The total value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) targeting the Middle East plunged 91.2 per cent month-on-month in April to AED1.7bn ($463m), the lowest monthly value recorded since July 2009.

The fall wiped out the strong gains that had been made during March after M&A deal value had increased fourfold from the AED4.5bn recorded in February to AED19.4bn, as revealed in a report published on 2 May by Zephyr, the M&A database published by Belgium’s Bureau van Dijk (BvD).

Deal volume slipped by just 7 per cent from 29 deals in March to 27 in April, with Zephyr noting “This illustrates the extent to which value was stripped from Middle East M&A over the same timeframe”.    

Oman and Kuwait were the most important countries by volume and value in April, with seven deals worth AED522m recorded for Oman and six deals worth AED966m recorded for Kuwait.

There was a 75 per cent month-on-month increase in the volume of deals targeting Oman and a 600 per cent annual increase.

The top deal by value was National Bank of Kuwait’s $150m acquisition of a 7 per cent stake in Boubyan Bank, increasing its shareholding to 47 per cent.   

The Middle East completed $8.6bn worth of M&A deals in the first quarter of 2010, more than double the $3.6bn recorded in the last quarter of 2009. (MEED 05:4:10).