Cross-border deals are on the rise as emerging Europe experiences increased capital inflow from Asia and the further strengthen of the inbound deal flow from main investors in the West.
Deals by value and volume
Emerging Europe saw a total of 1,958 deals during 2019, down 6.5% on 2018, and their combined value came in at EUR 72.34bn (-10.1%). However, looking at the five-year average, the region remains relatively stable, with strong activity seen across many segments of the market.
Real estate and construction remained the most active sector with 378 deals and was also the sector with the highest overall deal value (EUR 16.6bn). Telecoms & IT outperformed manufacturing as the second largest sector by volume (300 deals in 2019, compared with 279 in 2018).
There has been a marked increase in cross-border M&A deals which now account for nearly 60% of all transactions. In-bound investment originating from outside the region witnessed particularly strong growth. By transaction numbers, the US was the clear leader in international investment, clocking up 122 deals – a 37% increase compared with 2018. In-bound investments from UK-based companies also increased (+9%), as did investment from other Western-European countries, including Germany (+17%), France (+19%) and Spain (+133%). There were 1,163 cross-border deals reported in total.
Investment from Asia into emerging Europe also surged in 2019, accounting for 15.9% of M&A value. The overall value has more than doubled y-o-y, reaching EUR 11.5bn in 2019. China’s presence in the region continues to strengthen and it was the largest investor in emerging Europe by value (EUR 6.4bn – more than twice the value of its investment in 2018). The region also saw a rise in the value of investment from Japan (EUR 2.9bn, +112%), Singapore (EUR 607m, +601%) and South Korea (EUR 717m, +1093%).
Leading countries by deal value
Leading countries by deal volume
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