Chinese companies are on a buying binge, snapping up $42 billion worth of foreign assets in the first 6 months of 2008. That's a 500% increase over the previous year, and equal to the combined value of takeovers from 2000 to 2006, reports DealBook in the New York Times. And, where Chinese companies once shied away from hostile takeovers, that appears to no longer be the case.
The bulk of deals by Chinese companies have been with commodity firms; last week, state-run steelmaker Sinosteel completed a hostile bid for Midwest, an Australian iron ore producer. Increasingly, the Chinese are turning to US investment banks for help, but have also become more adept at using political clout—and China’s deep pockets—to close deals.