The total value of transactions (M&A – mergers and acquisitions) in Romania in 2021 was 6.2 billion dollars (5.2 billion euros), 32% more than in the previous year. The study highlights the confidence of investors in the Romanian business environment and in its post-Covid recovery, especially in the second half of the year, EY Romania representatives said in a press release.
According to the quoted source, 178 transactions were registered last year.
“M&A activity in Romania registered a strong recovery in 2021 compared to 2020, both in terms of value and number of transactions. Market transparency remains low, the value of transactions being announced for only about a third of them,” the statement said.
Thus, the average value of transactions in the category of over $ 100 million was $ 404 million, marking an increase of 17% over the previous year. For the category of transactions under $ 100 million, the average value was $ 15 million, down 12% from 2020. The lower average value for transactions under $ 100 million is mainly due to the fact that most mergers and acquisitions took place in the technology and agriculture, food and food processing sectors, where 93% of transactions were below this value.
“Strategic transactions accounted for 90% of M&A activity in 2021, while private equity was responsible for the rest of the business through a small number of transactions (only 17 in total in 2021). Despite the small share in total M&A activity, funds private equity remain active in Romania and we expect that there will be increases in the level of activity in the coming years, given the size of market opportunities and additional allocations to asset classes from pension funds (pillar II) “, it is also specified in the press release.
Domestic transactions, which continue to account for more than half of Romania’s M&A activity (54%), have increased by 35% in 2021 compared to 2020.
“Romania remains an attractive investment destination for foreigners, with capital inflows accounting for 41% of total transactions. The most active foreign investors came from the US (11 transactions), Germany, France and Switzerland (5 transactions each), followed by those from Great Britain (4 transactions), Italy and Poland (with 3 transactions each). Romanian investments abroad remain modest, representing only 5% of activity, a practically unchanged level compared to 2020 in terms of the number of transactions. “, Say EY Romania consultants .
According to EY Romania, the three main transactions of 2021 were: the acquisition of ExxonMobil’s 50% stake in the Neptun Deep offshore project by Romgaz, with $ 1.07 billion, the acquisition of the remaining 46% stake in Globalworth Real Estate Investments Ltd, a real estate investment company based in Romania and listed on the London Stock Exchange by a consortium of companies in Luxembourg (CPI Property Group – Aroundtown), at a price of approximately $ 844 million.
The third major acquisition was that of Romanian gambling operator MaxBet by British private equity fund Novaplina Capital, for $ 296 million.
“Although it did not meet the criteria for inclusion in the M&A Barometer conducted by EY, it is worth noting the latest round of fundraising of UiPath, the technology company established in Romania and listed in the USA, which obtained another $ 750 million from this round, reaching a post-investment value of 35 billion dollars “, the consultants of the consulting company note.
The year 2021 was not only a solid one for the M&A activity, but also marked a record for the listings of equity securities and bonds. Corporate bonds took the lion’s share of listings, with a total of 29 new issues totaling $ 1.1 billion.