2021 has been a big year for Korean M&AsCorporate mergers and acquisitions (M&As) by big Korean firms rose sharply in the first nine months of this year as they revved up efforts to find new growth engines, data showed Wednesday.
The country's top 500 companies spent a combined 28.8 trillion won ($24.4 billion) on M&As in the January-September period, more than double last year's spending of 12.6 trillion won, according to the data from corporate tracker CEO Score.
The number of M&A cases came to 126 in the nine-month period, up 31.3 percent from last year's 96 cases. A total of 29 cases were worth 100 billion won or more this year, compared with 21 last year.
The biggest deal is SK hynix's acquisition of Intel's NAND business worth 10.3 trillion won, which is awaiting China's regulatory approval. The deal has already received the green light from the United States, Korea, Europe, Taiwan, Brazil, Britain and Singapore.
Top discount retailer E-Mart's takeover of eBay Korea came next with 3.6 trillion won, followed by game developer Netmarble's purchase of Hong-Kong based social casino game company SpinX Games with 2.6 trillion won and top air carrier Korean Air Lines' acquisition of smaller rival Asiana Airlines with 1.8 trillion won.
Tech behemoth Kakao recorded the largest number of M&As, with 23 cases this year, trailed by construction company SK Ecoplant with 10 and Netmarble with six.
The data also showed the top 500 firms have spent more than 53 trillion won to acquire or merge with 346 companies over the last three years.