Investing in CEE: Inbound M&A report 2019/2020

18 March 2020

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Mergermarket and Mazars are pleased to present Investing in CEE: Inbound M&A report 2019/2020. This report offers an overview of investor activity into the CEE region in 2019, and looks ahead to the challenges and opportunities for the coming months, notably in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.
Key highlights include:
  • CEE saw 726 M&A deals in 2019 – the same number as in 2018. This included 289 inbound deals from outside of the CEE region, remaining steady at 40% of deals, on par with the past four years. Meanwhile, total public CEE deal value fell 12% to €42.3 billion. However, this figure only includes deals with disclosed values, which means that the total deal value is, in practice, higher.
  • Russia once again leads the way for regional dealmaking, even with sanctions still in place. Deal value remained steady at €21.5 billion across 167 deals – up from 159 the previous year. Four of the top ten deals and three of the top five took place in Russia. In terms of inbound activity, Poland proved to be the leading destination in 2019. The country saw 65 bids, up from 51 in 2018. This was accompanied by a more than twofold increase in deal value, from €1.9 billion to €4.6 billion.
  • CEE’s strong industrials sector continued to attract the most inbound deals at 56. However, these totalled just €1.1 billion, down from €5.5 billion the year before. Energy and utilities remained the top sector for value, with total inbound deal value of just under €7.6 billion, up from €7.4 billion in 2018.
  • Going into 2020, the CEE will face economic headwinds from the global outbreak of Covid-19, as will all regions in the world. However, GDP in CEE was projected to grow at a faster pace than in the G7 or the Eurozone prior to the start of the outbreak, and the region’s strong fundamentals – including its highly educated population, relatively low costs, growing middle-class and relatively stable political environment – should ensure that it is primed for recovery once the crisis passes.