The Saudi corporate/M&A market is expected to grow over the coming years as a consequence of the recent reforms made to ease doing business in the Kingdom and to protect and regulate businesses in line with international best practices. Changes, such as the new companies law and bankruptcy regime, are designed to help achieve Vision 2030’s goals of greater private sector participation and foreign investment in Saudi Arabia. Increased corporate activity can be expected as a consequence of the programs under Vision 2030 including the National Transformation Program and the Privatization Program.
A material contributor to meeting these targets will be corporate/M&A transactions, including joint ventures between foreign and Saudi partners and acquisitions of Saudi targets by foreign acquirors. In addition, the Public Investment Fund’s Sector Development Investment Pool (covering investments by its portfolio companies in a number of sectors, including industrial transformation, entertainment, military & defense, recycling, and e-commerce) have already involved acquisitions and JV deals, with more likely to follow. Other factors likely to drive further corporate and M&A activity include increasing consolidation in a number of sectors, such as the banking and insurance spheres, the likely corporate restructuring of a number of family groups in Saudi Arabia, and the consequential wish to sell non-core assets to different groups.