x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Emal and Dubal union helps lift merger fees 28%

The value of Middle East and North Africa mergers and acquisitions rose by 30 per cent to US$14.7 billion in the first half of the year, aided by the merger of two UAE aluminium giants Emal and Dubal.

The Emirates Aluminium (EMAL) Phase II Pot Line, which will be the largest in the world when finished at their facility in Kizad in Abu Dhabi. Christopher Pike / The National
The Emirates Aluminium (EMAL) Phase II Pot Line, which will be the largest in the world when finished at their facility in Kizad in Abu Dhabi. Christopher Pike / The National

The value of Middle East and North African mergers and acquisitions rose by 30 per cent to US$14.7 billion in the first half of the year, aided by the merger of two UAE aluminium producers.

The $7.5bn merger of Emirates Aluminium (Emal) and Dubai Aluminium (Dubal), announced last month, helped the regional M&A market to enjoy its best first half since 2008, according to the investment banking analysis released by Thomson Reuters yesterday.

"The UAE was the most active Middle Eastern country, being both the most targeted and the most acquisitive country in the region so far this year," said Russell Haworth, the managing director, Middle East & North Africa at Thomson Reuters. "India was the most popular target for outbound Middle Eastern M&A transactions, while the United States registered the highest value of inbound M&A deals targeting the Middle East."

Fees linked to M&As swelled by 28 per cent during the period to $356.6bn compared with the first half of last year. The rise represented the best first half of the year for fees since 2010.

Completed M&A fees totalled $83.6m, up by 56 per cent from the first half of last year and accounting for 23 per cent of the overall fee pool.

Again, the Emal-Dubal merger was the biggest contributor to the fees' rise. As sole adviser on the deal, Morgan Stanley topped the list of biggest announced fee earners, netting $9.8bn in the Middle East during the period.

Other data also pointed to a rise in activity. Equity issuance by regional companies raised $3.2bn from 12 issues during the first half of the year. Debt issuances reached $26bn, up 40 per cent from the same period last year.

"Investment grade corporate debt totalled $20.8bn," said Mr Haworth. "International Islamic debt issuance reached $16.4bn from 44 issues during the first six months of 2013, an increase of 6 per cent from the same period in 2012."

 

tarnold@thenational.ae