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M&A Spotlight: CEE

M&A Spotlight: CEE

16 February 2017

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Mergermarket is pleased to present the latest edition of the WOLF THEISS Corporate Monitor’s M&A Spotlight on CEE/SEE.

The report provides an in-depth survey of the current and prospective M&A environment in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (CEE/SEE), alongside extensive data on M&A trends, to offer insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the region, as well as the outlook for 2017.

M&A activity in CEE was lively in 2016 amid wider international political headwinds and global economic uncertainty. Dealmakers’ confidence sent deal value soaring to €38.3bn, up 62% from €23.6bn in 2015. In line with global trends, volume remained fairly even year-on-year, with 507 deals, compared to 516 in 2015 but still 8% above volume in 2014.

Key findings include:

  • Appetite for dealmaking in the region is remarkably high – almost all respondents in our survey (98%) say that they are more likely to invest in the region again following their most recent deal.
  • Poland, Austria, and the Czech Republic, the region’s largest economies, are seen as the most attractive markets for buyers. Austria is regarded by 41% of respondents as the best gateway for M&A in CEE, suggesting that Vienna still holds an edge as the region’s financial capital.
  • The leading driver of M&A in the region is a target’s intellectual property (IP) or technology, cited by 28% of respondents. This suggests that CEE is developing strong innovative companies. Poland, in particular, is seen as major hub for digital success.
  • 2016 has been a firm year for CEE private equity activity, with 103 deals worth a combined value of €11.3bn – the highest deal value for PE in the region on Mergermarket record.
  • Investors believe that distressed opportunities are expected to grow in 2017, which should be of particular interest to buyout firms – Ukraine, Czech Republic and Poland are seen as the key locations for these types of deals.