| 7 October 2022, Friday |

Mergers and acquisition deals in Mena jump 57% in 2021

Last year, the value of mergers and acquisitions in the Middle East and North Africa increased by 57% to $109.1 billion as the region’s businesses recovered from the coronavirus epidemic.

According to a recent Refinitiv report, the total number of transactions increased by 40% year on year to 1,141, the highest yearly total since 1980.

“Aramco Gas Pipelines Company in a deal worth $15.5 billion lease and leaseback arrangement for its gas pipeline network was the largest M&A deal in the Mena area of 2021,” according to the study.

The Aramco transaction featured a consortium of firms led by BlackRock Real Assets and state-backed Hassana Investment Company. Aramco Gas Pipelines Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil exporter.

Inbound mergers and acquisitions increased by 88% to $45.4 billion, while outbound agreements increased by 198% to $30.2 billion, a six-year high. According to the statistics, Saudi Arabia was the most targeted country, with total agreements worth $27.3 billion, while energy and power was the most active industry, with deals worth $38.8 billion.

“2021 was the first year M&A with any Mena involvement reached 1,000 agreements, reflecting increased optimism in the area,” said Saiem Jalil, Refinitiv’s deals intelligence analyst.

“Strong recovery in company performance during 2021 exhibited a comeback for capital markets driving momentum, with ECM (equity capital markets) receipts increasing 193% to $14.5 billion and investment-grade corporate debt at record levels with $66 billion in proceeds.”

The largest equity offering of the year was Saudi Telecom’s $3.2 billion follow-on sale after the Public Investment Fund sold 6% of its interest. The most active country was Saudi Arabia, which received $8.9 billion in total revenues, followed by the UAE, which received $4.3 billion.

According to Refinitiv, investment banking fees in the Mena area climbed 3% throughout the period, reaching $1.4 billion in 2021.

Gulf economies expanded by 2.3 percent in 2021 as a result of rising oil prices and fiscal stimulus measures, following a 4.9 percent drop the previous year when the pandemic began, according to a recent analysis from Dubai’s largest lender by assets. This year, the nations are expected to increase by 5.1% on average.

  • The National News