British businesses have invested more in African mergers and acquisitions in the past decade than other countries in the world, a new study shows, according to a report in Economic Times.
Britain has been the No. 1 investor since 2003 with 437 deals worth $30.5 billion, followed by France with 141 deals worth $30.47 billion and China with 49 deals worth $20.8 billion, according to figures compiled by international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the report said.
China’s influence has been felt largely on the continent in terms of broader investment and trade, overtaking the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009, according to a February report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
The African Development Bank predicts African economic growth will hit 4.8 percent this year and 5.3 percent in 2014, led by West African commodity exporters such as Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast.
In the past decade, industries showing the greatest activity included metals and mining with 752 deals worth $33.9 billion; oil and gas with 299 deals worth $29.6 billion and wireless with 33 deals worth $25.4 billion, the Economic Times report said.
“However, consumer-related mergers and acquisitions could take the limelight as gross domestic product per household continues to grow, the middle class in Africa expands and consumer demand rise,” said Bruce Embley, corporate partner at Freshfields, in the report.