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Middle East unrest to delay regional deals: StanChart

Middle East unrest to delay regional deals: StanChart

Expect regional deal activity to be flat compared to last year; restructuring-related M&A deals to take more time; lender focusing on fragmented industries for deals

March 21, 2011 6:07 by

Political unrest plaguing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will delay planned deals with activity seen flat versus last year, Standard Chartered’s regional heads for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) said.
Apoorva Shah and Ralf Pilarczyk, M&A managing directors for the MENA region, said the current unrest has quelled appetite for activity and more deals may be delayed despite the region offering immense potential over the long-term.
“The deals that are on the radar right now may get announced but you may see a delay. With that in mind, activity being flat would be a possible outcome,” Shah told Reuters last week.
Middle East M&A values fell sharply during and after the financial crisis with buyers demanding better due diligence and sellers sticking to valuations at pre-crisis levels.
However, most bankers had been optimistic of a rebound in activity heading into 2011.
The value of deal activity in the region on average was expected to rise 20 percent this year to between $28 billion and $30 billion, according to a banker’s survey released earlier this year.
But the unrest rocking the region has changed the landscape.
The U.K. lender aims to build on its global footprint which spans Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the executives said, adding that more Middle Eastern institutions were looking at emerging markets for deals.

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