CMS European M&A Outlook 2022: Road to Recovery

We are pleased to provide you with this year’s edition of the “European M&A Outlook”, published in co-operation with Mergermarket.

71% of dealmakers agree that private equity (PE) firms are better placed than corporates to take advantage of buying opportunities presented by COVID-19, according to the ninth edition of the European M&A Outlook, published by CMS in association with Mergermarket.

The report offers a comprehensive assessment of dealmaking sentiment in Europe’s M&A market. It reflects the opinions of 330 corporates and PE firms based in Europe, the Americas and APAC about their expectations for the European M&A market in the year ahead.

While financial buyers may be better placed than strategic buyers, more than half of survey respondents expect the overall level of European M&A activity to increase over the next 12 months, with both corporates and PE firms eager to make up for lost time. This stands in stark contrast to last year’s poll, in which 78% of interviewees were preparing for a decrease in M&A.

Key findings from our survey include:

  • A brighter outlook: 53% of respondents expect European M&A activity to increase over the next 12 months (compared to only 2% last year)
  • Low valuations and distress: 24% see undervalued targets as the most important buy-side driver of M&A activity. 22% identify distressed-driven M&A as the most important catalyst for sell-side activity.
  • Private equity in pole position: 71% agree that financial buyers are better placed than strategic buyers to take advantage of buying opportunities in the post-lockdown revival.
  • ESG gaining importance: 72% expect ESG scrutiny to increase during the next three years.

Our features in this year’s report include an editorial on Earn-Outs in the time of COVID-19 pandemic, an editorial on the CEE Hotel Investment Scene, ESG considerations in M&A deals for the year ahead and Brexit and FDI considerations.

Please note that our annual CMS European M&A Study will be published in spring 2022 when we will report back on how this market has impacted M&A transaction terms and conditions.

For more details on CMS´s report click here.

THBE – Hungarian Impact Day Conference

Dear CVCA members,

one of the other conferences held in Hungary is the Hungarian Impact Day which is organized by THBE Association (more info THBE – Társadalmi Hasznosságú Befektetők Egyesülete) on the 14th of October 2021 in Radisson Blu Béke Hotel Budapest.

This conference will be held under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Hungary János Áder and its main topic is Relationship between ESG and Impact Investment. For more agenda, and list of speakers please visit THBE Hungarian Impact Day.

The conference is hybrid so you can participate in person, or virtually.

Among the speakers, you can meet:

  • Sir Ronald Cohen
  • Dr. Cornelius Walter: Lightrock
  • Cyril Gouiffes: European Investment Bank
  • Alexander Langguth: Übermorgen Ventures
  • Nick de La Forge: Planet Ventures
  • Dominik Varga: Erste Asset Management GmbH
  • László Gáti: OTP Fund Management
  • Zsuzsanna Répássy: Ittaszezon!
  • and others

As a partner, we are glad to share a 20% discount for our members. If you are interested, please register HERE, using the code THBE_FRIENDS.

In case of any questions, please contact directly .

Private Equity & Venture Capital Conference

Dear CVCA Members,

As a partner of 0100 Conferences, we would like to kindly invite you to the next Private Equity & Venture Capital Conference, scheduled for November 24, 2021, in the Primate’s Palace in Bratislava, Slovakia. You can look forward to meeting in person 200 PE & VC professionals. You will have a chance to hear the latest industry insights from speakers such as:

  • Andrej Kiska: Credo Ventures
  • Karol Szubstarski: OTB Ventures
  • Rustam Kurmakaev: Mid Europa Partners
  • Julia Sohajda: Vespucci Partners
  • Maximilian Schausberger: Elevator Ventures
  • Martin Chocholacek: Enterprise Investors
  • Pekka Maki: 3TS Capital Partners
  • Marek Malik: Jet Investment
  • Jaroslav Luptak: Neulogy Ventures
  • Michal Rybovic: Sandberg Capital
  • Michal Aron: ARX Equity Partners
  • Bartolomiej Gola: SpeedUp Group
  • Slavo Tuleja: ZAKA VC
  • Radoslav Tausinger: CVI
  • Rudolf Vrabel: 365.fintech
  • Karol Gogolak: G4 FRIENDS – Global Blockchain Funds
  • and many others

Please find the complete agenda here: 0100 Conference Bratislava – The Leading Investment Conference – 0100 Conferences.

