DLA Piper hires M&A partner in Bangkok

The firm expects activity across energy, insurance, and securities to drive domestic M&A dealflow this year.
Thananan Sangnuan
Thananan Sangnuan

DLA Piper has announced the appointment of Thananan Sangnuan as a partner in its Corporate practice in Bangkok.

Sangnuan’s appointment is effective March 1 and grows the firm’s Thai Corporate capability to two partners and 7 additional supporting staff, a spokesperson for DLA Piper confirmed with FinanceAsia.

The larger team size will allow the firm to address opportunity to advise on deals across energy, insurance, and securities – sectors which Sangnuan views as driving M&A in 2023.

“Energy companies will continue to grow their businesses into other sectors as well as outbound expansion beyond Thailand, a trend that has been picking up impetus over the last few years; while for the insurance and securities businesses, advantages gained from consolidation include economies of scale, synergies, increased market share, greater competitiveness, and diversification of risk,” she told FA.

Sangnuan noted an abundance of targets of all sizes for investors active in the domestic market, and she pointed to opportunities within Thailand’s burgeoning startup ecosystem, which spans a diverse range of sectors, from fintech, to hospitality, retail, edtech and agri-tech.

“In addition to its internal market of 70 million people, Thailand has the advantage of having excellent communications, a stable economy, a developed legal and regulatory regime, advanced technological infrastructure, abundant skilled and semi-skilled labour, lower overheads than competing economies, and pleasant living conditions. I see this development continuing and Thailand becoming a Southeast Asia hub for startups,” she said.

Sangnuan was most recently a partner Baker McKenzie, focussed on the financial services sector. She has over 20 years’ experience across M&A, asset management, corporate and debt restructuring, joint ventures, private equity, and capital markets transactions.

Global investors looking at Thailand include 500 Tuk Tuks, the domestic branch of US venture capital firm (VC), 500 Startups; and Temasek subsidiary Fullerton, which last year raised a $100 million Thailand-specific private equity vehicle. Singapore’s Dymon Asia Private Equity also stated plans to ramp up its Thai presence, last year.

Additionally, Thailand’s VC ecosystem is awash with corporate venture capital (CVC) arms of the country’s largest conglomerates, including Bangkok Bank’s Bualuang Ventures and Muang Thai Group’s Fuchsia VC.

Notable local market M&A deals that have involved DLA Piper include Ratch Group’s THB6 billion ($180 million) acquisition of a 51% stake in Sahacogen (Chonburi); and Belgium snack manufacturer, Lotus Bakeries’ acquisition of land for construction of a new production site in Chonburi Province.

The firm will continue to develop its M&A practice across Asia, particularly in ASEAN, as part of a long-term strategy, the release said.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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