Low confidence causes fall in M&A activity

The volume and value of mergers and acquisitions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region fell in the third quarter compared with the same period in 2015.

There were 74 deals worth a total of $5 billion in the three months ending September 30, according to consultancy EY. In the same quarter in 2015, there were 98 deals worth a collective $6 billion, said the firm.

“The key driver behind this is lower CEO confidence, given the macro-uncertainties in the MENA region,” said Phil Gandier, MENA transaction advisory services leader at the consultancy.

The largest single deal in the quarter was the $900 million acquisition of Media.net, an advertising firm based in Dubai and New York, by Investor Group from China.

EY said economic conditions in the region were likely to improve and anticipated “some large ongoing deals announcing completion [in the fourth quarter]”.

The firm also predicted that government reforms and a likely rebound in the oil price would give rise to more deal activity in 2017.

©2016 funds global mena

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