• Pharmacy, energy and industry were the major drivers of investment due to Quironsalud, Gas Natural Fenosa and Urbaser megadeals.
  • Global cross-border M&A value dropped by 5 percent in Q3 year-over-year while rose by 64 percent compared to Q2.

In 2015, Spain received transactional investments worth USD26.78 billion in 192 deals. In view of 2016 Q2 and Q3 figure, the caretaker government situation does not seem to have discouraged neither the volume of deals (89 in this period) nor their value (USD27.77 billion), which surpassed the total value of 2015. According to the latest Baker McKenzie's Cross-Border M&A Index, political and macroeconomic uncertainty worldwide resulting from the hardening of US monetary policy, the Brexit and the US elections have continued the dampen cross-border M&A activity in the third quarter.


Germany, the US, and China have led the most relevant transactions in Spain, in the following order: HELIOS Kliniken acquired Quironsalud for USD6.428 billion, Global Infrastructure Partners III purchased 20 percent of Gas Natural Fenosa for USD4.273 billion, and China Tianying took over Urbaser for USD2.487 billion.

Spain outbound M&A was not so intense. The two largest deals in the Q3 were Cellnex Telecom USD441 million investment in British company Shere Group Limited and Gas Natural Fenosa USD346 million acquisition of the 37.8 percent share of Chilean company Gasco GN.

According to Baker McKenzie's partner Maite Díez, "foreign companies are leveraging opportunities in all sectors, post-crisis low prices, internationalizing their businesses and reducing risks. Spain is also encouraging inbound investments in order to stimulate growth and job creation". Baker McKenzie's partner Jorge Adell states "firms investing in the country benefit from the attractive national market and its privileged geostrategic position: traditionally, Spain represents the gateway to the region through its market. Besides efforts in R&D to create a robust network of infrastructures, Spain has one of the most open economies in terms of FDI flows."


Buyers announced 1,275 cross-border deals worth USD373 billion, dropping 22 percent in volume and 5 percent in value compared to Q3 2015. However, large multinational strategic buyers' focus on growth through acquisition pushed cross-border valuations up 64 percent from Q2 2016. As a result, Baker McKenzie's Cross-Border M&A Index, which tracks quarterly deal activity using a baseline score of 100, increased to 238 for Q3 2016, up 23 percent from the prior quarter but down 10 percent from Q3 2015.

"The dip in deal volume this quarter was not a surprise for many as mid-market M&A volumes traditionally dip around US elections and we continue to experience political and macroeconomic uncertainty globally," said Michael DeFranco, Chair of Baker McKenzie's Global M&A Practice. "On the flip side, while still down from a year ago, we are beginning to see a re-emergence of the megadeal."

The increase in deal value was largely driven by renewed confidence at the upper end of the market with several blockbuster deals being announced. While deals above USD1 billion were down 25 percent when compared to Q3 2015 they were a regular occurrence, particularly for inbound deals into the US.

Regions and Sectors

Despite shockwaves sent through the EU M&A market in Q3, due to the results of the UK referendum, EU outbound deals accounted for 44 percent of all cross-regional M&A value in Q3. Deals from the EU into North America saw record values with USD105 billion from 121 deals, an increase of 32 percent year-over-year. Cross-regional EU inbound deal volume slumped by 30 percent when compared to Q2 2016 and 24 percent compared to Q3 2015.

Asia-Pacific buyers carried out 174 cross-regional deals in Q3 worth a record high USD86 billion, an increase in value of 30 percent on Q3 2015 and 67 percent on Q2 2016, representing 32 percent of all cross-regional activity. Japan was the most active Asian buyer by value, with 69 deals worth a total of USD44 billion, sparked in part by negative interest rates and strong corporate balance sheets. China is on pace for a record year in outbound M&A deal value and volume. Through the first nine months of 2016 the total outbound deal value was USD165 billion, an increase of 129 percent year-over-year, and total outbound deal volume was 290, an increase of 27 percent year-over-year.

Cross-regional deals with South African buyers reached their second largest value since the Baker McKenzie Cross-Border M&A Index began, hitting USD4.8 billion.

Chemicals and materials, energy and utilities, and technology were the drivers of high value M&A, with deal totals of USD77 billion, USD73 billion and USD60 billion respectively.

Click here for more information on Baker McKenzie's Cross-Border M&A Index.

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