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The Impact of Emerging Market Economies on M&A Activity

Home » Insights » The Impact of Emerging Market Economies on M&A Activity

The Impact of Emerging Market Economies on M&A Activity

by Khadija Tahir

Emerging market economies have become increasingly important players in the global economy and have had a significant impact on merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. As these economies continue to grow, they are becoming attractive targets for multinational corporations seeking new markets, resources, and talent. In this article, we will explore the impact of emerging market economies on M&A activity and discuss some of the key trends and challenges facing companies looking to invest in these markets.

Growth Opportunities

One of the primary reasons why emerging market economies are attractive targets for M&A activity is their high growth potential. These economies are often characterized by rapidly growing populations, expanding middle classes, and significant infrastructure investments, which create opportunities for companies to tap into new markets and drive growth.

For example, in 2018, Coca-Cola acquired Costa Coffee, a leading coffee chain based in the UK, in part to expand its presence in emerging markets. Costa Coffee had a significant presence in China, India, and the Middle East, which represented important growth markets for Coca-Cola.

Access to Resources

Emerging market economies are also attractive targets for M&A activity because of their abundant resources. These economies often have large reserves of natural resources, such as oil, gas, and minerals, which are critical inputs for many industries.

For example, in 2019, Brazilian mining company Vale sold a majority stake in its nickel mining operations in New Caledonia to a consortium of investors, including New Caledonia’s indigenous communities. The deal was motivate in part by the desire to increase local ownership and control over the country’s natural resources.

Regulatory Challenges

While emerging market economies offer significant growth opportunities and access to resources, they also present unique challenges for M&A activity. One of the biggest challenges is navigating complex and often-changing regulatory environments.

For example, in 2018, Chinese regulators blocked Qualcomm’s proposed acquisition of Dutch semiconductor company NXP, citing concerns over market competition. The deal had already by regulators in other countries, but China’s decision effectively end the transaction.

Cultural Differences

Another challenge facing companies investing in emerging market economies is navigating cultural differences. These economies often have different business practices, norms, and expectations. Which can create significant challenges for companies looking to integrate operations and cultures.

For example, when American fast-food chain McDonald’s entered the Indian market in the 1990s. It had to adapt its menu and business practices to accommodate local cultural and religious preferences. This introducing vegetarian options and ensuring that all beef and pork products were sourced from certified halal suppliers.


In conclusion, emerging market economies have had a significant impact on M&A activity in recent years. These economies offer significant growth opportunities, access to resources, and unique challenges for companies looking to invest. To succeed in these markets, companies need to navigate complex regulatory environments, cultural differences, and other challenges while also taking advantage of the growth opportunities and abundant resources that these economies offer.

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