UAE leads merger and acquisition activity

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Image courtesy:Olaf Dziallas
Dubai Marina. Image courtesy:Olaf Dziallas

The domestic merger and acquisitions market in UAE remained the most active in MENA region during the first quarter of 2013.

The Ernst & Young’s MENA Mergers & Acquisitions update reveals that a total of 11 deals worth USD 2.2 billion were concluded in the UAE. These deals account for an estimated 54 percent of the total agreements reached in the region. The UAE was followed by Qatar, where 21 percent of the deals worth USD 880.4 million were signed. Seven acquisitions were also reported each in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

During the first quarter of 2013, the total value of disclosed mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the MENA region was reported to be USD 14.6 billion. This was a 100 percent jump compared to the same period last year, when deals worth USD 7.3 billion were signed in the region. However, the total number of deals decreased slightly by 3 percent from 101 to 98 during the same period.

According to Phil Gandier, MENA Head of Transaction Advisory Services at Ernst & Young Mena, “this increase can be attributed to growing investor confidence, improvement in the access to credit, relatively better convergence in pricing between investors and sellers and a hint of improved macro economic conditions. This is especially true of the markets and the sectors that saw the most deal activity -a trend that we expect to continue.”

The top 10 deals were valued at USD 12.1 billion, making up about 83 percent of the value of disclosed deals. The biggest deal, worth USD 6.4 billion, was the acquisition of Orascom Telecom Holding SAE in Egypt by Baskindale Limited in Cyprus. The banking & capital markets, professional firms & services and oil & gas remained the most active sectors for merger and acquisition activity.

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