Best for Cross-Border M&A 2019
Huatai United Securities
Mergers and acquisitions are at the heart of Huatai United Securities’ investment banking business.
Headed by Liu Xiaodan, an M&A banker-turned-chief-executive, Huatai has risen to the top of the M&A advisory league table in a matter of years. Between 2012 and 2019, the firm has worked on a record number of 124 transactions approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission as an independent financial adviser; six of those deals were greenlighted by the CSRC in the first half of 2019.
Liu left the firm in August, 2019.
The M&A business of Huatai not only led the pack in both the number of deals and volume, but was also the most profitable among its brokerage peers. It ranked top in terms of M&A advisory fees for five consecutive years between 2014 and 2018, according the Securities Association of China.
Dealogic data shows that Huatai United was ahead of its Chinese peers by some way in outbound M&A deals, despite a slowdown in the sector in recent years; it worked on six transactions worth a total $5.81 billion announced during our awards period of June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019. Ranking fourth after global firms such as Goldman Sachs and Citi, Huatai was the only Chinese name that appeared in the top seven spots.
Deals included Wingtech Technology’s purchase of the controlling stakes in Netherlands-based chipmaker Nexperia BV, which put the Chinese acquirer on the map for global investors.
Wingtech, though branded the largest contract smartphone manufacturer globally with clients such as Huawei Technologies and Xiaomi, is little known outside China, but it became the largest A-share listed semiconductor manufacturer with the $3.3 billion acquisition.
With one of the largest M&A teams around, Huatai was also the financial adviser for Joyvio Agriculture Development in its $922 million acquisition of Chilean salmon farmer Australis Seafoods, the largest takeover in the Chilean market.
Joyvio is a subsidiary of Legend Holdings, a Chinese conglomerate that also owns Lenovo.
Other landmark M&A transactions involving Huatai include China Molybdenum’s acquisition of IXM, a Geneva-headquartered metals trading company previously known as LDC Metals, as well as Qumei Home Furnishing Group’s acquisition of Norwegian furniture maker Ekornes, a public listed company.