M&A Report: 2023 Year in Review and Future Outlook

In Mergermarket’s 2023 Global & Regional M&A Rankings, Hamilton Locke ranked 6th in Australia for the highest volume of M&A deals, with 69 deals valued at USD738 million. This is the firm’s highest Mergermarket ranking and a significant jump from 13th place in 2022.

As part of our ongoing commitment to driving excellence in the field, we have conducted an in-depth analysis of the transactions we advised on throughout the year. This report encapsulates our findings and insights gleaned from a thorough examination of deal trends and negotiation points within the Australian mid-market M&A sphere from January to December 2023.

Against the backdrop of a soft market marked by economic uncertainty and geopolitical complexities, our analysis sheds light on the prevailing challenges and opportunities that shaped the M&A landscape. We observed a notable downturn in deal activity across all sectors, with transactions often protracted due to heightened scrutiny and deliberation. Moreover, a persistent valuation gap between buyers and sellers continues to emerge as a prominent feature, prompting the adoption of innovative mechanisms such as earnouts, deferred considerations, escrow, and holdbacks to bridge the divide.

This report delves into the key themes and insights gleaned from our analysis, with a particular focus on critical sectors including FIRB, health, financial services, new energy, carbon markets, restructuring, and tax. By examining the negotiation points specific to these sectors, we aim to provide actionable intelligence that will empower businesses to navigate the evolving M&A landscape with confidence and foresight.

As we look ahead to 2024, our report not only reflects on the trends that defined the past year but also anticipates the trajectory of key negotiation points within each sector. By sharing our understanding of the market and aligning it with commercial trends, we aspire to contribute to the continued development and advancement of the M&A sector in Australia.