The GCC market welcomed a significant level of M&A activity throughout H1 2022, during which it closed a total of 105 M&A transactions, demonstrating a growth of 25% year over year. Yet once again, UAE targets attracted the greatest level of interest from buyers, a trend that has persisted for the past consecutive quarters. At 56 transactions, UAE comprised 53% of the total number of transactions that closed during H1 2022, followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, who accounted for 18% and 15% of these transactions, respectively. In addition, Bahrain and Oman each accounted for 6 of the total number of transactions that closed throughout the period, with Qatar representing the remaining 2%. Moreover, with the exception of Kuwait, the remaining markets recorded substantial growth year over year.
It is worth noting that the transactions that closed involved companies that operate in various sectors. With that being said, the sectors that attracted the greatest level of activity throughout the quarter were the Financials, Consumer Discretionary and Information Technology sectors, who collectively accounted for more than 48% of the total number of closed transactions.
On another note, GCC targets received an immensely greater level of interest from foreign buyers during the period, recording a total of 28 transactions (closed) vs 13 transactions (closed) between H1 2022 and H1 2021; this implies a growth of 115% year over year. Note, UAE targets attracted the greatest level of interest from foreign buyers, closing a total of 21 transactions in H1 2022 alone.
Furthermore, GCC acquirers primarily invested in companies within their local markets and in international markets, while investing in regional companies to a lesser extent. Throughout H1 2022, GCC acquirers closed a total of 60 transactions within their local markets, compared to 49 transactions in H1 2021. In addition, GCC acquirers sealed 46 cross border transactions throughout H1 2022, relative to 29 transactions in H1 2021. It is worth noting that UAE buyers accounted for approximately 60% of the total number of cross border transactions that closed, followed by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, who accounted for 21% and 11% respectively.
GCC Merger & Acquisition Deals (H1 2022) M&A Transactions within GCC