M&A growth in central & eastern Europe fuelled by mega-deals
Last year saw an unprecedented number (56) of M&A transactions in Central & Eastern Europe valued over $100 million, totalling $27.8 billion. Out of these "mega" deals, 27 occurred in Russia and represented almost 40% of total estimated transactions in the region.
Based on the review of publicly disclosed private-sector transactions, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates the value of M&A transactions in the CEE region to be $50 billion, 31% higher than in 2003. In the nine countries that formed part of the research the total number of transactions was 1,219 or 4% more than in the previous year.
Margaret Dezse, Central & Eastern European Corporate Finance Leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers, says: "Deals with values above USD 100 million contributed to a further growth in the nine countries surveyed in 2004, including several deals over $1 billion."
Foreign investors were particularly active during 2004, originating 477 transactions in the region which accounted for 39% of all deals. This reflects a 30% growth compared to 2003. The weakness of the dollar did not deter US investors from investment activity, with 52 transactions during 2004, which is comparable to 48 deals in 2003. Germany ranked second, Austria third with 49 and 48 transactions, respectively.