Wolf Theiss

M&A Spotlight: CEE / Wolf Theiss Corporate Monitor FY 2016

Welcome to the newest edition of the WOLF THEISS Corporate Monitor’s M&A Spotlight on Central and Eastern Europe ("CEE"), which we are proud to release in cooperation with Mergermarket, a leading intelligence and news service for mergers and acquisitions across the globe.

98 percent of dealmakers say they are more likely to invest in CEE again following their most recent deal.

The report provides an in-depth survey of the current and prospective M&A environment in CEE, alongside extensive data on M&A trends, to offer insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the region, as well as the outlook for 2017.

M&A activity in CEE was lively in 2016 amid wider international political headwinds and global economic uncertainty. Dealmakers’ confidence sent deal value soaring to €38.3bn, up 62% from €23.6bn in 2015. In line with global trends, volume remained fairly even year-on-year, with 507 deals, compared to 516 in 2015 but still 8% above volume in 2014.

Key findings include:

  • Appetite for dealmaking in the region is remarkably high – almost all respondents in our survey (98%) say that they are more likely to invest in the the region again following their most recent deal.
  • Poland, Austria, and the Czech Republic, the region’s largest economies, are seen as the most attractive markets for buyers. Austria is regarded by 41% of respondents as the best gateway for M&A in CEE, suggesting that Vienna still holds an edge as the region’s financial capital.
  • The leading driver of M&A in the region is a target’s intellectual property (IP) or technology, cited by 28% of respondents. This suggests that CEE is developing strong innovative companies. Poland, in particular, is seen as major hub for digital success.
  • 2016 has been a firm year for CEE private equity activity, with 103 deals worth a combined value of €11.3bn – the highest deal value for PE in the region on Mergermarket record.
  • Investors believe that distressed opportunities are expected to grow in 2017, which should be of particular interest to buyout firms – Ukraine, Czech Republic and Poland are seen as the key locations for these types of deals.


Horst Ebhardt

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