dealReporter Middle East’s (DRME) proprietary analytics and research shows that International Petroleum Investment Company’s (IPIC) acquisition financing for the remaining share capital in Spain’s Compania Espanola de Petroleos, remains one of the largest Euro bond sales from the region.

The Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund’s USD 4.3 billion bond sale in March 2011 is a rare example of a Middle East entity using public debt to finance an acquisition, according to DRME data. It shows that the bond sale was IPIC’s debut transaction in the Euro and sterling markets and attracted around EUR 9 billion in orders.

Despite the success of the IPIC transaction, regional merger and acquisition financing remains largely bank focussed, according to DRME data. Of the more than 40 regional bond sales tracked by DRME since January 2011, a significant majority of issuers noted that proceeds would be put toward general corporate purposes and did not identify funds as acquisition financing.

DRME’s research analyst Hannah Jethwani observed:  “Project financing, such as the recent USD 1.3 billion Dolphin Energy issuance, is more prevalent in the Middle Eastern markets, which see fewer large, public M&A deals. The region has seen a surge in debt issuances over the first quarter of 2012 and we hope to see an uptick in M&A volumes as the region recovers from political unrest.”

DRME’s analytics and research offering is integral to the product and complements the deal intelligence reported by its Dubai-based team of journalists.

DRME’s editor Victoria Robson commented:  “Banks remain the key financiers of regional M&A deals. Compared to developed markets, relatively few corporates have approached the bond market overall, preferring instead to lean on established local banking relationships. And, in larger deals, advisory mandates remain tied to lending.”

In addition to acquisition financing, DRME’s reporters cover the complete trajectory of an M&A deal involving listed regional corporates, from transaction origination through to offer considerations, approvals and including any delisting procedures.

Our recent coverage has targeted exclusive intelligence on Qatar-listed Mannai Corporation’s takeover of Nasdaq Dubai-listed Damas International, where DRME scooped its competitors with details of the timetable, the involvement and identity of a private equity investor and creditor acceptance of the deal.

As a leading provider of regional corporate finance intelligence, in addition to expected and live deals, DRME’s coverage universe also encompasses equity capital markets, debt capital markets, changes to a company’s capital structure and legal and regulatory initiatives that trigger a material change to a deal or company’s plans to raise capital.  Beyond bond issuance, our credit team reports on loans, debt refinancing and restructuring situations.

Actively tracked debt restructurings include Arcapita, Al Ahlia Holding Company, Drydocks World, Dubai Group, Fal Oil, and The Investment Dar.

Rushika Bhatia Editor

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.

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