M&As in China expected to stay buoyant

156 mergers worth US$9.6 billion in the cultural market last year, says Deloitte

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 April, 2013, 4:51am

Mergers and acquisitions in the mainland's cultural industry will maintain momentum and continue an upward trend, Deloitte research shows.

Market analysis by the firm shows there were 156 mergers worth US$9.6 billion in the mainland cultural market last year, a rise of 246 per cent from 2011.

"Although the value of mergers in 2013 may not be as high as last year, the trend remains," according to the report on the cultural industries of the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Polly Lee, a partner at Deloitte specialising in the media and entertainment sector, said most of the mergers and acquisitions would take place in China, but opportunities would also present themselves in the United States and Europe.

"Amid the weak economy, some overseas companies may need funds, and this provides good opportunities for Chinese firms," she said.

Chinese companies will learn from their foreign counterparts and improve technologies and skills through mergers and acquisitions, according to Lee, citing the sale of British music retail chain HMV's Hong Kong and Singapore outlets as an example.

Deloitte said the annual growth rate of the mainland cultural industry would stay at 20 per cent over the next seven years.

"The overall cultural industry's growth in greater China is motivated mainly by the fast growing mainland cultural sector," said William Chou, Deloitte's national managing partner of technology, media and telecommunications industry.

The report also painted a rosy picture for the mainland's film industry, predicting a compound annual growth rate to exceed 30 per cent in the next five years.

Wu Yi, a general manager at Tianyi Movie & TV, under leading studio Huayi Brothers, said the film box office on the mainland would top 20 billion yuan (HK$25 billion) this year, up from last year's 17 billion yuan.

Wu said Huayi would invest in 12 movies this year, but he refused to elaborate.

The report shows that the number of mainland cultural companies that raised funds from initial share sales fell to eight last year from 25 in 2011.

The total amount raised from the market was US$740 million, US$4.1 billion less than in 2011.

"The lacklustre financial market, both domestic and overseas, led to a big fall in the number of IPOs," said Lee.