Seven Global Investments acquiring a 51% stake in ASX-listed Coronado Global Resources.

Dealmaking took a more opportunistic turn, with many sectors marching to the beat of their own drum depending on sector-specific deal factors. Some interesting trends across the industries included:

  • Business Services: decreasing in its training deals but being supported by continued childcare activity.
  • Financial services: having strong volumes of insurance broking and funds management deals,and saw the large merger of Australian Retirement Trust and Comm Super.
  • Construction: continued its upward trend from 2022 where we saw Queensland “building tomorrow” through various consulting and construction support transactions through a desire for deal makers to strengthen and expand service offerings.
  • Consumer saw lower deal volumes in the typically active Automotive sector, however deals in food and beverage, including restaurants, liquor and packaged food underpinned a resurgence which helped to level out activity
  • Despite a decrease in interstate interest (69 deals in 2023 down from 124 in 2022) which contributed to lower deal volume, a rise in enthusiasm from international dealmakers (41 deals in 2023 up from 33 deals in 2022) Is a positive sign for investor confidence in the Australian market

After a few bumper years, we can now see the impact of global deal demand and domestic factors like interest rates bringing deal activity back down to more subdued levels. 2024 marks the 10-year anniversary of Deal Pulse and we’re excited to share within its pages a look back on dealmaking over the decade, as well as the 2023 activity. 10 years of Deal Pulse re-iterates that whilst the overall market is impacted by wider macro factors, sectors run to their own cycles. Sector deals and multiples vary each year, and whilst opportunity is out there for both vendors and acquirers, understanding a sector’s deal drivers is critical to successful deal making.

2024 also marks the 50th anniversary of Pitcher Partners Queensland. We are extremely proud of our half century of supporting our clients and will continue to drive value outcomes for many years to come. As always, we would be pleased to discuss any questions regarding the report, or our observations on the drivers of divestment and acquisition in your sector.

This content is general commentary only and does not constitute advice. Before making any decision or taking any action in relation to the content, you should consult your professional advisor. To the maximum extent permitted by law, neither Pitcher Partners or its affiliated entities, nor any of our employees will be liable for any loss, damage, liability or claim whatsoever suffered or incurred arising directly or indirectly out of the use or reliance on the material contained in this content. Pitcher Partners is an association of independent firms. Pitcher Partners is a member of the global network of Baker Tilly International Limited, the members of which are separate and independent legal entities. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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