Announced deal value in MENA increased from $8.2 billion in Q1 2014 to $8.9 billion in Q1 2015, an increase of 9 percent, according to EY's Q1 MENA M&A Update. In Q1, 2015, as many as 90 deals were announced as compared with 89 deals in Q1, 2014.
Inbound announced deal value increased from $0.4 billion in Q1, 2014 to $2.6 billion in Q1, 2015, while domestic announced deal activity value decreased by 48 percent from $1.7 billion in Q1, 2014 to $0.9 billion in Q1 2014.
Outbound announced deal value decreased by 11 percent from $6.1 billion in Q1, 2014 to $5.5 billion in Q1, 2015.
EY's MENA Head of Transaction Advisory Services Phil Gandier says: "The MENA M&A market continues to display resilience to the challenging regional geopolitical climate in parts of the region. The sustained volume of M&As indicates that regional M&A performance has a low correlation to oil price volatility."
He added: "The inbound M&A market performed very well compared to the same period last year which reflects the sustained demand from foreign investors. The pipeline of M&A deals looks robust for the rest of the year. According to EY's latest MENA capital confidence barometer (CCB), which looks at the sentiments of C-suite executives across the region, the majority of MENA executives (69 percent) expect the deal market to remain stable in 2015."
More than half of MENA businesses are planning for larger deals in the coming year, according to the CCB.
EY's MENA M&A and IPO Leader Anil Menon says: "Deal flow is looking very healthy, underpinned by the re-emergence of Egypt and the bounce back of other markets."
MENA CCB respondents are optimistic about pursuing acquisitions. "Appetite for acquisitions remains high in MENA, driven mostly by appropriate valuation expectations from both sides of the isle. The valuation gap in MENA is lower than the global trend," says Menon.
Within MENA, small-to mid-market deals, below $250 million, will continue to figure prominently in executives' plans.
"The CCB reveals that MENA family businesses have shifted their interest away from emerging market entries, where the capital flows from an M&A perspective have not been active. This underlines a broader shift in the region, which is seeing it transform from a net exporter of capital, to one in which more acquisition capital is being deployed by Middle Eastern investors within the region," Gandier added.