Eight out of ten managers at large Nordic companies surveyed by business consultancy KPMG expected the M&A market in Sweden to grow in 2011.
Corporate deal growth in Sweden’s neighbours Denmark, Norway, and Finland, meanwhile, was only predicted by about 60 percent of the survey’s respondents.
The results of the survey are published as part of an annual review of M&A activity published by KPMG entitled Competing for growth 2011.
“We see that both venture capital firms and industrial firms are well positioned for even more business in 2011,” Christopher Fägerskiöld, head of M&A advising for KPMG Sweden, said in a statement.
According to Fägerskiöld, venture capital firms have had a difficult time selling their holdings during the financial crisis, leading to a pent up need to sell.
“At the same time, they need to show they can make acquisitions, not least those who plan on taking in money for new funds,” he said.
Last year, there were 158 deals in which companies from outside the Nordics bought a Nordic company, an increase of 48 percent.
“The most notable example was that Volvo Cars was sold to Chinese Geely,” said Fägerskiöld.
“It’s the first time that a privately owned Chinese company has bought a large and well-known western European company. It may very well pave the way for similar acquisitions.”
Respondents to the survey singled out China as the non-Nordic country that will likely carry out the most deals in the Nordic region in 2011, followed by Germany and the United States.
“We see a large interest from Swedish industrial companies to strengthen their position in Asia by acquisitions or cooperation with local companies,” said Fägerskiöld.
Many companies feel pressure to act so that the competition doesn’t get to China first.”