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21 January 2021
Emer­ging Europe M&A Re­port 2020/2021
In 2020 we coun­ted 1,705 deals with a total value of EUR 60,80bn in emer­ging Europe, re­spect­ive year-on-year de­creases of 12.9% and 16%. It will not come as a sur­prise that this is the low­est num­ber of deals for the re­gion in the ten edi­tions of this re­port that we have pub­lished. Then again, after a year char­ac­ter­ised by the COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic, in which deals were pro­trac­ted, post­poned or simply aban­doned, it is prob­ably not as bad as many of us may have ima­gined.While deal num­bers in Q4 re­mained sub­dued, we ex­per­i­enced the highest deal value for the fi­nal quarter of the year since 2016.After many years of de­cline, in re­cent years the an­nu­al deal­flow in emer­ging Europe had star­ted to stead­ily settle around the 2,000 mark. In last year’s re­port, we pre­dicted that the re­gion would main­tain its at­tract­ive­ness to in­vestors and we had great con­fid­ence in the deal pipeline. We felt that un­cer­tain­ties around China-US trade re­la­tions, Brexit and the US pres­id­en­tial elec­tions would have little im­pact on the re­gion’s deal­flow. As the year showed, glob­al polit­ic­al un­cer­tain­ties are no com­pet­i­tion for a pan­dem­ic when it comes to slow­ing down M&A activ­ity.However, deals did con­tin­ue and com­pared to oth­er glob­al emer­ging mar­kets, such as Emer­ging Asia and Lat­in Amer­ica, the re­gion per­formed quite well.The Emer­ging Europe M&A Re­port takes a closer look at the trends and data on a coun­try-by-coun­try and on a sec­tor basis. The im­pact of the eco­nom­ic slow­down was re­l­at­ively evenly spread across the re­gion, but there are al­ways some coun­tries that buck the trend. Po­land ex­per­i­enced a year-on-year in­crease in deal volume while wit­ness­ing the highest deal value com­pared to 2019.South-east­ern Europe was quite stable over­all with mar­kets such as Ro­mania, Bul­garia and Croa­tia all see­ing only mod­est drops in deal volumes. From the usu­al top per­formers, Czech Re­pub­lic was prob­ably the hard­est hit with a 24,7% de­crease in trans­ac­tions; how­ever, these are still bet­ter num­bers than the coun­try pos­ted in 2012 in the slip­stream of the fin­an­cial crisis and as re­por­ted in the CMS Emer­ging Europe M&A Re­port at the time.A great deal has been writ­ten about win­ners and losers in terms of sec­tors, rather than fo­cus­ing on some of these un­fore­seen de­vel­op­ments, the art­icles in the re­port fo­cus on some of the trends that had set in be­fore the pan­dem­ic hit. In fact, some of these de­vel­op­ments were ac­cel­er­ated by it: the ad­vance of Tele­coms & IT in terms of deal volume—tak­ing the top spot from Real Es­tate & Con­struc­tion—and con­tin­ued in­vest­ment in re­new­able en­ergy, driv­en by cli­mate goals, the de­mand of clean en­ergy by tech­no­logy gi­ants, and the over­all drive for sus­tain­ab­il­ity.Two art­icles provide a more de­tailed look in­to how spe­cif­ic com­pan­ies are faring, a close-up on the Croa­tian con­glom­er­ate Forten­ova and where it stands two years after its re­struc­tur­ing, and a fireside chat with Tereza Ber, gen­er­al coun­sel at Zentiva, about the com­pany’s takeover of the CEE busi­ness of Al­vo­gen.We also take a look at the re­gion’s IPO activ­ity. The Warsaw-list­ing of Al­legro is a testi­mony not only to the suc­cess of eco­m­merce in these new times, but also to the in­creased in­terest in an exit through the stock ex­change. After see­ing only 14 IPOs in 2019, this re­boun­ded to 26 in 2020. Through dual-track sales pro­cesses sellers want to make the most of the com­pet­i­tion between a trade sale and IPO, and with new re­cords set on stock ex­changes through­out the world to­wards the end of 2020, it will likely re­main an at­tract­ive pro­spect.One de­vel­op­ment that we noted in 2019 did re­verse last year. While cross-bor­der in­vest­ment in­to the re­gion de­creased by 34.3%, do­mest­ic deal activ­ity picked up by 18.4%, reach­ing a total of 764 and 941 trans­ac­tions re­spect­ively. Over­all, in­vestors based closer to the re­gion re­mained more act­ive than those fur­ther away, and in par­tic­u­lar in­vestors from the US, China and Ja­pan made few­er ac­quis­i­tions in emer­ging Europe. We look at what keeps at­tract­ing west­ern European in­vestors to the re­gion.The re­stric­tions on our free­dom forced us to live dif­fer­ently: we work from home, shop on­line and meet friends vir­tu­ally. Al­though a vac­cine may soon al­low us to re­turn to “nor­mal”, the last year is likely to have a last­ing im­pact on our be­ha­viour. As busi­nesses that be­ne­fit from this new eco­nomy grow, so does in­terest from in­vestors. On the flip side, those com­pan­ies that have had to count their losses may be­come in­ter­est­ing tar­gets too. While some com­pan­ies will see the need for a cap­it­al in­jec­tion to sur­vive, oth­ers will be look­ing for in­vest­ment to help it cap­it­al­ise on their suc­cess. 
