The UAE and Saudi Arabia are among the world’s top 10 countries forecast to experience the fastest M&A (merger and acquisition) and IPO growth until 2020, reveals a new forecast by global law firm Baker & McKenzie. “Strong M&A activity in the UAE in the first half of 2015 is expected to result in a significant increase in the value of completed M&A deals by the end of the year compared to 2014, despite the volume of deals remaining relatively flat,” said Will Seivewright, Corporate/M&A partner at Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, based in Dubai.
“We expect M&A transactions to peak in 2018 before slowing as part of a predicted downturn in global financial markets.” The UAE is forecasted to rank higher than the global average with key drivers such as ease of doing business, freedom to trade and legal structure. “We expect the increased interest from global private equity investors to continue, notwithstanding the lower oil prices and regional instability. While the UAE continues its efforts to grow its non-oil economy and works towards hosting the World Expo in 2020, regional demographics will continue to have the biggest impact on growth and deal activity, particularly in respect of social infrastructure transactions,” added Seivewright.