As a partner, we are glad to share a 15% discount for our members, using the promo code BA21CVCA.

Please register here.

In case of any questions, please contact directly

 

Enterprise Investors to finance the expansion of Modular System

Polish Enterprise Fund VIII, a private equity fund managed by Enterprise Investors, will acquire a 36.3% stake in Modular System, the largest Polish manufacturer of multi-function container and modular systems.

  • The value of the transaction was undisclosed;
  • The transaction is conditional upon obtaining antimonopoly approval.

Modular System is the undisputed market leader in the production of multi-function turnkey containers and modular systems based on the steel frame technology – the winning solution for temporary non-residential structures (e.g. office buildings, portable staff facilities, military containers). In contrast to traditional construction methods, this technology enables swift, flexible deployment at a fixed cost. It also allows for a high degree of prefabrication.

Modular System’s products are reliable, have a wide range of applications and represent good value for money. As a result, the company is developing dynamically and enlarging its geographical footprint in response to the needs of new market niches. Since 2020 Modular System has reaped the benefits of having a well-equipped and highly efficient new production plant in central Poland. The company’s strong market position is reflected by its excellent financial results. Revenues reached EUR 30 million last year, while in 2021 the company plans to almost double that figure.

“Paweł Brudnicki and Mariusz Brudnicki, the company’s founders, are directly responsible for Modular System’s spectacular success. We are convinced that their entrepreneurial approach, extensive sector knowledge and broad experience will allow us to jointly make the best use of the favorable trends in the construction industry and the advantageous macroeconomic conditions,” said EI partner Michał Kędzia, who is responsible for this transaction. “We expect container and modular technologies to increase in popularity in the years to come, translating into a strong demand for this type of construction. We believe Modular System will not only strengthen its leading position in Poland but will become a regional champion,” he added.

“We are proud that our company has attracted a strong PE investor. Thanks to EI’s backing we now plan to grow at an even faster pace, both by entering new markets and by expanding our offering in those sectors and geographies in which we are already present,” said Paweł Brudnicki, CEO of Modular System.

“Enterprise Investors’ strong track record in the construction industry, including the prefabrication segment, was an important factor in our decision-making process. Together, we plan to replicate this success in the utility containers and modular systems sector,” added Mariusz Brudnicki, a vice president at Modular System, who is responsible for sales and business development.

Private equity invests in record 566 CEE companies in 2020

  • Second-best year for VC investment and private equity exits across the region

Brussels, Belgium – 29 June 2021 Private equity firms invested in a record 566 companies in Central and Eastern Europe in 2020, as the industry supported dynamic SMEs and start-ups that will fuel the recovery from the impact of COVID-19 and underpin long-term economic and social development across the region.

Invest Europe, the association representing Europe’s private equity, venture capital and infrastructure sectors, as well as their investors, today released its 2020 Central and Eastern Europe Private Equity Statistics. The report shows that the number of companies receiving private equity investment increased by 15% on the previous year’s record and beat the five-year average by 46%.

Venture capital was the driving force for company investments in 2020 as firms backed 474 start-ups and scale-ups with total investment of €358 million – just 4% below the all-time high achieved in 2019. Overall private equity investment slipped to €1.7 billion in 2020, mainly due to the absence of large buyout transactions involving equity commitments exceeding €300 million during the period.

Poland was the leading destination with a quarter of the region’s total investment value (€431 million)  and home to almost a fifth of the companies receiving funding. By investment value, it was followed by Estonia with 21% of the CEE total, the Czech Republic (17%), Hungary (14%) and Croatia (9%).  Hungary was the leading destination for investment by deal number with 236 companies receiving €226 million in funding, 220 of those were venture capital. Poland reported a total of 105 new investments, of which 82 were venture deals. Across the region and all investments, Information and Communication Technology was the leading sector, accounting for almost half of companies backed, while Consumer Goods and Services ranked second.

