The economic slowdown across the Middle East triggered by the slump in the oil price since mid-2014 has wrought significant change and presented sizeable challenges. But challenges are also throwing up significant opportunities as companies study how to consolidate their existing strengths and pursue new growth paths.

As a result, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the Middle East appears to be on the cusp of a significant increase.

The value of announced M&A transactions...