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Global M&A Volume May Rise in 2012 on Brazil, China Dealmaking

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March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Global mergers and acquisitions may pick up in 2012 as more companies pursue deals in faster-growing markets such as Brazil and China, according to a survey of takeover professionals by Brunswick Group LLC.

Of the more than 100 M&A bankers and lawyers polled by Brunswick, 77 percent predicted that dealmaking worldwide would remain steady or increase. Almost half of those polled expect an increase in North American takeover volume this year, as improving economic conditions, cash on balance sheets and executive confidence drive deals.

Brazil will be the top deal market outside the U.S., according to 69 percent of those surveyed, followed by China and Canada. More than two-thirds of those surveyed expect Asian acquisitions of U.S. companies, compared with 56 percent in last year’s survey. Energy, natural resources and health care will see the most volume.

“We’re more focused on international and cross-border as compared with last year,” Steven Lipin, a senior partner at Brunswick Group, said in a telephone interview. “It means we’re going to see more companies deal with cross-border government concerns.”

Of the China-based M&A advisers, polled by Brunswick for the first time, 57 percent said they expect more global deals this year compared with 2011, while 74 percent expect more domestic transactions. The biggest challenge for overseas buyers of Chinese companies will be getting regulatory approval from the Chinese government, according to 70 percent of the China-based advisers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Sondag at jsondag@bloomberg.net

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