M&A in sub-Saharan Africa soars

According to analysis by Thomson Reuters, the value of announced M&A transactions with any sub-Saharan African involvement reached $10.1 billion during the first quarter of 2017 – the highest opening quarter total in six years.

Thomson Reuters found that inbound M&A reached a seven-year high of $6.4 billion - more than five times the value recorded during the first three months of last year - with the United States, China and Switzerland leading investments. Domestic and inter-sub-Saharan African M&A, meanwhile, totalled $1.5 billion, up 130 percent year-on-year. Outbound M&A declined 40 percent, to $794.6 million.

South Africa's overseas acquisitions accounted for 59 percent of sub-Saharan African outbound M&A activity, while acquisitions by companies headquartered in the Seychelles and Mauritius accounted for 23 and 18 percent respectively.

The largest deal to be announced in the region during the first quarter, and one which helped boost the value of deals in the Energy & Power sector to $4.2 billion, was Exxon Mobil Corp agreeing to buy a 25-percent stake of a Mozambique liquefied natural gas project from Italy's Eni SpA for $2.8 billion.

According to Thomson Reuters, Bank of America Merrill Lynch topped the Q1 2017 Any Sub-Saharan African Involvement Announced M&A Financial Advisor League Table, with a 28 percent share of the market.