African M&A deals hit USD 3.5bn in Q1 2012.

By bne IntelliNews March 30, 2012
Africa saw 30 mergers and acquisition (M&A) deals of the total value of USD 3.5bn during the first quarter of 2012, This Is Africa reported, quoting data from Mergermarket. The energy and mining sector continues to dominate the M&A activity on the continent, but there is increasing evidence of diversification in the region's investment profile. The consumer sector registered the second highest M&A activity level last year with Walmarts USD 2.4bn purchase of 51% of South African retailer Massmart being the biggest deal. Of 236 deals tracked by Mergermarket between September 2011 and March 2012, the energy, mining and utilities, financial services, telecommunications, transportation and consumer sectors registered the highest level of M&A activity. The region is also seeing growing geographical diversification in deal activity away from South Africa, the continent's largest economy. Mergermarket pointed at Ethiopia and Nigeria as the countries with expected high M&A activity this year. Ethiopia is seeking investors to develop a 2,000km rail network in the country, while Nigeria is going to sell off its power companies.

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