Middle East M&A deals decline 71.8% in Q1 2015

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Middle East M&A deals decline 71.8% in Q1 2015


The Middle East has had a slow start to 2015, with nine Q1 deals in the region worth US$1.8bn, a 71.8% decrease in deal value on Q4 of last year and the lowest deal count since Q4 2011. The highest valued transaction of the quarter was the US$ 1.5bn demerger of Orascom Construction to OCI NV shareholders, which made Construction the highest performing sector. Qatar was the most active outbound investor in Q1 2015, with two deals worth US$ 1.9bn, representing 46.4% of overall market share. In terms of outbound M&A activity, Qatar is the only country to overtake the UAE to in Q1 deal value since 2008, highlighting its emergence as an active overseas investor.

Mergermarket, the mergers and acquisitions intelligence and news service provider, has announced its Middle Eastern M&A and Private Equity Forum, to take place at Dubai International Financial Centre on Monday 4th May. Expert speakers and panellists from across the region will review the MENA M&A market and provide forward looking discussion on key trends and deal drivers likely to be seen in the region over the next year.

Phil Gandier, MENA Transaction Advisory Services Leader, EY, commented:

“The Middle East capital markets performed very well in 2014 despite the oil price volatility. We expect deal flow to continue its growth trajectory in 2015 at a normalized year on year growth rate of up to 10%. The pipeline for new deals looks very robust and we expect to see growth in both deal volumes and deal values in 2015. Egypt is particularly leading that, which is a vote of confidence in the country’s political stability.” 

Discussion topics at the Forum will include regional deal outlook, private equity trends, Middle Eastern IPOs, cross border deals and spotlights on the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The Forum will be attended by senior-level executives, leading corporate development and M&A teams, private equity professionals, business owners, investment bankers, financial advisors, lawyers and transaction services professionals. 

Tom Thraya, Head of Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla’s UAE Corporate/M&A Group, said:

“2014 was a strong year for cross-border M&A activity in the Middle East and the signs are already very positive that 2015 will be even more robust. We are seeing great interest in the region from international private equity players, particularly in the retail, hospitality and education sectors, and despite the drop in oil prices, stable markets such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia are experiencing significant M&A activity, both inbound and outbound.” 

Matthew Robinson, Events Director of Mergermarket, commented:

“With deal-flow in the region growing steadily in recent years, we’re looking forward to expert discussion on upcoming trends for 2015 and beyond. We have secured a series of top class panellists and speakers, from companies including Etisalat, SHUAA, EY and Baker & McKenzie, with each session promising lively and interesting dialogue. It’s a great pleasure to be holding our fourth Middle Eastern Forum in Dubai, and we look forward to welcoming delegates from across the region.”

The Middle Eastern M&A and Private Equity Forum will take place at the Ritz Carlton DIFC, Dubai, on Monday 4th May 2015. Mergermarket’s lead strategic partners are EY and Baker & McKenzie, in addition to strategic partners Standard Bank, iDeals, Kroll, and Instinctif Partners.

Photo-Jules Law/Flickr

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