When we think about international expansion, we often think about companies in mature markets, such as the U.S. or the UK, making acquisitions in other mature markets or in emerging markets (Read Global Competition on a Local Level). But over the past five years, more companies from emerging markets – China, India, the Gulf States/Saudi Arabia, Russia and Brazil – have made moves into mature markets, as well.
According to a recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, between 2008 and 2012, companies from those emerging markets invested $161 billion into mature market companies. During that same period, mature markets – defined in the report as the U.S., UK, Germany, Australia, Japan and Canada – only invested $151 billion in those emerging markets, also referred to as high-growth markets.
Why companies are looking to mature markets for growth varies, but the underlying reason is that there is money to be spent, particularly from the private sector. And mature markets are attractive because they can help emerging markets gain more knowledge, experience and access to raw materials and supply routes that these companies can then use to grow in their respective domestic markets.
"Through deals, they are bringing their products and those of others to new countries by buying into established distribution channels, brand names and know-how," said John Dwyer, global deals leader at PwC. "A growing number of high growth market companies are already poised to go from being a national leader to a global one, and are using strategic M&A to accelerate that move."
And as the report points out, "The rise of high growth market companies acquiring mature market firms brings not just a change in direction to the M&A market but a new dynamic." While in the past the U.S. and Europe drove much of the global M&A activity, investment from emerging to mature markets may be the new driver going forward.