24 December 2005
Rasmala Investments, an Investment Company, focused on Asset Management and Investment Banking believes that M&A is becoming increasingly important and relevant in the GCC region. In its strive to increase the public’s awareness of M&A, Rasmala investments sponsored the 1st annual conference on Strategic Mergers and Acquisitions in the region.
The conference featured comprehensive case studies, analysis and strategic insights from leading organisations, and provided the opportunity for companies to understand the potential obstacles and challenges faced during M&A transactions and how to overcome them. The conference also helped delegates explore how M&A can help them expand or restructure their organizations.
With the GCC’s high economic growth rate local companies will soon face outside competition in their own backyard. As a result, size will prove to be a major factor in ensuring survival. “Competition will result in a pressure to consolidate and is beginning to have an impact on the Middle East’s corporate landscape”, said Mr. Tamer Bazzari, Partner and Head of Investment Banking at Rasmala Investments, and the Chairperson for the first day of the conference.
Marcus Evans, the organizer of the conference, asserted that the benefits of embarking on M&A are great and can elevate a company to a more efficient and effective level. At the conference key success stories of companies who have fruitfully accomplished M&A’s transactions both in and outside the region were shared.
Rasmala Investments was represented by Mr. Ali al Shihabi, CEO and Founder, who made a presentation on the Role of Investment Banks in M&A. Mr. Shihabi commented “We are very pleased to have sponsored this conference. As investment bankers, we have a responsibility to highlight the benefits of M&A to corporates, governments and to the economy at large. We are also working to help the development of an acquisition finance market and assist regulators in the implementation of a regulatory framework. This conference is just the start of this process”. Mr. Shihabi then added “The current economic conditions – stock market performance, liquidity, etc – provide a potentially attractive environment for M&A opportunities. Going forward, most governments will have to comply with WTO requirements which should result in the deregulation and privatization of several industries and the arrival of foreign competition. This will boost M&A activity”.
Mr. Manil Nedjar, Senior Vice President of Investment Banking at Rasmala also made a presentation on Valuation methodology.
Mr. Mohamad Alawi, the Conference Producer, expressed his satisfaction with how the conference went. “We are very pleased with the turnout. The delegates have complimented us on the quality of speakers and their presentations” Mr. Alwai said. He added: “I would like to thank the sponsors and all the delegates for their support, and look forward to organizing the second conference next year”.
The delegates who attended the conference represented leading investment companies in the region including Public Warehousing Company (PWC) of Kuwait, Aramex, M’sharie (a subsidiary of Dubai Investments), Global Investment House, Al Tuwairqi Group (KSA), Al Tamimi & Company, Gulf Air, and Kuwait Oxygen & Acetylene Co.
To-date, Rasmala has offered its clients regional opportunities in portfolio management, fixed income, private equity and real estate. Rasmala has also advised major regional firms on corporate divestments and acquisitions.