Mohammad Al Rasheed


The long-awaited Saudi Franchise Law will take effect on 22 April 2020 and will apply to all franchises operating wholly or partly within the Kingdom, including franchise agreements entered into before the effective date of the Law (with certain provisions not applying to pre-existing agreements) and including those between foreign franchisors and local franchisees.

Global M&A activity saw fewer but higher value transactions in the first half of 2019 (H1 2019), with total deal values increasing by 19% from the previous half year, while deal volumes fell by 12%. The trend was reflected in the Middle East, with total M&A deal values increasing fourfold from the last half of 2018, despite a slight dip in volumes, according to the latest report by global law firm Baker McKenzie*.

Baker McKenzie is advising Saudi Arabian listed bank Alawwal bank, whose largest shareholder is a consortium made up of RBS, Santander and a Dutch governmental entity, on its merger with fellow Saudi listed bank, The Saudi British Bank (“SABB”), whose largest shareholder is HSBC. The share for share merger has a deal value of approximately US$4.9 billion, making it the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia between two listed banks and one of the largest mergers of two Saudi listed companies.