'Strong appetite' for GCC mergers and joint ventures

'Strong appetite' for GCC mergers and joint ventures
Published: 17 October 2019 - 7:01 a.m.
By: Staff writer

There is strong appetite for mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures in the Middle East, if they are the right deals at the right price, according to law firm Clyde & Co.

Since 2017, the volume and aggregate value of regional mergers and acquisitions has increased despite the challenging economic outlook, indicating steadfast interest in business deals.

Earlier this month, Commercial Interior Design revealed that LW Design was close to agreeing a joint venture with an unnamed company in Saudi Arabia.

While mergers and acquisitions in the interior design industry, such as the LW Design deal, are few and far between, the report by Clyde and Co indicates activity is on the rise.

The report found that deal values in the Middle East rose 57% and the number of deals increased by 14% during the past 18 months.

Sentiment in the market remains cautious, but there is interest in exploring deals if they are right for both parties, the report added.

“It is clear that in the current climate, balancing the opportunity value against the potential risk is increasingly important for buyers,” said Philip O'Riordan, partner, Clyde & Co.

“However, our data points towards a market that has maybe turned a corner with pockets of opportunities for deal transactions across the region in a number of key sectors such as healthcare, education and increasingly tech. The recent spate of mega-deals also highlight the growing maturity of the Middle East M&A market, as successful regional businesses have increasingly come to the attention of major international players”.

As well as LW Design’s upcoming joint venture, government-backed holding company Meraas and retail operator Brookfield Asset Management formed a joint venture worth $1.4bn (AED5bn) earlier this year.

In July, Damac Properties' chairman Hussein Sajwani's Vision Investment Company moved to take over Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli.

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