After stunning the world with a record $246 billion of announced outbound takeovers in 2016, Chinese dealmakers are now struggling to cope with tighter capital controls and increasingly wary counterparties. Cross-border purchases plunged 67% during the first four months of this year, the biggest drop for a comparable period since the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Analysts see few signs of a rebound as Chinese regulators make it difficult for acquirers to move money overseas. Foreign sellers have also thrown up new hurdles after getting spooked by a string of canceled deals. Some are forcing suitors to pay unusually large penalties if offers fall through, while others are shunning Chinese bids in favor of lower-priced offers from elsewhere.
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