Mergers and Acquisitions Activity in the UAE

With the United Arab Emirates being one of the most dynamic economies in the world, with mergers and acquisitions being an integral part of its business landscape, it is the perfect base for The Carling Group. The UAE has seen a significant surge in M&A activity over the past few years, with a range of industries being impacted with a few key factors influencing the market.

The Rise of Cross-Border Deals

One of the most notable trends in M&A activity across the UAE is a rise in cross-border deals. As companies seek to expand their reach and access new markets, they are increasingly turning to international partners for help. This includes both strategic alliances as well as outright acquisitions. For example, Dubai-based developer Emaar Properties recently acquired a majority stake in Indian real estate firm Sotheby’s International Realty India. This deal was part of Emaar’s larger plan to diversify its portfolio by expanding into new markets.

Increased Focus on Startups and Tech Firms

Another trend that is driving M&A activity across the UAE is an increased focus on startups and tech firms. As more investors pour funds into these emerging businesses, many are looking to acquire them rather than waiting for them to IPO or go public. This has led to several high-profile deals over the past year, including Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company’s recent acquisition of fashion marketplace Namshi from Global Fashion Group for $151 million.

Growth in Private Equity Activity

Finally, there has been an increase in private equity activity across the UAE as well. Private equity firms are increasingly looking to invest in local companies, often acquiring minority stakes or providing growth capital for expansion purposes. In July 2020, Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group announced that it had acquired a 25% stake in financial services provider Alizz Islamic Bank for $263 million—the largest ever private equity investment made by an Emirati company at that time.

Mergers and acquisitions play a hugely important role in expediting business growth and can expand operations both domestically and internationally…quickly. Over the last few years, there has been a surge in M&A activity in the UAE, across various industries due to factors such as increased cross-border deals, investments into startups and tech firms, and growth in private equity activity. As more companies look to capitalize on new opportunities through strategic partnerships or acquisitions, we can only expect this trend to continuing. CEOs should keep abreast these developments within their own industries so as not miss out on potential opportunities for growth or expansion through M&As activities within their sector or regionally within Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia or Qatar. For companies not experienced in M&A, it makes sense to partner with an experienced team such as The Carling Group. Growth doesn’t need to take generations, it can be achieved in one well-executed transaction.

We are always looking to partner with ambitious business leaders, who understand the high growth potential of their industry. Any motivated leaders, looking to grow by acquisition should get in touch directly.