PwC New Zealand M&A Quarterly Update

For the First Quarter of 2024

Welcome to the latest PwC New Zealand M&A Quarterly Update. 

In this edition, we investigate M&A activity in New Zealand for January to March 2024.  

We also discuss the growing number of succession-related deals, and M&A trends in the healthcare sector.

PwC has been the number one mid-market M&A advisor in New Zealand for the last 18 years

Eikon Refinitiv League Tables, rank by number of deals

Deal activity

Deal activity reduced in Q1 2024 with 26 deals announced, coinciding with softening economic conditions. Looking forward, buyer and investor enquiries remain positive despite the numbers for this last quarter (which we believe are largely retrospective).

The data reveals:

Trade investors accounted for 92% of total deals (24 deals) up from 75% (39 deals) in Q4.

58% of deals in Q1 (15 deals) involved domestic buyers, compared to 46% (23 deals) in Q4.

Financial services emerged as the most active sector, accounting for 35% of deal activity (9 deals), followed by Telecommunications, Media and Technology (TMT) at 19% (5 deals).

Number of deals per quarter 2021 to 2024

In Q1 2024 26 deals were announced

Number of deals by sector and buyer type

Number of deals by country and buyer type

The data has been filtered to exclude: (i) real estate transactions; (ii) early stage venture capital transactions where size is stated or estimated to be less than $1.5m; (iii) transactions announced but yet to complete; (iv) other transactions where applicable. 

Sources: Mergermarket, CapitalIQ, Eikon (3 April 2024)

Landing succession: how to get it right

Watch Regan Hoult, Partner talk about the succession wave and what founders can do to get the best outcomes for their business.

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M&A Regan Haoult

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Business owners seeking succession is a concept which has been cycled and recycled several times over the last 10-15 years.  It was originally envisaged that babyboomers with businesses would ultimately seek to retire in their 60’s driving a wave of M&A activity. 

In simple terms, succession is typically underpinned by the need for replacement capital and potentially refreshed strategic direction and drive.  It can include a change in management if the owners are still actively involved in the business.    

While the term succession is commonly understood, the situations it applies to are all unique.   Of the 151 NZ deals announced in the last 12 months and of the sample of the transactions that we are familiar with, we estimate that  more than 50% would have a succession element of some form.

Behind the data, recent experience has indicated an uptick in succession related discussions and activity.  Owners are approaching us much later in life engaging either preemptively or in response to life events.  Typical discussion topics can include:

  • Desire to step back but not exit entirely

  • I want / need to sell, but the business is still heavily reliant on me

  • Changing risk tolerance with age, which is arguably holding the company back from reaching its full potential;

  • Multi-generational family businesses (actual or planned) where the next generation do not want to be involved.

We have extensive commercial advisory experience and are well placed to advise around both succession planning and transactional matters. Selected relevant PwC transaction examples include Holyoake Industries, Access-It Software, Prolife Foods and Caci Clinics.  

From experience, succession is a confronting topic for business owners.  Redefining the owner-business relationship often creates a sense of uncertainty.  Consequently, planning can get “kicked down the road” for sometime.

Having advised several clients and guided them through succession processes, whether it involves a transaction process or not, key factors to consider include:

  • Ask for help to clarify your shareholder vs business objectives, including risk appetite

  • Fully consider all succession options, which are often significantly more flexible than first envisaged - our clients frequently provide us with this feedback

  • Commence advisory discussions early - generally there is no cost to having a preliminary conversation to get the dialogue started

  • Clearly distinguish between your roles and responsibilities as an executive, board member and shareholder (as is applicable) - when and how is that likely to change?

  • Consider the needs of other stakeholders, which can vary (e.g. employees, other family members, key customers / suppliers) 

  • Identify logical buyers and/or investors and the different capital pools available (e.g. private equity are generally well placed to assist with succession)

  • Gain an informed understanding of comparable transactions to identify industry valuation parameters / benchmarks 

  • Review shareholder value under different hypothetical transaction scenarios including the pros and cons of each (e.g. full sale, partial sale (majority or minority), capital raise, partnering, JVs, debt financing)

  • Incorporate the above points into an advisory led strategic review to fully inform decision making

Even the most successful private/family businesses can struggle with the above points.  Prioritising succession discussions can be challenging, but if undertaken correctly they can assist with shareholder value creation and making decisions at the right time and right place!

Read more: FAQs: Tested solutions to common challenges facing family businesses (Source: PwC Australia)


By Regan Hoult, PwC New Zealand Partner

Healthcare sector M&A: how’s 2024 shaping up?

While deal activity in the healthcare sector was relatively subdued during 2023, we believe the outlook for 2024 is strong. In this article, we explore recent deal activity and the key factors driving M&A.

Watch Gareth Galloway, Partner, discuss the latest M&A trends in healthcare and why 2024 is looking like it will be a busy year for the sector.

