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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 February 2019

Mena merger volumes surge 69% in 2018 with UAE leading

UAE accounted for $10.4bn of M&A deals last year, according to Mergermarket

The value of merger and acquisition deals in the Middle East and North Africa surged 69 per cent in 2018 from the previous year led by the UAE, new figures show.

The value of deals increased to $26.7 billion last year, driven by deal-making in the UAE, which more than doubled to $10.4bn in 2018, according to data intelligence company Mergermarket. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company played an important role with seven energy related accords during the year totalling $6.2bn.

Increased deals in Saudi Arabia and North Africa also helped raise M&A volumes. The increase was not only related to value of deals, but also their number – which jumped to 148 deals from 133 in 2017.

“Mena M&A had a bumper year, particularly in the first half, although the second half was somewhat muted by macro factors,” said Elaine Green, editor of Mergermarket’s Emea bureau. “Nonetheless, 2019 is expected to see continued pickup in M&A, with deals that have been waiting in the wings coming to fruition.”

Energy will continue to be an active market for M&A in 2019, she added, although there is likely to be diversification away from pure oil and gas towards renewables.

The number of cross-border Mena mergers and acquisitions stood at 77 deals totalling $14.2bn, the highest volume of inbound deals on record. This type of M&A deal made up the bulk of total 2018 regional M&As, the research showed.

Domestic M&A deals totalled $12.5bn, which was considerably higher than $8.7bn in 2017 but the total deal count was marginally lower. Two sizeable deals in Saudi Arabia drove the increase – the $4.7bn tie-up between lenders Saudi British Bank and Alawwal Bank and acquisition of Sahara Petrochemical by Saudi International Petrochemical for $2bn.

Updated: February 4, 2019 02:07 PM

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