The first half of 2014 has definitely brought more smiles to dealmakers faces than for many a year. 

Increased confidence, less uncertainty and economic conditions making internal rates of return on M&A activity more attractive has significantly improved the M&A landscape in Australia. 

But will this trend continue? 

Having now passed the half-way point of the year, it’s timely to reflect on what we have seen so far and make some predictions for the remainder of the year. 

Here are our top 10 observations on M&A trends for 2014 so far:

  1.   Confidence is high – significant pick up in M&A activity.
  2.   Privatisations contributing to M&A activity with more to come.
  3.   Increased competitive bidding situations.
  4.   Foreign buyers are back.
  5.   Strategic corporate transactions driving activity…mining, energy and resources still the busiest sectors.
  6.   Buoyant private equity market.
  7.   Shareholders becoming increasingly involved (and disruptive) in M&A transactions.
  8.   Deal structures: takeovers preferred over schemes, cash is still king and transaction premiums returning to historical norms.
  9.   More unsolicited proposals, yet the disclosure of them remains inconsistent and controversial.
  10.   Active IPO market on the back of supportive exit conditions.