How M&A debt doping could hurt China’s banks

Chinese firms are taking out more debt on sometimes already leveraged balance sheets to support M&A even as Chinese banks see bad debts mount. What could possibly go wrong?

How long before the first major default of a Chinese corporate or of one of their expensively assembled acquisitions

Those questions must linger unpleasantly in the minds of bankers as a succession of mainland Chinese companies come to market with debt-reliant MA bids for international companies.

The latest was Zoomlion, which on Wednesday confirmed that in January it had made a $3.3 billion tilt at US crane maker Terex, in an unsolicited effort to muscle in on the company’s merger discussions with Konecranes of Finland. Zoomlion said it would use bank debt to fund 60% of its proposed bid, which values Terex at $30 a share...

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