On the 8th October 2012, a list of over 120 firms will be released by Mergermarket from which the winners of this year’s European awards, which include categories for the Middle East & North Africa region, will be selected. The shortlist for each of the 46 categories will feature the top firms in each market, and is determined by comprehensive analysis of Q4 2011 – Q3 2012 deal data from the Mergermarket database.
This selection process is unique in the industry and ensures that firms only feature on the shortlist if they have been consistently involved in M&A transactions during the period in review.
Once the shortlist has been released, submissions are collected from each named firm and presented to a panel of industry judges who confidentially vote on a winner for each category. Submissions must be received by 26th October 2012.
In 2011, Goldman Sachs was awarded Middle East Financial Adviser of the Year, beating the previous year’s winners HSBC to the accolade. Linklaters was awarded the Middle East Legal Adviser title for the second year running.
“A challenging dealmaking environment is becoming a perennial backdrop to the M&A Awards,” says Giovanni Amodeo, global editor in chief at Mergermarket, ”but the comprehensive and impartial way in which we identify a shortlist for these awards means that whatever the state of the market, the top firms get to present themselves to the judging panel.”
The latest Mergermarket data suggests that the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries remain the most stable in the Middle East & North Africa region for dealmaking. As such, there is an expectation that sectors, such as retail and financial services, could see increased M&A activity throughout the remainder of the year. The largest transaction in the region to date this year is Orascom’s EUR2.49bn sale of its Egyptian mobile unit to France Telecom.
For the first time, Mergermarket and the Financial Times will also award an in-house M&A team with a “corporate acquirer of the year” prize, recognising the role of a strategic investor in this year’s M&A market. “Best European boutique financial adviser” is another new addition, and will be awarded for advisory mandates of an independent corporate finance house. Finally, “IPO of the year” will recognise a successful public listing done amidst volatile equity markets.
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