May 19, 2017 2:00 am JST

South Korean manufacturers lagging in acquisitions: think tank

Policies to encourage further efforts a must, report says

KENICHI YAMADA, Nikkei staff writer

SEOUL -- South Korean manufacturers are less active than rivals around the world in pursuing mergers and acquisitions, the Hyundai Research Institute said in a report Thursday.

The total value of M&A deals worldwide increased roughly 110% between the three years through 2013 and the three years through 2016, the report shows. For South Korean manufacturers, the figure came to less than 30%.

Germany logged a rise of 300%, China 260%, the U.S. 110% and Japan under 40%. The surge resulted largely from the growing number of megadeals worth around $10 billion or more. The solid growth is attributed to more companies actively seeking mergers and acquisitions to boost competitiveness and expand into new areas of business.

South Korean manufacturers are currently lacking in experience and know-how with respect to cross-border acquisitions, the Hyundai group think tank argued, urging the new government to put in place policies that encourage more mergers and acquisitions.

Slightly more than 60% of M&A deals by Japanese manufacturers targeted a foreign company, against over 90% at German companies. South Korea's percentage was much lower, at a little over 30%. Aside from Samsung Electronics' $8 billion purchase of an American automotive electronics maker, there have been few major deals in recent years.

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