The Swiss M&A market in 2015 was substantially weaker than in the previous year and underperformed other markets, in particular the booming US M&A market in 2015.
The three biggest published transactions with Swiss participation with a combined value of approx. $50 billion were all deals in the US, only one of them with a buyer domiciled in Switzerland: the $28.3 billion public takeover and subsequent merger of American Chubb Corporation and US listed property and casuality insurer ACE Limited which is domiciled in Switzerland. We include these top three transactions in the list below for your information (should you see it in other statistics) but do not count them as Swiss transactions.
The largest Swiss corporate deal was the CHF 3.75 billion public takeover of World Duty Free S.p.A. by Dufry Group following its acquisition of a 51% stake from Edizione S.r.L. Dufry now owns 93.5% of WDF. The next three biggest deals were all Swiss acquisitions by foreign buyers: A Chinese corporate buyer took over Swissport from private equity investor PAI for CHF 2.7 billion, Schaffhausen domiciled electronic component manufacturer TE Connectivity Ltd. sold its broadband network solutions business to a US competitor for $3 billion and Renova Group finally made a takeover offer for Sulzer Group worth CHF 1.7 billion.
The second biggest Swiss corporate acquisition was Kaba Holding’s acquisition of its German competitor Dorma for CHF 1.2 billion and its subsequent merger. In total we only counted six deals exceeding one billion Francs and a further 42 deals including minority stakes with a transaction value of CHF 100 million to CHF one billion.
In 2014 we counted 21 corporate deals of 1 billion or more including three deals of double digit billion value, led by the CHF 35 billion LafargeHolcim merger and including the 55% Alliance Boots Sale and Novartis’ acquisition of the oncology business from GaxoSmithKline. We counted a further 50 deals between CHF 100 million and up to one billion, without including any transaction of a Swiss based private equity firms outside Switzerland.