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Top 5 M&A deals in Middle East 2016

Which were the biggest deals in the MENA region in 2016?


Middle East (excl. Israel) M&A activity recorded 75 deals worth US$29.9bn in 2016, jumping 2.3x by value compared to 2015 (71 deals, US$13.1bn), yet recording the second lowest annual deal count since 2011 (US$ 6.1bn, 68 deals). Activity was heavily influenced by the acquisition of First Gulf Bank by National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC in July, which at US$14.8bn accounted for 49.5% of the region’s annual M&A value. As a result, dealmaking within the Financial Services sector (seven deals, US$ 15.5bn) reached its highest annual value on Mergermarket record (since 2001).

1. First Gulf Bank acquired by National Bank of Abu Dhabi 

Announced on 3rd July 2016, this $14.8 billion merger tops the chart as the largest announced deal in the region of 2016. Advising First Gulf Bank (FGB) was UBS and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, whilst Credit Suisse and Allen & Overy were the leading advisors to National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD). Clifford Chance advised UBS. 

2. Hapag-Lloyd buys United Arab Shipping Company 

Coming second is the acquisition of Kuwait's United Arab Shipping Company by Germany's Hapag-Lloyd announced on 28 June. At $5.4 billion, it topped the chart as the largest deal in the region for just six days until the FGB-NBAD merger was announced. Lazard, White & Case and Clifford Chance led advice to the Qatari government and Public Investment Fund, who sold their holding in the shipping firm. Citi, Allen & Overy, Freshfields and Linklaters were the advisers to Germany's Hapag-Lloyd. 

3. Adpetio purchase of Americana

The largest consumer deal for the region saw Americana, the Kuwait Food Company, sold to Adeptio of UAE for $3.1 billion. Rothschild advised the seller along with Clifford Chance, while Goldman Sachs advised the buyers with Allen & Overy. 

4. BP purchases stake in ADCO Onshore

The purchase of a 10% stake in ADCO from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (advised by Shearman & Sterling) ranks fourth at a value of $2.1 billion. BP, who were advised by Linklaters, announced the deal on 17 December 2016.

5. 60% stake in Jordan's Attarat Power Company

Valued at $1.2 billion, the acquisition of a majority stake in Attarat Power Company was announced on 6 May 2016. The deal saw a consortium led by YTL Power International and China's Guangdong Yudean Group purchase the stake from Estonia's Eesti Energia. 


League tables

The FGB-NBAD pricetag catapulted Credit Suisse and Allen & Overy to the top of the league tables by overall deal value. Credit Suisse advised on four deals totalling $18.6 billion whilst Allen & Overy worked on 10 deals valued at $27.1 billion. 

This summary was published in Mergermarket's Middle East M&A Brief Q1 - Q4 2016. Data correct as of 13 January 2017

All data is based on transactions over US$ 5m and is based on the Mergermarket’s M&A deals database. Deals with undisclosed deal values are included where the target’s turnover exceeds US$ 10m. Deals where the stake acquired is less than 30% will only be included if the value is greater than US$ 100m. 

Katharine Dennys Research Editor EMEA Acuris
Katharine Dennys Research Editor EMEA Acuris