Bill Watson, Chair of Invest Europe’s Central and Eastern Europe Taskforce, commented: “Private equity is supporting more companies than ever across Central and Eastern Europe. These are fast-growing businesses that can help drive the region’s recovery from the effects of the pandemic, as well as its long-term economic and social development. CEE is on a path that converges with the rest of Europe and private equity can play an essential role in enabling companies in the region to achieve their full potential.”

Eric de Montgolfier, CEO of Invest Europe, added: “Private equity backed companies in CEE are developing into local, regional and global champions. They are highlighting not only the talent, skills and entrepreneurship inherent in the region, but also the vast opportunity still to come as experienced managers work with businesses to take them to the next level.”

 

Public offerings fuelled a strong year from private equity exits in 2020, drawing attention to the strength and potential of companies being created in CEE. Exits increased by 47% to €1.4 billion, measured at historical investment cost, with public listings hitting a record of €690 million. The statistics show that the CEE region more than doubled its proportion of European exit value to 5.8% in 2020.

 

Private equity fundraising for investment in CEE dropped to €1 billion as fundraising cycles meant that the region’s large fund managers were not in the market raising new funds. But, the venture capital sector raised €667 million in 2020, the second-highest total on record, positioning the sector for a sustained high level of investment activity in the coming years.

The 2020 Central and Eastern Europe Private Equity Statistics are available to download from Invest Europe’s website, investeurope.eu. Please click here to access the full report.

Český private equity a venture kapitálový trh pandemii odolal: Prodeje jsou na dvojnásobku a hodnota nových investice vzrostla o pětinu

Objem divestic fondů private equity a venture kapitálu (PE / VC) se loni oproti roku 2019 více než zdvojnásobil na 170 milionů eur. Mírný pokles počtu nových investic oproti předchozímu roku byl kompenzován zvýšením hodoty transakcí, a to téměř o pětinu na 280 milionů EUR. Fundraising dosáhl zhruba 100 milionů EUR. Vyplývá to ze zprávy CVCA 2020 Private Equity Report, kterou společně vypracovaly The Czech Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (CVCA) a společnost Deloitte.

Ze statistik vyplývá, že český investiční trh byl vůči pandemii v roce 2020 z velké části odolný. Vzrostl zájem investorů o e-commerce a technologické společnosti, kdy pro nové investice byl klíčový především sektor ICT, ve kterém se odehrála téměř polovina transakcí. To odráží i trend v celé Evropě. Největší finanční objem však směřoval do oblasti biotechnologií a zdravotnictví. Dvě transakce z těchto segmentů představovaly v celkovém úhrnu 174 milionu eur.

„Je zřejmé, že české PE/VC fondy jsou i nadále strategickým a dlouhodobým zdrojem financování pro rostoucí společnosti a dopad Covid-19 v tuto chvíli není zásadně negativní. Pozorujeme však také jistou opatrnost, a to z pohledu investorů, kteří se v roce 2020 více soustředili na své stávající portfolio. Letošní rok nicméně ukazuje, že investoři se vrací k ambiciózním projektům,“ říká Dušan Ševc, partner v oddělení finančního poradenství Deloitte.

Významné investice směřovaly i do startupů, například česká společnost Credo Ventures spoluinvestovala s globálním VC fondem Index Ventures 2,75 milionů dolarů do pražského startupu Resistant AI založeného na kybernetické bezpečnosti a nezveřejněnou částku do společnosti StockStory, jejíž řešení automaticky generuje zprávy o finančních výsledcích největších firem na světě.

Oproti roku 2019 významně vzrostl objem divestic, a to ze zhruba 80 milionů eur na 170 milionů eur. K nejvýznamnějším exitům roku 2020 patřily prodej společnosti MSV Metal Studénka fondu Jet Investments společnosti Moravia Steel a prodej společnosti Walmark z portfolia fondu Mid Europa společnosti STADA Arzneimittel.

