(MENAFN Press) The value of deals targeting companies based in the Middle East leapt to USD 6,791 million in August, the highest it has been since September 2008. The figure is a significant increase on the USD 2,619 million recorded last month and even more impressive compared with the same time last year, when just USD 841 million was achieved, according to the latest M&A report from Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk..
By contrast, volume fell to its lowest point since February, slipping 38 per cent month-on-month from 26 to 16 transactions and just over half the 30 deals recorded in August 2011, which suggests that the value of individual transactions was higher in the period under review.
Two deals dominate the M&A landscape in August
Qatar Petroleum's decision to reduce its stake in conglomerate Industries Qatar marked the biggest transaction of the month, with an estimated value of USD 3,918 million, more than half the total for the region. The vendor sold just over 104 million shares, representing a 19 per cent stake in the Qatari group to domestic pension fund General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority.
The second-highest value deal of the period - weighing in at USD 2,202 million - was Qatar Telecom's takeover bid for the remaining 47 per cent of Kuwait's National Mobile Telecommunications Company, also known as Wataniya. QTel offered the Wataniya stockholders KWD 2.60 per share, an 18 per cent premium on the last closing price. The combined values of these two deals accounted for 90 per cent of the total value for the Middle East.
While the majority of M&A activity was inter-regional, three featured outside investors from the UK, Singapore and US.
Qatar comes top for value
The value of deals targeting companies based in Qatar was USD 3,918 million, one of its best results in recent years, and due entirely to the Industries Qatar deal. Kuwait was second with USD 2,612 million, again one of its most impressive results, and largely down to the Wataniya takeover. UAE came third with USD 224 million, a big improvement on the USD 4 million achieved last month, and Jordan was fourth at USD 37 million, a drop of 74 per cent on July's total of USD 141 million.
By volume, UAE and Jordan each had 5 transactions signed off in August, Kuwait 4 and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait one deal each.