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EY Romania:Romanian mergers and acquisitions down 6pct in H1

The Romanian mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market recorded 124 transactions in the first half (H1) of 2024, with a total estimated value of USD 2.3 billion, down 6% in volume compared to the 132 transactions, estimated at USD 3.7 billion, recorded in the similar period of 2023, according to an analysis by EY Romania sent on Friday.

However, the specialists say, the value of the M&A market remained largely stable, if the acquisition of Enel Group's Romanian operations by the Greek company Public Power Corporation for USD 1.3 billion, the only mega-deal in the first half of 2023, is not taken into account.

In addition, the transaction value was not disclosed for 79% of transactions announced in H1 2024, compared to the historical average of 65% observed since 2018.

The most active sectors by deal volume were Real Estate, Hospitality & Construction (23 deals), Energy & Utilities (21 deals) and Consumer Products & Retail (20 deals), followed by Health Care and Technology, each recording 11 deals. In the first half of 2024, there were only two transactions with disclosed value exceeding USD 100 million, down from the five recorded in 2023.

In terms of country of origin, the most active investors came from the US - historically the most active investor (10 deals), Austria (8 deals), Germany (7), France and Poland (4 deals each), followed by Italy and the Netherlands, both with 3 deals each.

Compared with the second half of 2023, the volume of M&A transactions in Romania increased by 13.8% in the first six months of 2024, while the decrease in this period compared with the same period last year reflects the global trend.

According to the analysis, strategic investors maintained their dominant position in the Romanian M&A market in the first half of 2024, accounting for 93% of transaction volume, although they announced the same number of deals as in the first half of 2023 (115).

The three largest transactions in the first half were: the sale of OTP Bank's Romanian operations to Banca Transilvania, the country's largest bank, for USD 375 million; the acquisition of five industrial parks by CTP, Europe's largest publicly listed developer of industrial and logistics properties in Europe, from Globalworth Real Estate Investments' full logistics portfolio, for approximately USD 184 million; the sale of the 80 MW Mihai Viteazu wind farm by Spanish renewable energy company Iberdrola to Premier Energy for an estimated USD 94 million. The deal marked Iberdrola's withdrawal from the Romanian market.