International Corporate / M&A - Malaysia

International Corporate / M&A - Malaysia

Published May 2023


Sheba Gumis

Country: Malaysia

Practice Area: M&A

  • Level 8, Wisma UOA Damansara,
    50 Jalan Dungun, Damansara Heights,

Guide Content

Skrine is one of the largest law firms in Malaysia with a vast exposure in a wide range of legal matters due to its nearly 60 years of experience in the legal industry. Skrine is a full service legal firm delivering practical and effective legal solutions to a large cross-section of the business community. It has three divisions, namely Corporate, Dispute Resolution and Intellectual Property which means that we are able to bring together a team of specialists from different practice areas to provide comprehensive yet practical legal solutions. 

We are uniquely qualified to support our clients in its provision for legal work:
• We have deep corporate M&A and Capital Markets experience backed by a proved track record of high performance with regional and global companies.
• We have served clients operating at all levels in a wide selection of topics related to the industry.
• We have extensive experience in managing highly complex projects for various
multinational companies.
• We are one of the largest law firms in Malaysia and are able to call upon lawyers of
different expertise should the need arise.

Further, our Lex Mundi and Pacific Rim Advisory Council affiliation ensures that we are not only a Malaysian firm but are able to collaborate and work with firms from various countries if there is a multi-jurisdictional transaction requiring advice from different jurisdictions.

Malaysian corporate legislation is unique in the sense that it is a mix of statute (predominantly the Companies Act 2016) supplemented by common law. There is also various legislation governing different industries in Malaysia.

Interpretation of the law in Malaysia involves reading both the provisions of statute together with caselaw from the Malaysian courts. It is interesting to note that the Malaysian courts consist of civil courts and Syariah courts. The Syariah courts decide questions of Islamic law and custom whereas the civil courts decide on other matters, including on questions of corporate law. There are also two different High Courts in Malaysia, the High Court of Malaya and the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak, which hears cases depending on where the cause of action arises (i.e. if a matter arises in the state of Sarawak, it is heard in the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak). 

Malaysian regulators rely on policies and guidelines in addition to statute to implement and regulate legislation. Some of the policies and guidelines may not necessarily be made available to the public. 

Our Corporate practice is broad-based and reflects the diversity of our clients as well as the business and industry they represent. Skrine has extensive experience in both domestic and cross-border transactions. 

Skrine has acted and advised on all forms of corporate structures for the transfer of business whether it be in the context of M & A, joint ventures or other special purpose vehicles. We represent private firms and individuals, listed companies, multinational corporations and government-linked corporations in a broad spectrum of sectors. Our work has been consistently recognised through our ranking at the top of Asian and Global M & A league tables. 

We believe our clients come to us because of our abilities and qualities set out in Question 1.

Covid-19 caused a slowdown in M&A deals in early 2020 due to the uncertainty of the pandemic. However, towards the end of 2020, M&A deals resumed with a vengeance resulting in unprecedented M&A deal volume in 2021.

M&A deal activity has stabilised and has currently resumed to pre-pandemic levels.

We note that the retail, healthcare, fintech areas have seen a lot of deal activity due to the way COVID-19 has impacted our lives. Additionally, the global emphasis on ESG has seen the renewable energy space becoming more active.

Our affiliations with Lex Mundi and the Pacific Rim Advisory Council, two leading international legal networks, allow us to serve the needs of clients expanding abroad or engaged in cross-border matters by tapping into the best law practices and resources available internationally and leveraging our existing strengths. We are able to collaborate and work with firms from various countries if there is a multi-jurisdictional transaction requiring advice from different jurisdictions.

Additionally, we are active members in the International Bar Association. We regularly attend conferences and networking events held by Lex Mundi, Pacific Rim Advisory Council and the International Bar Association.

A merger control regime is expected to be implemented in Quarter 2024. A consultative document has been issued by the Malaysian Competition Commission (“MYCC”) and proposes mandatory notifications to MYCC where the prescribed threshold has been exceeded and voluntary notification to MYCC where the prescribed threshold has not been exceeded. When the merger control regime comes into effect, investors will need to consider whether their proposed mergers will require notifications will to the MYCC.

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