Morgan Stanley topped South Korea’s league table of mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter this year by advising on several big-ticket cross-border deals in the booming M&A market.
Morgan Stanley topped the list of the M&A league table by closing 4.41 trillion won ($3.9 billion) worth of deals in Korea from January to March, according to an analysis of data collected by Maeil Business Newspaper on Wednesday. Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) came second by leading 1.34 trillion won deals and Credit Suisse Securities came third with 1.1 trillion won.
Morgan Stanley led a 2 trillion won deal to sell video chat app Azar from Korean unicorn startup Hyperconnect Inc. to Nasdaq-listed Match Group, one of the biggest deals in the first quarter. The Wall Street company also handled a 733 billion won deal of CJ Rokin, a Chinese unit of CJ Logistics. In Korea, the financial company advised on the sale of leading job portal JobKorea valued at 900 billion won and acquisition of Doosan Infracore worth 850 billion won.
Samil PwC supported Hyundai Heavy Industries’ takeover of Doosan Infracore and managed Samsung Electro-Mechanics’ sale of its WiFi module business to Chemtronics. Credit Suisse came third by acting on the sale of Doosan Infracore and a 251.8 billion won deal to sell Taihan Electronic Wire to Hoban Group.
Samil Pwc was named the top M&A accounting advisor in the first quarter with 5.53 trillion won deals. It was followed by Deloitte Anjin that managed 2.69 trillion won, Samjong KPMG at 2.52 trillion won and Ernst & Young Hanyoung at 1.9 trillion won.
Lee & Ko topped the list of legal advisors in the first quarter by helping get 6.77 trillion won worth of deals done, elbowing out long-time champion Kim & Chang. Kim & Chang came second by advising on 5.1 trillion won deals, followed by Bae, Kim & Lee at 3.38 trillion won and Shin & Kim at 2.21 trillion won.
Boosted by the pent-up demand amid Covid-19, the M&A market surged 240 percent on year to 10.28 trillion won during the first three months of this year.
It was difficult for businesses to conduct investment activities in the first quarter last year due to Covid-19, said Jung Kyung-soo, executive director at Samil PwC’s M&A division. But companies are now using drones and video communication to deal with M&A activities, he added.
By Kang Doo-soon, Park Chang-young and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]