M&A Spotlight: CEE

18 January 2018

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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 2018.
 
After a vibrant 2016, M&A in the CEE/SEE region slowed in 2017. This was, in part, due to uncertainty over European elections, which appeared to affect sentiment in the first half of the year. However, our survey shows growing confidence for the year ahead. 85% of respondents say they are more likely to invest in the region again following their most recent deal.
 
Key findings include:
 
  • Austria tops the table as the most-favourable market for M&A in the region, followed by the Czech Republic and Poland. Dealmaking within emerging markets Bulgaria and Romania is picking up pace, with the countries ranking fourth and fifth respectively.
     
  • The technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector has been one of the liveliest in terms of M&A activity for some time, with nearly two-thirds of respondents (62%) expecting it to be one of the most attractive sectors to conduct deals in 2018.
     
  • More than half of those surveyed (53%) are considering acquiring or investing in a start-up in the region in the coming year. As well as burgeoning TMT start-ups, there is also increasing activity in biotech.
     
  • The US is expected to be the largest single source of inbound acquisitions, cited by 29% of respondents, followed by European powerhouse Germany (22%). The UK comes in third in the expectation that its looming break from the EU will encourage British investors to diversify their portfolios into the growing markets of CEE.