The Romanian mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market recorded 132 transactions1 during the first half of 2023, with a total estimated value of US$ 3.7bn2. The volume of transactions represents a slight increase compared to the 131 deals observed during H1 2022, however with the total value decreasing by 11% versus the same period last year (US$ 4.2bn).
Furthermore, M&A activity levels during this semester show a rebound from the slower pace of the second half of 2022 with the number of transactions announced during H1 2023 representing an all-time high for Romania.
Strategic investors remained the dominant players of the local M&A market, accounting for 87% of transactions during the first of half of 2023. From a cross-border perspective, domestic transactions accounted for 53% of the total number of transactions, with 70 deals recorded in H1 2023, while the number of transactions performed by foreign investors (inbound) reached 52 deals, 39% respectively out of the total.
“Similar to the same period last year, the first half of 2023 brought another megatransaction through the acquisition of Enel Romania by PPC Group, as well as a few other significant deals from a value perspective. This makes us cautiously optimistic regarding the evolution of the local M&A market for the remainder of the year, particularly given that we also continue to observe very positive dynamics in two key sectors – technology and energy”, said Iulia Bratu, Head of Lead Advisory at EY Romania.
The most active sectors by deal volume were Real Estate, Hospitality & Construction (27 transactions), Technology (22) and Consumer Products & Retail (21). In the first half of the 2023, 5 transactions with disclosed value over US$ 100m were recorded, representing a repeat of the value observed during the same period last year.
The top 3 largest transactions in H1 2023
- The sale of Italy-based Enel Group’s operations in Romania to Public Power Corporation, the main electric power company in Greece, for approximately US$ 1.4bn
- The acquisition of local bakery Vel Pitar by Mexico-based Grupo Bimbo for an estimated US$ 210m
- The sale of asset manager Fondul Proprietatea’s minority stakes in Enel Romania’s operations to Public Power Corporation for US$ 140m
Other notable transactions announced during the first half of the year included:
- OMV Petrom’s acquisiton of 710 MW photovoltaic park projects from Jantzen Renewables for an undisclosed amount, showing the continued strength of the green energy market on a local level
- French retailer Carrefour’s takeover of Cora’s Romanian operations marked the exit of Belgium-based Louis Delhaize from the local market
- Local cybersecurity leader BitDefender’s acquisition of Singapore-based Horangi Cyber Security, reflecting steadily increasing Romanian outbound investment
Lastly, in terms of country of origin, the most active investors came from the United States, Germany and Switzerland (each recording 5 transactions), followed by France and Austria, both registering 4 deals.
Note: (1) EY’s M&A database for Romania excludes transactions with stakes acquired of less than 15% as well as the transaction value for multi-country deals if the value of the country-specific assets are not disclosed. (2) includes an estimate of the value of transactions where no data was formerly disclosed by the parties or is not available in third party databases and/or reported by media sources.