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DFDL & YCP Solidiance: Keys to Successful M&A in Southeast Asia | 5 April 2022

The fast-growing Southeast Asian market attracts entry and business expansion of multinational corporations and has been increasingly competitive in every industry. In response to the trend and speed of growth, M&A over local companies in SEA —or “buy time with money”— is increasingly becoming a common business strategy to win in the Southeast Asian market.

However, some issues in conducting M&A in the region persist, such as:

  • Investors struggling to source appropriate M&A deals
  • Imbalanced information on investors over sellers’ business
  • Lack of legal & financial discipline on sellers
  • Foreign ownership regulations impacting investment structures

Aiming to address these challenges, YCP Solidiance, an Asia-focused M&A and management consulting firm, and DFDL, a regional leading legal advisory firm, are co-hosting a webinar to present our approach and solutions to international investors. This event will be split into two insightful sessions.

Session 1 – How to Successfully Pursue M&A in Southeast Asia (15:00 – 15:45 ICT)

YCP Solidiance has supported multinational corporations’ market entry in Southeast Asia in more than 1,000 projects over the last decade. A good portion of such market entry advisory was through M&A, being an end-to-end service provider to cover the complete services of an M&A transaction from deal sourcing and financial advisory to due diligence and post-merger integration. Although M&A has increasingly been common in SEA, foreign investors still face bottlenecks and high breakup rate without knowing the nature of the market.

YCP Solidiance, which operates in seven Southeast Asian countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, and Myanmar), has extensive experience in supporting complicated cross-border transactions. The firm is able to summarize commonly seen challenges among foreign investors in each phase of M&A, especially in deal sourcing and origination, and provide tailored solutions.

Session 2 – Structuring and Closing M&A Transactions in ASEAN Emerging Markets: Focus on Indonesia, Thailand & Vietnam (15:45 – 16:30 ICT)

In 2021, deal activity in Southeast Asia has been mirroring the global M&A boom by witnessing over 3x more transaction value than in 2020, both in corporate and private equity fronts, with some of its emerging economies arising as M&A hotspots. Alongside more traditional industries, transactions have been accelerating in growing sectors like renewable energy, healthcare, and technology. This momentum, however, also covers strong disparities between ASEAN’s different jurisdictions in terms of legal frameworks, business practices, and market dynamics.

For international investors, conducting cross-border M&A in Southeast Asia requires not only a precise knowledge of local regulations, but also an understanding of common misalignments and pitfalls in the due diligence process and a pragmatic approach to structuring options.Tapping into its three decades of legal experience in ASEAN Emerging Markets, DFDL will provide an overview of the common challenges faced by international buyers and investors during M&A transaction, and highlight trends and opportunities in the region with a zoom in three of its most attractive investment destinations: Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.


Gary Murakami

YCP Solidiance Partner, Head of M&A Advisory Southeast Asia

Gary oversees YCP Solidiance’s M&A practice in Southeast Asia. In his 10+ years of experience as management consultant and M&A advisor, he has supported 100+ clients from multinational companies to family-owned SMEs all across Asia. He and his team members are committed to clients’ success and growth in Asia, leveraging their experiences and expertise of providing solutions in M&A and management consulting. Services include M&A target scouting, commercial due diligence, buy-side/sell-side financial advisory, valuation, and post-merger integration in the M&A space as well as market entry strategy formulation, organization optimization, business planning, market forecast, competitor benchmarking, and industry research in his areas of expertise. Prior to joining YCP Solidiance, Gary worked for Merrill Lynch and Deloitte Consulting and has an MBA from Sasin School of Management, Thailand.

Jérôme Buzenet

DFDL Partner, Vietnam Managing Director and Co-Head of Regional M&A Practice

Jérôme qualified as a French Lawyer (Avocat) and went on to further studies at Oxford University through the LL.M program in English law. Before this, he obtained a postgraduate Master’s Degree in Business and Tax Law at La Sorbonne-Paris I. Prior to joining DFDL to head two offices, Jérôme was with Freshfields in Hanoi for over six years and Linklaters in Paris. His practice focuses on M&A, private equity and investment fund formation, and restructuring in Vietnam and the wider Mekong region. Permanently based in Vietnam since 2004, Jérôme also advises on projects and finance matters. He is recognized as a leading practitioner by all of the Chambers, Asia Pacific Legal 500, and IFLR 1000. He speaks French, English, Italian and some Vietnamese.

Vinay Ahuja

DFDL Partner, Head of Indonesia Practice, Head of Regional Banking, Finance and Technology Practice

Vinay is based in the DFDL Bangkok office, from where is leading the regional banking and finance practice, and serves as the head of the India desk and head of the Indonesia practice. With 13 years of transactional and advisory experience, over half of which has been spent in Southeast Asia with DFDL, Vinay has advised a vast spectrum of multinational clients on complex transactions related to energy, infrastructure, mining, information technology, telecommunications, transport and logistics, and agriculture. Given his breadth of experience in the banking and technology sectors, Vinay also serves as the chief point of contact at DFDL for all fintech-related matters. Of late, he has been advising several clients operating in the realm of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. In addition to his transaction and advisory background, Vinay has extensive experience with Indian court litigation and international dispute resolution. A regular speaker at various international industry conferences, seminars, and workshops, Vinay has also authored a number of articles and papers published in various newspapers, magazines and journals, including the IPBA Journal, Asian-MENA, ALB, and IBLJ.