 

„I přes značnou opatrnost, která byla ze strany fondů cítit po velkou část roku 2020 kvůli pandemii, nakonec jak investice, tak exity v časovém srovnání s předchozími roky dosahují poměrně vysokých úrovní. Je velmi dobře možné, že bez dopadu covidu bychom se přiblížili rekordním úrovním aktivity private equity na českém trhu,“ hodnotí rok 2020 a private equity v tomto období Jiří Beneš, prezident CVCA a zároveň Managing partner fondu Genesis Capital Growth.

 

Fundraising dosáhl výše zhruba 100 milionů eur a je srovnatelný s rokem 2019. To značí důvěru trhu a z pohledu investičních cyklů se jedná o významný objem. Dlouhodobou důvěru investorů v český a středoevropský region potvrzuje i loni spuštěný fundraising Genesis Private Equity Fund IV (GPEF IV) společností Genesis Capital Equity, který se podle dostupných informací podaří letos dokončit a který se zaměří na investice do malých a středních společností se sídlem v České republice, na Slovensku, v Polsku, Maďarsku a Rakousku.

 

Přes polovinu raisovaného objemu představují prostředky ve venture kapitálových fondech, tedy fondech zaměřených na rané fáze rozvoje firem. „Celkově byl právě venture kapitálový sektor pandemií zasažen relativně minimálně, s výjimkou start-upů napojených na oblast cestovního ruchu a gastronomii. I ty však mnohdy pandemickou pauzu využily k vylepšení a dotažení svých produktů. A právě pandemie díky hladu po technologických novinkách, „vychytávkách“ či e-commerce posunula mnohé začínající technologické firmy raketově dopředu,“ doplňuje Zuzana Picková, výkonná ředitelka CVCA. „Naopak však pro řadu začínajících VC fondů bylo velmi náročné dokončit započatý fundraising.“

 

Zpráva CVCA 2020 Private Equity Report vychází ze sběru dat Invest Europe, evropské asociace PE a VC, který je nejreprezentativnějším v rámci odvětví PE/VC. Naleznete ji zde.

Versute Investments and BHS Private Equity sub-fund are delighted to announce a new acquisition in the field of production of feed mixtures for livestock.

General partner Versute Investments s.r.o. (“Versute”) and Sub-fund BHS Private Equity Fund (“BHS PE Fund”) prepared in cooperation with the owners of Babičkin Dvor a.s. (“Babičkin Dvor”) project for the reconstruction and operation of manufactory of feed mixtures for livestock under a separate company Babičkin Dvor Agro Servis a.s. (“BDAS”).

Babičkin Dvor owns and operates nine poultry farms in the region of Velký Krtíš and is the second largest producer of eggs in Slovakia. The company is currently making investments in order to increase capacity and transfer the form of poultry farming from cages to free ranges. Simultaneously, the management of Babičkin Dvor identified the opportunity to buy, at favourable price, assets which historically served as a manufactory of feed mixtures for livestock. And as Babičkin Dvor and its production volume are growing, it was advantageous for them to acquire its own production of feed mixtures. However, due to the aforementioned investment project, Babičkin Dvor did not havesufficient resources and capacity to implement this plan. Therefore, and especially due to the fact that the possibility of purchasing the above-mentioned assets was limited in time and the subsequent construction of similar manufactory on “green field” would be much more expensive, Babičkin Dvor and Versute agreed on a joint plan to purchase, reconstruct and operate the manufactory of feed mixtures under the stand-alone company BDAS.

Hence, BDAS is a newly created entity, within which an investment project is being realized – the purchase of the assets, their repairing and production of feed mixtures. Major owner of BDAS is BHS PE Fund, whose capital is used for the aforementioned purchase of the assets and the start of production. Babičkin Dvor will then be purchasing approximately half of the production of BDAS every year and the other half will be sold on the market within the region.

Babičkin Dvor Agro Servis a.s. is currently the fourth active portfolio investment of BHS PE Fund, which expands its already high-quality and resilient portfolio with an investment that is not only resilient to economic fluctuations, but also meets sustainability criteria.

