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M&A Deals Cool in Online Retail Sector

By Shen Xinyue and Han Wei / Jun 13, 2019 03:08 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Mergers and acquisitions slowed in China’s online retail sector in the first quarter as total transaction value dropped 52% from a year ago, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found in a report.

First-quarter M&A deals totaled 51 in the online retail sector and involved $2.5 billion, PwC said. The number of deals in the same period last year was 64, according to the report.

Investors have been more hesitant to make big deals in the industry amid slowing economic growth and stock market fluctuations, the report found. The biggest transaction during the first quarter was Softbank’s $1.5 billion investment in online car trading group Chehaoduo.

Equity investment transactions in the broader retail and consumer goods industry rose 31% year-on-year in the first quarter, but total transaction value declined by 34%, according to the report.

Despite cooling sentiment among investors, PwC maintained a positive outlook on China’s retail market and projected that a revival that started last year will continue this year. But the company also warned that continued trade friction with the U.S. may drive global investors to shift to other countries for mergers and acquisitions.

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