The use of technology in African M&A processes is developing dramatically as infrastructure improves and awareness around data security grows.
IT and internet infrastructure in Africa has lagged developed markets for years, curtailing the use of virtual data rooms and other online tools in African dealmaking. In recent years, however, the market has transformed to the point where DataSites and online due dilligence platforms are now standard in the vast majority of M&A processes.
Mergermarket’s survey of more than 100 dealmakers on the continent finds that almost three quarters of those polled (74%) use virtual data rooms for transactions in Africa.
Merlin Piscitelli, a director at Merrill DataSite, says the development of wireless and mobile internet access has been a major reason for the evolution. “I’ve dealt in Africa for the last 10 years and I’ve watched a market that has changed. There used to be no such thing as a virtual data room and horrendous internet speeds where people couldn’t actually access a virtual data room to do due diligence. Now we see an emerging market that has skipped over other forms of wired computers to mobile devices and wireless dongles with faster speeds than people get in their offices.”