The total number of merger and acquisition transactions in Central and Southeast European countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and
Turkey) was 1,165 in 2016, showing a 9.1% decrease compared with 2015, however the estimated size of the CSE M&A market increased by 10.7% compared with the previous year, Ernst & Young said its M&A Barometer report.
M&A activity in Greece totaled 33 transactions in 2016, up from 28 in 2015 and 22 in 2014. However, the value of transactions fell to 1.27 billion euros in 2016, from 1.77 billion in 2015 and 1.33 billion in 2014. The majority of M&A transactions in Greece were domestic (14) with another 12 originated from abroad, while seven transactions were made by Greek enterprises abroad. Incoming agreements was 36 pct, the third lowest in the region, after Turkey (32 pct and Czech Republic (23 pct). Among foreign investors, four were from the US and three from Belgium. In 23 out of 33 agreements strategic investors participated, although none of the agreements made in Greece were among the top 10 largest agreements in the region. The sectors with the biggest M&A activity in Greece were real estate, energy and mining.
More specifically, similarly to last year, EY observed a majority of domestic transactions — 52% of all deals, the buyer and the target originated from the same country (three percentage points higher than
in 2015). Also noteworthy is the fact that the proportion of transactions closed by strategic investors remained unchanged at 78% of total deal volume, and the most active target industry was IT, while in terms of value the largest transaction occurred in the food and beverages sector.
The Czech Republic was the most active country in terms of deal volume in 2016, closing 288
transactions during the respective period. It was followed by Turkey and Poland, closing 273 and 216 deals respectively.
Only three of the countries — the Czech Republic, Croatia and Greece — experienced an increase
in M&A activity in terms of the number of transactions in 2016.
In 2016, the total estimated transaction value in the CSE market was 47.7 billion US dollars, an increase of 10.7% on the previous year. Poland ranked first with an estimated value of
US$11.6b, followed by the Czech Republic US$9.9b and Turkey US$7.3b. Poland experienced the highest growth in 2016 (53.9%), where the market increased from US$7.6b in 2015.