BDO Horizons 2022 - Issue 2

Content Author: Phatara (Yo Yo) Asavanamuang

Global View:

In 2021, average deal values was at record levels with private equity players making the most contribution. This has lead on to 2022 as the number of attractive deals increases and strong multiples are being paid. BDO experienced a record-breaking year with 2,020 deals, which was an increase by over 30% from the previous year.

Technology, media, and telecoms (TMT) and Industrials & Chemicals represented approximately 20% and 30% of total deal activities respectively. Overall, every sector (e.g., TMT, Industrials & Chemicals, business services, financial services, consumer etc.) closed a successful deal during the past year.

There was an increase in deal-activities worldwide especially in the United States and Greater China.  The U.S. and Greater China experienced an increase at approximately 45% and 10% respectively. In addition, M&A activities in Japan are also rising, especially in Q4 2021.

For Q1 2022, deal activities settled back to the pre-COVID level with private equity continuing to make up most of the transactions in both value and volume. Technology, media, and telecoms (TMT) sector saw an increase in deal volume by 20% in comparison to Q4 2021. In contrast, other sectors face an extreme decrease, by double-digit percentage, in deal volume except for Leisure and Pharma, Medical & Biotech sectors.

Looking at a big picture, there is a mix of both increases and decreases in deal volume depending on the region. North America region saw an increase of approximately 18% while Greater China was down by 45% as there was a lockdown in China due to the outspread of COVID-19.

There is an availability of cash and strong trading by many companies to support M&A activities. We also expect that strategic buyers will continue to be active in the market and the growth of PE firms will continue to be the major contributor to the M&A activities especially in the technology and digital sector.

For more information, please see BDO Horizons issue 2/2022.


 Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe and has a coastline along the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. It has been named one of the largest agriculture and food producer in the world. In recent years, Ukraine has become one of the top personnel-sourcing destinations which holds more than 200,000 highly skilled IT professionals. Many IT and tech start-ups have originated from Ukraine.

Back in 2013, the most active sector in Ukraine M&A was Agriculture and Food, Banking, Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), energy and Technology, media, and telecoms (TMT). In 2021 the Technology, media, and telecoms (TMT) became Ukraine’s biggest growth industry, with the exports of outsourcing and programming services reaching the value of USD 6.8 Billion.

In addition, there were 36 deals in Technology, media, and telecoms (TMT), 19 in agriculture, 10 in energy, mining & utilities and 6 in real estate and construction sector with a value of USD 813 million, USD 234 million, USD 124 million, and USD 650 million respectively. The M&A market was frozen since December 2021 due to the Russian – Ukraine war.

The war started in February 2022 which affected maritime trade as the war damaged Ukraine’s infrastructure immensely. With the ongoing conflict, imports and exports faces the consequences as the seaports are blocked and foreign investors deferred their investments into Ukraine. The World Bank forecasts that Ukraine’s GDP will drop by 45% this year.

For more information, please see BDO Horizons issue 2/2022.

Southeast Asia:

 The M&A activity in Southeast Asia faced a downturn in Q4 2021. Only 31 deals were completed in comparison to 99 deals in Q3 2021. However, there is an increase in the total deal volume of 274 in 2021 compared to 260 in 2020. 

Mid-market level deal making activities in 2021 performed better than 2020. This is based on the falling of COVID-19 cases, the relaxation of lockdown measures and the improved economic condition across all regions. The drop of completed deal volume in Q4 2021 may be a result of the increased numbers of deals completed in the previous 3 quarters of 2021.

For Q1 2022, the deal value increased by 38% compared to Q4 2021. The average deal volume is USD 120.3 million, which is higher when compared to Q4 2021 at USD 116.1 million. The increase in average deal volume indicates that transaction value is growing in Southeast Asia.

PE was the biggest factor which increased the deal volume in 2021 and Q1 2022. It accounted for 23.4% of the total deal volume in Q4 2021 and 34.3% in Q1 2022 and had the highest contribution since 2008. PE was involved in 19 deals in Q1 2022 higher than 12 deals in Q4 2021. This shows that PE M&A has a growing trend in Southeast Asia, as well as globally. On the other hand, Technology, media, and telecoms (TMT) was the top performing sector of deal volume with 8 transacted deals in Q4 2021 and 21 deals in Q1 2022. 

The top 3 deals for Q1 2022 in Southeast Asia were the following:

The top 3 leading sectors with completed deals include Technology, media, and telecoms (TMT), Industrials & Chemicals, and Business Services with a total volume of 66, 63, and 40 respectively in 2021. For Q1 2022 Technology, media, and telecoms (TMT), Industrials & Chemicals, and Business Services remain the leading sectors with the addition of energy, mining and utilities sector with a total volume of 21, 9, 7, and 7 respectively.

The overall performance of M&A deals in Southeast Asia for 2021 was better than the previous year. The total deal volume is USD 27 bn, which is at a record-high since 2014. As told, there is a significant increase in deal volume compared to Q4 2021. It is noted that Singaporean companies were the most popular targets for M&A investment in Southeast Asia. The M&A Activities in Southeast Asia will still be largely dependent on the severity of the Ukraine-Russian war, management of COVID-19 and the reopening of borders by the respective countries.

