Africa: Current Trends in Mergers and Acquisition in Africa

Over the last decade, mergers and acquisitions in Africa have surged, at one point reaching a record high value of US$44 billion in 2010. While companies in developed markets face slowing prospects, some countries on the African continent have experienced growth rates of 7 percent or more. Combined with an expanding middle class and increasing trade with Asia, investors see in Africa the potential for fast and sustainable growth.  Seven of the ten world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa. This trend of increasing investment in Africa continues, despite a slight dip in activity in 2011, mainly attributable to political upheavals in North Africa and economic weakness in Western markets. The revolution in Egypt, where 20% of merger and acquisition activity on the continent takes place, contributed significantly to the 9.5% drop in total activity in 2011. On the other hand, some M&A activity has endured throughout the Arab Spring. Libya had three deals worth US$371 million, and Tunisia announced two deals worth US$800 million.

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