The number of merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries decreased by 51% year-on-year (YoY) during the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The number of deals declined to 24 in Q1-20, versus 49 during Q4-19, according to a recent report issued by the Investment Banking Department at Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz”.
UAE’s logistics sector topped M&A transactions in the GCC countries in the first three months of 2020, especially after the Port & Free Zone had announced its intention to acquire a 20% stake in DP World for $2.7 billion.
Meanwhile, the third and fourth largest transactions in the GCC carried out among UAE buyers, including Gulf Capital's full acquisition of IVI-RMA Middle East for $100 million, while Mastek Arabia acquired 100% of the Middle Eastern arm of Evolutionary Systems Arabia for $65 million.
Most of the transactions, completed in Q1-20, were conducted by GCC acquirers, representing 92% of the total number of transactions, while foreign acquirers accounted for 4% of the total deals.
The majority of GCC acquirers entered into acquisition agreements with local or GCC companies, with the UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia representing the most active players at a local level.
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