Over eight deals, the cumulative value was just $287m – the lowest total for domestic transactions since 2006.
“Corporates would like to become stronger regional players and are looking to acquire regional assets,” according to mergermarket intelligence.
The largest of the 2013 deals was a $2bn merger whereby listed Abu Dhabi Aldar Properties (54.7% stake) joined forces with Sorouh Real Estate (45.3% stake) to create the largest real estate company in the Middle East and North Africa with a market cap of Dhs10.9bn.
Cross-border M&A in the United Arab Emirates during 2012 experienced a turnaround for inbound deals with 22 transactions totalling $3.7bn being the highest level of investment into the area via M&A since 2008. This was also 185% higher than 2011 ($1.3bn) and took up 77.1% of the total market share where a UAE state was target.
Highest deal values for inbound investment came primarily from neighbouring Middle Eastern countries ($2.5bn). According to mergermarket intelligence via a Qatari source, “Qatar will continue to lead acquisition activity in the Middle East with some USD 100bn of projects planned.” For deal volume, Europe took the lead with 10 deals worth $827m.
Energy, mining and utilities continues to be the most attractive sector for European countries investing into the UAE with deals worth $774m. However, business services made a re-entry for the first time since 2008 and topped the charts for deal volume (three deals) into the region.
Deal making with Europe was also apparent with outbound deals being the most active for deal volume over 11 deals worth $1.7bn. Eurozone woes hindered the amount of countries UAE states made deals with though – in 2012 the least amount of European countries were targeted by the UAE states on mergermarket record.
Instead, only the UK and Germany, both considered safe bets in M&A during uncertainties, were chosen to link the regions’ energy, mining and utilities and business services sectors.
Saturday, February 2- 2013 @ 10:04 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.