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M&A Q1 Gareth Galloway

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PwC New Zealand advised on a number of healthcare deals throughout the last year, with strong bolt-on activity seen across the sector. Buy-out activity was softer, due to the lower supply of large, quality assets and the impact of higher interest rates on pricing. 

Recent deals include the sale of 51% of Mobile Health Group (Mobile Surgical Services and Mobile Medical Technologies) to Healthcare Holdings Limited, the sale of 50% of Forté Health to Healthcare Holdings Limited, and the acquisition of certain assets from Electra Limited (trading as Securely), by St John. 

PwC carried out financial due diligence on the acquisition of Access Community Health by Anchorage, the acquisition of ABI Rehabilitation by Evolution Healthcare, and the acquisition of Absolute Radiology by Canopy Healthcare. Notable deals were also recently seen across the primary healthcare subsector, including the acquisition of Better Health by Tend (February 2024).

Healthcare deals in 2023 were typically smaller than seen during the 2021 peak, with deal supply (particularly for larger assets) relatively thin. However, the supply of assets remains resilient, with processes for larger assets expected to commence as the market picks up in 2024. Investors were also more cautious when approaching acquisitions throughout 2023, with lengthened due diligence periods.

The factors outlined in this article allow for more confidence in dealmaking, and are predicting a strong M&A outlook for the remainder of 2024. We believe this is a key time to start preparing to bring assets to market, to be ready for the near-term decrease in interest rates and confirmation of the Government budget.

Various factors are leading to increased activity in the sector including:

  • Strong sector tailwinds: New Zealand has an increasing population, record net immigration levels (126,000 in 2023), changing demographics (the average age continues to increase) and government initiatives are in place to reduce the patient waiting list from historical highs. These themes underpin continued expenditure on healthcare for the foreseeable future - an attractive prospect for investors.

  • Availability of capital: The number of investment funds with an interest in healthcare remains strong, including significant available capital held by local and Australian private equity (PE) firms. Infrastructure and real estate funds are increasingly specialising in the sector, driving underlying demand for deal flow in both operating companies and related property businesses.

  • Easing workforce issues: The sector has been affected by border restrictions and staff shortages. This restricted capacity across the industry and became a key source of deal uncertainty in 2023, resulting in some deals being paused. Recent pay equity settlements and increased immigration have helped mitigate these challenges in many subsectors, ensuring a more stable workforce.

  • Macroeconomic factors: High rates of inflation (4.0% for the March 2024 year) contributed to higher costs across the sector, dampened consumer demand and impacted consumer spending preferences. While inflation is beginning to moderate, it is still a consideration for buyers when assessing valuations.

  • Change in government: The new Government has a range of health sector challenges to respond to. There are well-documented funding pressures for primary care, aged residential care and home care services, in addition to significant workforce and surgical wait time challenges. A range of organisations will be waiting to understand what new investment will be announced in Budget 2024. However caution has been signalled in the Budget Policy Statement 2024, where a focus on delivering more efficient, effective and responsive public services in order to improve health outcomes was indicated.
  • Focus on technology, research and data analytics: Technology and data analytics have become focus areas. Operational efficiencies from digital innovation are key to mitigating recent cost pressures and potential changes in government funding. Telehealth, health tech and analytics companies continue to be attractive assets. The continued focus on digitising healthcare business models through the implementation of integrated systems and data and analytics capabilities, will allow for more cost effective care, and provide more robust data for potential due diligence processes. Strong interest has also been shown in the clinical research subsector in recent years, particularly by PE funds.



By Gareth Galloway, PwC New Zealand Partner

How PwC can help

PwC New Zealand’s Corporate Finance and M&A team is the largest in New Zealand, with a proven track record across a diverse range of sectors. With a nationwide presence led by 10 partners, we offer a full range of M&A advisory services including divestments, acquisitions, private equity, capital raisings and strategic relationships. 

Our links to the global network of PwC firms provides relationships with key global market participants, and our close relationship with our Australian colleagues ensures a comprehensive understanding of the Australasian marketplace.

Our M&A team has been ranked the number one firm in New Zealand for the amount of M&A deals by Thomson Reuters (now Refinitiv) for the last 18 years.

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Contact us

Rod Harris

Partner, Auckland, PwC New Zealand

+64 22 657 6699


Gareth Galloway

Deals Leader, Auckland, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 983 519


Regan Hoult

Partner, Corporate Finance Leader, Auckland, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 243 2378


Richard Longman

Wellington Managing Partner, Wellington, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 777 780


Wayne Munn

Partner, Canterbury, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 918 289


Craig Armitage

Managing Partner, Te Waipounamu and China Business Group Lead, Canterbury, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 616 232


Chris Croft

Partner, Auckland, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 894 670


Simon Healy

Partner, Deals - Corporate Finance & Infrastructure, Wellington, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 242 6075


Nick McVerry

Partner, Waikato, PwC New Zealand

+64 27 496 8631


Swathi Parikh

Partner, Auckland, PwC New Zealand

+64 20 439 9990


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