Despite the current global economic challenges, the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) segment in Asia-Pacific (APAC) has remained robust. According to advisory and professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) Global ltd., M&A in the first half of the year (H1) is up by 85% compared to H1 2020 and down by 14% compared to H1 last year. There have been 648 deals with a total value of USD 403 billion.
Analysis from the EY teams shows that APAC deals are being affected by global geopolitical tensions and economic downturns. Companies are trying to keep up with consumer preferences by merging with other regional businesses. The M&As in Southeast Asia have shown that there is a strategic approach that companies are taking to stay competitive and expand their markets.
Vietnam witnessed an increase in mega-deals in 2021. What’s next?
Here are the top three recent mergers and acquisitions in Southeast Asia:
PropertyGuru acquires Sendhelper
Southeast Asia’s leading property technology (proptech) company, PropertyGuru Group Ltd, has acquired Singapore-based home services technology startup, Sendhelper. PropertyGuru is a digital marketplace for more than 40 million property seekers to search for their dream homes, pay for them, and manage them if they decide to rent them out. Sendhelper enables homeowners and tenants to search for and hire home services experts like plumbers, handymen, and others to show up and fix the problem.
In a press release, a managing director at PropertyGuru, Shyn Yee Ho-Strangas, said that the company’s entry into the home services market enables them to bring more efficiency and transparency to everyone in the property ecosystem—from real estate agents, homeowners, developers, and buyers. Teaming up with Sendhelper will enable dual-career couples who are homeowners to outsource the maintenance and management of their homes.
Sendhelper’s co-founder and general manager, Rupam Biswas, said the merger occurred because the two companies’ visions are aligned. PropertyGuru aims to meet the customer’s end-to-end needs, from home purchases to home maintenance. On the other hand, Sendhelper wants to be the one-stop platform for anyone who wants to care for their homes.
Sendhelper’s VP and co-founder, Bogdan Metehoui, believed that his company complements PropertyGuru because both businesses are customer-oriented.
Endowus acquires a majority stake in Carret Private Investments
Singapore-based wealth technology (wealthtech) platform Endowus has acquired a majority stake in Hong Kong-based wealth management company Carret Private Investments Ltd. Endowus is Asia’s leading digital investment platform, licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Carret Private is a multi-family office that provides holistic wealth management and investment solutions to wealthy families.
Endowus’ decision to merge with Carret Private is part of its expansion plans in Hong Kong. As a result of this acquisition, the company now manages over USD 4 billion in total assets. Endowus will also have a partnership with wealth advisory firm Lumen Capital Investors because Carret has a minority shareholding in the company. Wilfried Kofmehl, who has 30 years of experience in banking, leads Singapore-based Lumen and may prove beneficial to the Endowus team.
According to the media and interactive platform Hubbis, the Hong Kong and Singapore markets represent 90% of the cross-border wealth in Asia. The merger positions Endowus to deliver its affordable investment solutions to the region, as it now receives licensing from the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) to begin its operations. Endowus CEO Gregory Van said in a statement that the partnership between his company and Carret Private would help to spread the growth of independent wealth advisory services in Asia.
bolttech acquires a majority shareholding in Axle Asia
Singapore-based international insurance technology (insurtech) company bolttech has acquired a majority stake in PT Axle Asia, an established risk management and insurance coverage firm in Indonesia. As the largest insurance exchange in the world, bolttech’s next-generation platform connects insurance providers, customers, and distributors. Axle Asia is becoming a subsidiary of bolttech, and rebranding will happen in the future.
In a statement, bolttech Group Chief Executive Officer Rob Schimek said Indonesia is one of Southeast Asia’s high-growth markets and acquiring Axle Asia would enable the firm to meet its customers and business partners’ needs. People around the world will be able to access insurance coverage and protect the things they love.
Axle Asia Commissioner Junaedy Ganie said becoming part of bolttech would help them to innovate and enable Indonesians to have more choices in their insurance coverage. Srinath Narasimhan, bolttech Indonesia’s general manager, will oversee the firm’s growth in the country after the acquisition of Axle Asia.
These three mergers and acquisitions in Southeast Asia show that the region can still pull off strategic deals to position its businesses for success in the local and global markets. Companies should continue to innovate and attract both local and foreign investors. With the right approach, M&As in Southeast Asia can boost the region.