May 11, 2010 / 7:54 AM / 9 years ago

M&A action seen up 25 percent on Asia, U.S.: Blackstone

LONDON (Reuters) - Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity should rise by about a quarter this year on the back of robust deal-making in Asia and North America, the head of advisory at buyout firm Blackstone Group (BX.N) said on Tuesday.

“It’s going to become a market dominated by Asia, the Mideast and North America in the short term. Europe will be very quiet this year,” John Studzinski told Reuters Insider.

In Asia, there remains strong interest from China and India for deals into emerging markets, while U.S. firms were more focused after the economic crisis, he said.

“The M&A market is robust in North America. For the first time in about 40 years the 100 largest companies are very cash rich and have low debt,” Studzinski said. “They are very focused on what they do after pausing for the last few years, so their M&A ambitions are very specific and very targeted. They are taking their time but doing interesting deals.”

“The issues in Europe make it a less attractive place right now for M&A,” he said, adding that France and Germany could be more active than elsewhere due to their large industrial complexes.

Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Louise Heavens

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