UAE dominates region's M&A market- report

Domestic mergers and acquisitions deals account for 45.7% of total number of deals in the Middle East

M&A deals will pick up pace in 2015.
M&A deals will pick up pace in 2015.

Domestic mergers and acquisitions deals in the U.A.E. account for 45.7% of the total number of M&A deals in the Middle East, making it the leading country in the region, a recent analysis by EY (formerly knowns as Ernst&Young) has found.

According to the analysis, as many as 50 acquisitions targeting UAE based companies were announced last year.

As an acquirer, the UAE accounted for 53 deals or 23% of announced deals in the region, while in value terms the country led the region with 46.4% of deals worth $7.19bn.

“The UAE dominated as the target country with the largest number and value of inbound mergers and acquisitions deals in Mena which points to the strong confidence of international investors in the UAE,” said Anil Menon, Mena M & A and IPO Leader at EY.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar will be at the forefront of the MENA M&A market followed by Kuwait, which attracted major investment interest last year.

“Saudi Arabia will see a number of local family businesses looking to reconfigure their investments to focus more on their core businesses,” said Menon.

Egypt's renewed investment activities are set to continue in 2015. The North African country made a strong comeback in M&A deals last year as the it witnessed return of investments from international companies that were willing to bet on the long term future of Egypt. 

Mergers and acquisitions deals rose by 6% in 2014 to 468 deals from 442 deals in 2013 on the back of strong market fundamentals.

However, total value of deals fell 11% from $50.7bn in 2013 to $44.9bn in 2014.

EY predicts that M&A deals will pick up pace in 2015 with Q4 deals seen as indicative of the region's overall M&A activities.

The last quarter of 2014 ended the year strongly with 150 deals valued at $16.2bn -  the highest value and number of announced deals in 2014.

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