According to the annual Emerging Europe M&A Report, published by CMS in cooperation with EMIS, the rising stars of the region in 2016 were the Czech Republic and Romania.
The 2016/17 edition of the report pulls together data and lists of the biggest M&A transactions across the CEE/SEE region, provides commentary on what happened in 2016, and makes some predictions on where to expect deals in 2017.
There were 136 deals reported in Romania last year, with a total value mounting to EUR 1,997.6m. Although more in number than 2015 (119), the total value of the transactions in 2016 was lower than in 2015, when they climbed up to EUR 3,071.8m.
Last year, most of the transactions in Romania were reported in real estate & construction (21), manufacturing (20), telecom and IT (17), finance and insurance (15). 12 deals were registered on wholesale and retail, 11 in services, also 11 on food and beverage and nine in mining (including oil and gas). Another 20 were in other fields.
From the economic perspective, Romania “is the hottest market in the region”, says Horea Popescu, Partner, CMS Romania. “It was the strongest performing CEE economy in 2016. What gives us confidence in the future is that has been a healthy performance built on both consumption and industrial growth,” Popescu stated.
In his view, there was a strong rise in the number of deals and we have seen values reach levels rarely seen since the wave of privatisations a decade ago. One of the interesting features is that this activity was broadly spread across the financial services, consumer goods, and telecoms and IT sectors. There was also a lot of activity in automotive components, the CMS Romania partner pointed out.
“There were a number of EUR 100m plus transactions”, he says, pointing that the largest deal was the sale of Profi, one of the country’s biggest retailers, bought by the private equity fund Mid Europa Partners for EUR 533m.
The CMS Romania representative added that European investors were the most active, followed by the US, but we have also seen Chinese investors studying opportunities.