Baker McKenzie South Africa biggest climber in the M&A rankings

07 Feb 2017

Baker McKenzie South Africa has jumped from 16th to 3rd place in the number of announced deals in the Thomson Reuters Emerging Markets M&A Review for Legal Advisers 2016. In 2015, Baker McKenzie South Africa was ranked in 16th position with two deals announced. In 2016, the firm advised on 21 deals, gaining significantly in the rankings. The Review ranks eligible mergers, acquisitions, repurchases, spin-offs, self-tenders, minority stake purchases and debt restructurings that were reported to Thomson Reuters in the period under review.

Morne van der Merwe, Managing Partner at Baker McKenzie’s Johannesburg office says, “This leap in our rankings serves as confirmation of where the market is moving. Our access to global legal specialists and data platforms, combined with our in-depth African expertise, means that we are correctly anticipating the M&A market and responding accordingly. As South Africa becomes more integrated into the world economy, the impact of inbound foreign investment and the need for cross border M&A skills is becoming more pronounced.”

The Thomson Reuters report follows closely on the release of the second Global Transactions Forecast written by Oxford Economics. The report found that in South Africa, M&A activity dropped due a weakening economy, currency volatility and threat of rating agency downgrades. However, the South African M&A market and total transactions are predicted to grow by 66% by 2019.

The Forecast shows that South African M&A slowed in 2016 amid economic and political uncertainty. While 211 M&A deals were finalised in South Africa in 2015, this dropped to 115 deals in 2016. The report predicts that 190 M&A deals will be concluded in 2017, rising to 274 in 2018, before growing to 295 deals in 2019.

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)