Getting on the Right Side of the Delta: A Deal-maker’s Guide to Growth Economies

For many companies doing a deal is the best – or only – way of tapping into growth markets, largely because it is faster than going-it-alone. But deals in growth markets remain incredibly challenging. Our research suggests that over 50% of deals that enter detailed external due diligence in growth markets fail to complete. We believe this is materially higher than in developed markets.

Video: Watch introduction and topic summaries

Overview Overview
Integrity due diligence Integrity due diligence
The people challenge The people challenge
Valuations Valuations
Foreign exchange & treasury Foreign exchange & treasury

Watch John Dwyer & Alastair Rimmer discuss the key findings from the study with Chris Hemmings.

Integrity due diligence 
Mark Anderson, a Partner in Forensic Services, discusses how businesses should develop a plan to mitigate integrity and & financial crime risk

The people challenge 
There are many people challenges when it comes to doing deals in growth economies. Ann Elliot a Director in Human Resource Services, outlines what key things businesses need to consider

Simon Harris, a Director in Valuations, discusses how valuation sits at the heart of any deal, especially in growth economies where there my be more uncertainty

Foreign exchange & treasury 
Foreign exchange volatility can have implications in certain deal situations, Carl Sharman a Director in Treasury Consulting discusses how

Deal pitfalls by territory

Justifying valuations is the promary cause of failed deals in growth economies

Explore deal pitfalls by territory via our heatmap

Deal pitfalls by territory


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For this study, PwC carried out an assessment of over 200 deals, and interviewed 20 senior deal makers who have bought businesses in growth markets to understand the root causes of problems, and how they overcame the challenges encountered.

While there are plenty of examples of successful deals in growth markets, that the deal makers we interviewed acknowledged that deals in growth markets are inherently riskier. There is a much bigger deviation, or range, of potential outcomes. We refer to this range as the delta, and in growth economies, the delta between a good deal and a bad one is much bigger. If things go well, investors stand to make a lot of money. But if things go badly, investors can lose significantly.

Growth markets are different, which is why our strongest recommendation is to build the local machinery needed to get a deal done well in advance of executing the first deal. This and other recommendations resulting will help companies to avoid doing bad deals, to successfully complete on good deals, and to make sure a good deal doesn’t turn bad after the deal trophy is on the shelf.