UAE leads M&A activity in Middle East

UAE led the merger and acquisition (M&A) market in the Middle East during February, taking 46 per cent of the total value of deals despite a sharp decline in regional M&A market.

Nine transactions worth a total of $646 million (Dh2.3 billion) were recorded last month, representing a month-on-month decline of 68 per cent by value compared with M&A deals in January 2010.

In monetary terms the year-on-year comparison was more favourable, though it showed a 29 per cent fall in the value of deals targeting the Middle East from $910m in February 2009.

The value of deals in the UAE reached $300m in February, a sharp increase compared with $1m during the previous month and $54m during February 2009. The UAE's result was more than five times the $54m recorded in February 2009, but it is worth noting that the region's one transaction involved multiple deal targets and must account for the value of Enya Holdings of the Netherlands as well as Dubai's Comit Resources, according to Zephyr report on Middle East M&A market, which was released by Bureau van Dijk yesterday.

Volumes of M&A deals in the Middle East also fell 64 per cent from 25 transactions in January 2010 to reach the lowest valued recorded in the past 12 month.

Saudi Arabia was the leading country by deal volume in February – with its three transactions making up a third of the nine deals recorded in the period.

It overtook Kuwait, which had been the target of the most deals in February 2009.

According to the Zephyr report on Middle East, the largest year-on-year growth by value was for Kuwait, with a total of $89m for its one deal – compared to no value recorded for five deals in February 2009.

 

 

Acquisitions

 

UK-registered metals miner Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation agreed to buy Dubai-based copper and cobalt wholesaler Comit Resources, as well as Amsterdam-based metal smelting holding company services provider Enya Holdings, for $300 million (Dh1.1 billion).

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