Queensland’s biggest business deals this year
THE tech sector was the most active in Queensland's mergers and acquisitions market in the first of half of the year.
According to Pitcher Partners latest Deal Pulse report, the technology, media and telco sector notched up 23 deals in the six months to June, up 10 per cent on the 5-year average.
Software applications represented 13 of the transactions with Townsville-founded SafetyCulture taking out top spot with $60m capital raising.
Across all sectors, 109 deals were announced in Queensland which was down 24 per cent on the 2014-2019 average and the $2.7bn in value was down 64 per cent.
One of the bright spots was agriculture with 10 deals in the half year, up 150 per cent on the five year average. The largest deal in the sector was McMillan Pastoral Company's $53m acquisition of two cattle stations from a company owned by Chinese billionaire Xingfa Ma.
The biggest transaction in the first half in Queensland was US private equity group Bain & Co's $1.65bn deal to buy Virgin Australia.
Pitcher Partners partner Warwick Face said Queensland mergers and acquisition activity remained relatively solid in the shadow of COVID-19 and forced lockdowns.
"Investing in Australia is still viewed as relatively low risk compared to other regional markets, and despite the current economic challenges, Australia's political certainty and underlying fundamentals are likely to see it remain an attractive environment for deal-makers," he said.
"COVID-19 has challenged businesses, and capital markets, and we have seen this flow into M & A markets, although the impact in Queensland has been less than many other jurisdictions. "Whilst outcomes remain somewhat variable, Queensland M & A has strong fundamentals focused on middle market businesses, and quality enterprises will continue to attract strong domestic and global interest".
He said that while deal-makers were likely to take a wait-and-see approach in the short term, sentiment over the medium to long term reinforced that Queensland is a robust place to invest, and quality businesses will continue to attract strong domestic interest.
Transport: $1.65bn - Price Bain & Co paid for Virgin Australia.
Energy, mining & resources: $125m - Price paid by Aeris Resources for its Cracow Gold Mine
Tech, media & telcos: $60m - Size of capital raising by SafetyCulture which included selling a stake to various investors such as Index Ventures and TDM Asset Management
Agriculture: $53m - Price McMillan pastoral company paid for two cattle stations from a company owned by Chinese billionaire Xingfa Ma
Industrials & Chemicals: $51m - Price Aorere Resources paid to acquire All Industrial Network in a reverse listing
Leisure: $28m - Price Sunland Group sold its Mariners Cove Marina Complex to Chinese developer Ridong
Consumer: $10m - Price Point King Capital paid to acquire a minority stake in Gold Coast based Makeup Cartel.
Real estate: $7m - Amount paid by Bright & Duggan for a controlling 85% interest in Capital Strata Management
Pharma, medical & biotech: $5.6m - Price paid by MAX Solutions paid to acquire Injurynet
Financial services: $2m - Price Fistmac paid to acquire CarLoans.com.au and Georgie from Eclipx