Issue 3 2020

34 Acquisition International - Issue 3 2020 The volume of mergers and acquisitions targeting the global real estate industry announced in February 2020 fell to the lowest recorded in the last 12 months, while value continued to fluctuate, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk. n all, 422 real estate deals worth USD 23,192 million were announced in February 2020, representing a 44 decline in volume from 758 transactions in January 2020 and a 31 per cent month-on-month increase in value (January: USD 17,744 million). Volume fell back at a slow rate of 9 per cent year-on-year, from 462 deals in February 2019, while value more than trebled over the same timeframe (February 2019: USD 7,084 million). The aggregate value of real estate deals announced in 2020 to date has been supported by nine transactions worth USD 1,000 million or more. Together, these account for 68 per cent of the total USD 40,936 million-worth of deals announced during the opening two months of the year, which is ahead of the USD 16,291 million recorded for the same timeframe in 2019. While the value of deals announced in H1 2019 represents a decline on H2 2018 and H1 2018, the USD 132,411 million-worth of deals announced in H2 2019 is the highest recorded since H1 2007 (USD 203,982 million). The largest real estate deal of 2020 to date features retail-focused CapitaLand Mall Trust Management and CapitaLand Commercial Trust, two of CapitaLand’s listed real estate investment trusts, merging in a USD 6.09 billion deal that paves the way for the largest REIT in Singapore and the third-largest in Asia Pacific by market capitalisation. The only other deal worth more than USD 5,000 million at the time of writing features Blackstone Group announcing plans to acquire UK-based student housing provider IQSA Services for USD 6,059 million. Five of the top 20 real estate deals by value in 2020 to date targeted companies based in North America, including Northview Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust, Taubman Centers, Front Yard Residential, GK Opportunity Zone Fund I and Hudson Valley Preservation Fund II. North America was the top region by value, with USD 14,025 million. Seven of the top deals targeted companies based in the Far East and Central Asia, which included five Japanese transactions. In all, 126 deals totalling USD 12,930 million targeted this region. To sum up, H2 2019 will be a hard act to follow, considering the value of real estate deals was the highest in more than a decade. However, the opening two months of 2020 is showing promise, with value almost half that recorded for H1 2019 on the back of several high-value deals. Company: Bureau van Dijk E-Mail: Web: Real Estate I