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2021's record M&A activity levels will continue in 2022, driven by a 'fear of missing out' as corporates and markets rapidly transform, according to Herbert Smith Freehills' fifth annual global M&A report, M&A in 2022: FOMO overcomes FOGO.


Asia is no exception, with the acceleration of digital transformation, the energy transition, and strengthening of supply chains all expected to contribute to even greater deal activity in 2022.

Herbert Smith Freehills was ranked first in Asia Pacific, Australia and the UK, third in Europe, and in the Top 10 global principal advisers for announced deals by value in the full year Refinitiv M&A league tables, published this week.

"In 2021, corporates rapidly increased M&A activity to both build resilience and to transform their businesses, and that trend will continue," said Asia Head of Corporate Graeme Preston. "I believe that we're on the brink of a truly transformational phase in Asia business, and no market or sector will be immune."

"Add to this the fact that inflation is not – yet – a major concern in Asia, which gives the region's governments, investors and corporates more breathing space to aggressively pursue growth and transformation for now."

Regional and international capital remains plentiful, with every market and sector targeted by multiple funding sources.

"Private capital players were extraordinarily active in Asia last year, with targets ranging from new growth assets to non-core businesses coming to market from corporate restructures," said Jamie McLaren, a Southeast Asia M&A partner who focuses on private capital. "They have still more dry powder to deploy in 2022, and Asia's new SPAC regimes and other post-pandemic market reforms will only provide additional funding mechanisms for target companies, investors and sellers."

"Asia will also be further buoyed by its much broader private capital industry. In addition to local and global funds, the region is home to some of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds and cashed-up corporate giants, adding further to the funding sources available."

Asia's deal professionals are also experienced in dealing with uncertainties in this diverse region.

"Largely, headline concerns are already priced into the deals we're seeing, from government intervention and geopolitical tensions to ESG and regulatory oversight," said Asia Head of M&A Jason Sung.

"However, the sheer scale of dealmaking is sorely testing advisory resources, and the personal impact of deal intensity is being felt, particularly by mid and junior-level M&A professionals. For the first time in many years, resourcing is now a key item at deal kick-off meetings."

This year's report identifies some of the most important legal issues in global dealmaking for the year ahead:

  • ESG taking centre stage
  • activist shareholders' impact on deals
  • the surge in public M&A in leading markets
  • deSPAC transactions
  • the impact of foreign direct investment regimes.




史密夫斐尔亚洲区公司事务主管合伙人Graeme Preston表示:“2021年,企业加速推进并购活动,这既是为了提升韧性,也是为了促进业务转型,这一趋势将有望延续下去。我认为亚洲地区正在迎来真正的商业转型阶段,任何市场或行业都不能回避。”



专注于私人资本的东南亚并购合伙人Jamie McLaren表示:“2021年,私人资本在亚洲并购活动中表现得异常活跃,从新兴的成长型资产到通过企业重组进入市场的非核心业务,覆盖目标非常广泛。2022年,他们仍将有更多资金储备可供部署,同时,亚洲地区新出现的SPAC制度以及其他疫情后市场改革,只会为目标企业、投资者和卖家提供更多的融资方式。”



史密夫斐尔亚洲区并购业务主管合伙人宋子淳(Jason Sung)表示:“无论是政府干预还是地缘政治紧张,再到ESG和监管监督,总体上的担忧已经体现在我们目前所看到的交易中。”



  • ESG占据中心舞台
  • 维权股东对交易的影响
  • 领先市场的公开并购交易激增
  • 去SPAC化交易
  • 外国直接投资制度的影响

Key contacts

Graeme Preston photo

Graeme Preston

Managing Partner, Asia, Tokyo

Graeme Preston
Jamie McLaren photo

Jamie McLaren

Partner, Singapore

Jamie McLaren
Jason Sung photo

Jason Sung

Partner, Head of M&A, Asia, Hong Kong

Jason Sung
Nanda Lau photo

Nanda Lau

Head of Corporate, China, Shanghai

Nanda Lau

Media contact

For further information on this article please contact

Sally Greig

Head of Communications, Asia

Hong Kong

Media contact

For further information on this article please contact

Vivian Huang

Communications Manager, China