Given that mergers and acquisitions in China can take several forms, how should one structure one's business in the Chinese market?
This would depend on many factors. For example, if a foreign investor already has a reliable business associate in China, the foreign investor may wish to consider entering into a merger with the existing entity. The advantages of a merger with a local counterpart are, among others, ready local knowledge and channels to penetrate the local market and the comfort of having one less competitor in the market while the existing business continues.
In some instances, the foreign investor may worry about the hidden liabilities in the target company. Under these circumstances, the foreign investor may be reluctant to enter into a merger with the target company but wish to purchase only the assets of the target company. Therefore, the foreign investor may form a separate entity and thereafter acquire the assets of the local company through the newly formed entity. An asset deal enables the foreign investor to acquire only the viable assets without having to take over the accumulated debts and liabilities of the local entity.