Dealmaking conditions could scarcely have been more challenging. Yet, as our report reveals, the impact on M&A activity in the CEE region was much less pronounced than many initially feared. In fact – and with the exception of 2021, a somewhat anomalous record-year for M&A – deal volumes and aggregate deal value in 2022 both reached new highs in CEE.
Resilience is the key word for dealmaking in CEE in 2022, despite the global challenges.
CEE has strong fundamentals and should remain attractive for international investors in 2023.
Download Investing in CEE: Inbound M&A report 2022/2023
Overall, CEE saw 846 transactions worth €39.2bn in aggregate in 2022. While these figures represent a drop-off from a record-breaking 2021, both deal volume and value were nonetheless higher than any other full-year on record, suggesting that dealmakers in the CEE region have adapted rapidly to the tougher environment that emerged in 2022.
Further key findings include:
- Regional hotspots. The top four countries for M&A deal volume in CEE in 2022 were Poland (with 235 deals), Austria (120), the Czech Republic (81) and Romania (76). In terms of aggregate deal value, Poland and Austria likewise took the top two spots, followed by Hungary and then Croatia.
- Tech still the star performer. Technology stands out as the primary generator, in volume terms, of inbound CEE deals involving bidders from outside the region in 2022. While the number of deals recorded (108) was down 13% from the exceptional levels reached in 2021 (124), it is nonetheless one of the highest annual deal totals yet seen for the tech sector, with the next closest being the 60 transactions logged in 2020.
- Narrowing valuation gap. The median EV/EBITDA multiple for CEE across all sectors was 8.5x in 2021-22, Mergermarket data shows. This is only marginally lower than the median multiple for Western Europe, which was 8.9x for the same period. This convergence is significant. The data shows that the median multiple for CEE has risen (by more than half a turn of EBITDA compared to 2019-20’s 7.8x), while the Western Europe multiple has fallen (from 10.7x in 2019-20).
Discover other related insights:
Mazars CEE deal advisory highlights 2022
Our highlights showcase a selection of projects we advised on throughout the region.
Reflecting on the year, there are a few key themes that have directed and influenced Mazars’ transactional activity in CEE.
Mazars among top CEE M&A transaction advisors in 2022
For the seventh year running, Mazars is ranked fifth by Mergermarket for the number of successful M&A Transaction Services projects advised in 2022 according to the Accountant League Table for Central & Eastern Europe.