MENA records M&A worth $58bn till September 2020

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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MENA Region
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During the first nine months of 2020, the value of reported mergers and acquisitions (M&A) with any MENA involvement reached $58 billion, marking the third highest year-to-date total of all-time, reveals the global data provider Refinitiv.

However, the valuation is down 52 percent from the record high achieved last year when Saudi Aramco’s entered a deal worth $69.1 billion to acquire a stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp.

According to Refinitiv, during the third quarter of 2020, $6.3 billion worth of deals were announced which was boosted by two mega deals including the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia’s acquisition of Samba Financial Group for $15.6 billion and a group of investors agreeing to purchase ADNOC gas pipeline assets from the UAE for $10.1 billion. However, this number is down 82 percent compared to the previous quarter.

Domestic M&A posted a 71 percent decline from last year to $25.2 billion, again thanks to the Aramco-SABIC deal, despite scoring the second highest first nine-month total of all-time.

Inbound M&A, which involves payments made by a foreign acquirer to a domestic shareholder, rose 36 percent to an all time high of $22.5 billion. Meanwhile outbound M&A, in which a domestic acquirer makes payment to a foreign shareholder, declined 47 percent to $5 billion.

The financial sector was most active, with deals targeting financial firms accounting for 40 percent of the region’s total M&A in the first nine months of 2020. This is followed by 21 percent in energy & power sector, Refinitiv noted.

The most targeted nation was Saudi Arabia and was followed by the UAE and Egypt.

During the first nine months of 2020, Morgan Stanley topped the any MENA M&A financial advisor league table with a market share of 45 percent.