21 January 2021
Life after Brexit – Im­plic­a­tions for the up­stream oil and gas sec­tor
Now that the dec­or­a­tions are packed away and the Christ­mas cake crumbs swept up, we are turn­ing our at­ten­tion to the out­come of the last minute agree­ment of the Trade and Co-op­er­a­tion Agree­ment (TCA)...
26 January 2021
The Fu­ture is Now: The New World of Work
As coun­tries con­tin­ue to struggle with COV­ID-19 while also try­ing to re­tain at least a semb­lance of busi­ness as usu­al, the way we work has been changed ex­tens­ively, in some re­spects po­ten­tially forever.The...
05 February 2021
EU Com­pet­i­tion Law Brief­ings
The EU Com­pet­i­tion Law Brief­ings have been cre­ated to provide a plat­form for our cli­ents and oth­er com­pet­i­tion law ex­perts to stay up to date on the de­vel­op­ments of EU Com­pet­i­tion Law.  Every month...
19 January 2021
CMS Ex­pert Guide to the trans­par­ency re­gister in AML dir­ect­ive
In 2015, the Fourth Money Laun­der­ing Dir­ect­ive (Dir­ect­ive EU 2015/849) re­quired EU mem­ber states to set up re­gisters of the ul­ti­mate be­ne­fi­cial own­ers of leg­al en­tit­ies. That Dir­ect­ive has re­cently been...
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19 January 2021
New GDPR strategy to tackle new tech­no­logy, data se­cur­ity, in­ter­na­tion­al...
The European Data Pro­tec­tion Board (EDPB) pub­lished its GDPR Strategy 2021-2023 on 5 Janu­ary 2021, set­ting out four main pil­lars and key ac­tions, which in­clude: Pil­lar 1: Ad­van­cing har­mon­isa­tion and fa­cil­it­at­ing...
15 January 2021
CMS Ex­pert Guide to con­tin­gency plan­ning with prox­ies
An ac­ci­dent or ill­ness can make someone (tem­por­ar­ily) un­able to act. Through the use of prox­ies, it is pos­sible to not only pro­tect the per­son af­fected. Re­l­at­ives can be taken care of and en­ter­prises...
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14 January 2021
The rise of the glob­al ex­pert ser­vices prac­tice: Court of Ap­peal guid­ance...
A Court of Ap­peal de­cision earli­er this week has up­held an in­junc­tion gran­ted by the TCC pre­vent­ing an in­ter­na­tion­al ex­pert ser­vices firm from act­ing for more than one party to an in­ter­na­tion­al con­struc­tion...
13 January 2021
EU­'s Por­tuguese pres­id­ency re­leases new draft of ePri­vacy Reg­u­la­tion
On 5 Janu­ary 2021, the Coun­cil of the EU – with Por­tugal serving as the Pres­id­ent-in-Of­fice – re­leased a new draft ver­sion of the ePri­vacy Reg­u­la­tion, which is meant to re­place the ePri­vacy Dir­ect­ive...
13 January 2021
European Gen­er­al Court con­firms that re­course to CAS ar­bit­ra­tion un­der...
In its judg­ment of 16 Decem­ber 2020, the European Gen­er­al Court de­cides that the European Com­mis­sion was not en­titled to con­sider that the ar­bit­ra­tion rules of the In­ter­na­tion­al Skat­ing Uni­on (ISU), which...
13 January 2021
Bel­gian trans­ition­al re­gime for the UK in­sur­ance in­dustry
On 1 Janu­ary 2021, the Brexit trans­ition peri­od came to an end and the United King­dom (“UK”) of­fi­cially left the European Uni­on. The UK can now no longer en­joy the be­ne­fits of the in­tern­al mar­ket...
11 January 2021
CMS Ex­pert Guide to 5G reg­u­la­tion and law
At the start of a New Year, most people agree that 5G will change our lives for the bet­ter. Un­like earli­er mo­bile gen­er­a­tions, 5G will not only mark a rad­ic­al change in the way we com­mu­nic­ate (low latency...
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