Blockbuster acquisitions of United States assets by Chinese and Japanese companies in January made it the busiest start to the year for Asia’s dealmakers on record, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Mergers and acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific region rose 60 percent to US$67.2 billion from a year earlier. The value of acquisitions by Asian firms in other regions more than tripled to US$24.8 billion, the report said, citing Dealogic. These included Suntory Holdings Ltd.’s US$13.6 billion all-cash deal to acquire Beam Inc., the second largest maker of American whiskey and owner of Jim Beam. Also in January, China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. sealed two multibillion-dollar deals in a week, buying International Business Machines Corp.’s low-end server business for US$2.3 billion in cash and stock and Google Inc.’s handset business for US$2.91 billion. Last week, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. bought a controlling interest in South Africa’s Standard Bank Group Ltd.’s global markets business for US$765 million, the report said.
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