For more information, please see BDO Horizons issue 2/2022.

Source: BDO Horizons – Issue 1/2022 and BDO Horizons – Issue 2/2022


During Q4 2021, there was an economic recovery in Thailand due to an increased number of tourists from overseas. Recently, the omicron variant impacted Thailand and paused the tourist industry once again. During this period, there were 46 deals with the volume of USD 1.5bn* with the status of completed and completed assumed deals. The 2 notable deals are the planned amalgamation of DTAC and True from the technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sector and the acquisition of Bitkub by SCB from the financial services sector. COVID-19 will continue to affect Thailand’s economy in 2022 as a result of lack of tourism, and inflation.


Q4 2021 Thailand M&A transaction volume and value

46 Deals / USD 1.474 billion*

Heat Chart by Sector

No. of Transactions

Technology, Media, and Telecom (TMT)


Financial Services




Energy, Mining & Utilities


Real Estate


Pharma, Medical & Biotech



















       *Source: Speeda (Completed and Completed Assumed          deals)

 According to Speeda, there were 31 deals with the volume   of USD 539 million in Q1 2022 with the status of  completed  and completed assumed deals. The deals transaction includes TMT, financial services, consumer, energy, mining & utilities, real estate, pharma, medical & biotech, and leisure sectors, of which financial services, consumer, and TMT sectors account more than 50% of total deal value. We believe that TMT and financial services will be the most traded sectors this year.  Although the deal volume in Q1 2022 is lower than those in Q4 2021, we still expect that there will be an increase in M&A deals in Thailand this year as the government has relaxed its measured by opening up the borders once again. In addition to the relaxed measures better management of COVID-19, an increase of foreign investment into Thailand, and also government support on different industries should also help.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) forecast shows that the GDP will grow at 3.4% in 2022 from an increase in export, digital transformation, economies of scale, reopening the borders, etc. This supports our expectations of a growing number of M&A deals in 2022 for Thailand.

Thailand Board of Investment (BOI):

BOI or the Office of the Board of Investment is a government agency with its mission to support and promote investment from the private sector. BOI is promoting valuable investment in both investments made into Thailand and from Thailand to overseas to overcome the ‘Middle Income Trap’ and achieve sustainable growth. The BOI incentives are categorized as Tax incentives and non-Tax incentives which is illustrated below:

The BOI office classifies different incentive groups based on the importance of industries and approval is granted on a case-by-case basis. The consideration period is 40 days for investment capital not exceeding THB 200 million, 60 days for investment capital not exceeding THB 2,000 million, and 90 days for investment capital exceeding THB 2,000 million.

Electric Vehicle Sector:

Thailand is currently moving towards a carbon neutrality economy and is aiming to use 50% renewable energy by 2070. The country is ranked as one of the top automotive manufacturers in Asia and 11th in the world. In addition, the vehicles and parts category are ranked as the top export products for Thailand. BOI supports the automotive industry and continues to encourage electric vehicles and electric battery manufacturers. Examples of BOI businesses include projects on electric cars, projects on vehicle parts manufacture, semiconductor, activities for smart electronics industry, etc.  The incentives provided by BOI are a combination of both tax incentives (e.g., CIT exemption, import duty exemption for machinery) and non-tax incentives (e.g., permit to bring in skilled workers and experts to work in investment promoted activities, no export requirements).

Source: Thailand Board of Investment (BOI)

Thailand roadshow to Japan reinforces commitment to partnership and future investments in EV, BCG and Electronics:

The investment promotion road show led Japan to a joint commitment and developed partnership in electric vehicles (EV), smart electronics and green technology investments.

The Japanese officials agreed to strengthen cooperation between Thailand’s Bio-Circular-Green economic model and Japan’s Green Growth Strategy as well as encourage investment in new industries in Thailand. This will help Thailand become a modern production base which uses high technology and create sustainable economic growth.

For automotive industry, the Thai government has the policy to promote Thailand as a global electric vehicle (EV) production base. Majority of the companies is interested to participate in the campaign and develop electric vehicles inline with the policy. It is expected that within the next two years, all carmakers will join the EV support scheme. In addition, Thailand also has a plan to promote production of EV batteries along with battery recycling businesses.

For electronics industry, Japanese companies consider Thailand as a strong downstream and midstream electronics manufacturer. If Thailand can evolve and become an upstream manufacturer, Thailand will be capable of manufacturing semiconductors and electronics for the EV industries. The key success factor is to improve and educate skilled workers and personnel.

For medical industry, Japanese companies have confidence in the potential of Thailand’s medical professionals. The companies will consider expanding in the pharmaceutical industry and cooperate in clinical research by using Japanese medical technology for elder as Thailand has entered an aging society.

Japanese companies have consistently made foreign investment into Thailand. Since 2021, Japanese companies filed more than 3,700 investment applications with a total value of 1.42 trillion Baht.

Source: Thailand Board of Investment (BOI)

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