Chinese takeovers decline
21 February 2023 13:35
Chinese investors were less active in Switzerland in 2022 than in the previous year. The number of acquisitions and investments by Chinese buyers fell from nine to three year-on-year, announced EY in a statement. “2021 was generally an exceptionally good M&A year with high volumes, so the decline in 2022 can be seen as normalization,” commented Michael Messerli, Head of Strategy & Transactions at EY Switzerland. In the long-term comparison, "2022 was not a particularly bad year".
With this decline in Chinese buyers’ activity, Switzerland is in line with the European trend. Across Europe, the number of transactions fell year-on-year from 155 to 139 acquisitions and investments. Switzerland ranked joint ninth with five other European countries. The most transactions were recorded in the UK, Germany and France. Ranking third, France was one of the few countries to count more transactions by Chinese investors in 2022 than in the previous year.
Hubert Stadler, Head of EY Switzerland's China Desk, attributes the slowdown in Chinese investment activity to “general uncertainty, namely rising energy prices, inflation, rising interest rates, and international political developments”. In addition, the pandemic and related measures “have made it more difficult to initiate and successfully implement transactions”. According to Stadler and Messerli, the number of Chinese investments in Switzerland and across Europe will increase again "as soon as sentiment in China improves".