Recent consolidations in the SEE region are confirming the continuous M&A trend. In Bulgaria, Postbank (member of Eurobank Group) acquired the Bulgarian subsidiaries of Alpha Bank and Piraeus Bank, and DSK Bank (part of OTP Group) absorbed Societe Generale Expressbank; while very recently the Belgian KBC Group expanded footprint by acquiring Raiffeisen Bank Bulgaria.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in SEE slowed further down in 2020 before a robust recovery so far in 2021 with total transactions amounting to 5.4 billion euro versus 6.6 billion euro for the entire previous year. Both deals flow and timing were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Investment decision-making and deal processing postponed in 2020 are becoming a fact in 2021. The M&A market rebound is most visible in Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia. Romania, usually the highest contributor, is catching up at a slower pace. In the past 20 months the regional leaders are the traditional ones – Romania and Bulgaria, with Slovenia coming on board as a high performer. While M&A activity in most SEE countries was influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economic investment sentiment, as well as excessive funding availability, it was local specifics rather than common features which tended to determine the main drivers of M&A in each country.
2014 was a limited success year for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Southeast Europe (SEE), but an analysis of deals already announced in 2015 indicates an improving outlook. In the past couple of years, the M&A activity in most SEE countries suffered to differing degrees from slower economic growth, the small size of the national consumer markets and political instability. Nevertheless, local specifics rather than common features tended to determine the main drivers of M&A in each country.