“The Middle East has seen a very robust year in terms of both inbound and outbound M&A activity,” said Tom Thraya, UAE Head of Corporate/M&A for Baker&McKenzie Habib Al Mulla.”The increasing trend looks set to continue in 2015, with stable markets such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia remaining attractive to international investors. Factors such as the UAE’s increasing importance as a business hub for the Middle East and Africa, and the opening up of Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange for foreign investors in 2015, are fueling optimism for a further acceleration of M&A activity in the region.”
Data from Thomson Reuters reveals that as of 14 December 2014, the total value of Middle Eastinbound M&A activity has already surpassed 2013, increasing by 53 percent to reach USD9.5 billion. In terms of deal value, inbound acquisitions were driven by the US (49.8 percent), followed by China (10.3 percent) and Switzerland (7.1 percent). The US had the most number of transactions with 43 deals, followed by India and China, both with 8 deals.