Sub-fund BHS Private Equity Fund, which is a sub-fund of BHS Fund II. – Private Equity, investment fund with a variable capital, a.s., focuses on investments in small and medium size enterprises in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Fund generated a record-breaking net return of 23.11 % in 2020.

Enterprise Investors sells Wento

Polish Enterprise Fund VI, a private equity fund managed by Enterprise Investors, has sold Wento, a leading Polish renewable energy company specializing in photovoltaic projects. The buyer, Equinor, is a broad energy company with activities in oil, gas, offshore wind and solar energy in more than 30 countries worldwide.

  • The value of the transaction is EUR 100 million;
  • Total gross proceeds generated by the investment amounted to EUR 139 million.

Building on experience gained during its investment in Polish Energy Partners (PEP), now Polenergia, in 2012 Enterprise Investors made another investment in the renewable energy sector when it founded Wento. EI invited a group of experienced managers to run the project, including Wojciech Cetnarski, PEP’s founder and former CEO. Initially Wento focused on wind energy projects but in 2016 pivoted toward the solar energy market. In total, Wento has developed 177 MW of photovoltaic projects to the stage of securing contracts for difference in the auction framework mandated by the Polish government. With a secured pipeline in excess of 1000 MW of further solar projects, the company is well equipped to meet Poland’s growing demand for renewable energy.

“Our investment in Wento has followed the changing fortunes of Poland’s renewable energy market.  The management team led by Wojciech Cetnarski has shown it can adapt and persevere in its goal of building a company that contributes meaningfully to the green transformation of Poland’s energy sector while making good returns for its investors,” said Michał Rusiecki, a managing partner at Enterprise Investors who is responsible for this transaction. “We are convinced that under the new ownership Wento will gain the resources needed to become an even more important contributor to the renewable energy market in Poland,” he added. 

ARX Equity Partners acquires Promens Zlin, Tier 1 system and development supplier of large plastic components for utility vehicles

ARX Equity Partners has agreed to complete the acquisition of Promens Zlin.

ARX is acquiring the company from Berry Global (NYSE: BERY) with deal completion being subject to customary closing conditions. As part of the investment, ARX has agreed to partner with the company´s existing management team, who will continue to lead its future growth and development.

Promens Zlin (headquartered in Zlin, Czech Republic) is a Tier 1 system and development supplier, focused predominantly on large vehicle exterior and interior parts, which are key components in the production of buses, earth moving vehicles and agriculture equipment. Promens Zlin possesses exceptional R&D capability, especially in the important areas of reaction injection molding and vacuum forming. The company is currently undergoing a substantial capital expenditure programme to both expand and modernise its production facility, in order to meet growing demand from its customer base. In fiscal year ending 2020, Promens Zlin generated sales of ~€ 37 million.

Mid Europa invests in the leading Baltics e-commerce platform

Mid Europa Partners (“Mid Europa”) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with MCI.Techventures and minority shareholders of UAB Pigu (“Pigu”) to acquire 100% shareholding in the company. Additionally, Mid Europa has agreed with MCI.Euroventures and the founding shareholders of Pigu and Hobby Hall Group OÜ (“HHG”) to combine Pigu and HHG. The combination will result in the creation of the leading e-commerce and online marketplace platform operating across Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia with a growing presence in Finland (the “Group”).

Mid Europa will emerge as the majority shareholder supported by MCI.Euroventures (MCI buyout fund) and the two founding shareholders of Pigu and HHG retaining significant stakes in the combined Group. The transaction, which is subject to antitrust approval, is expected to complete in Q2 2021.

With several million registered customers across four countries, over 2,000 merchants onboarded on Pigu’s proprietary marketplace platform over the last year, as well as a unique portfolio of online shopping destinations such as pigu.lt, kaup24.ee, hansapost.ee, 220.lv, xnet.lv, and hobbyhall.fi, the combined Group is expected to lead the development of the region’s rapidly growing digital economy by offering the best-in-class value proposition and online shopping experience for its customers and merchants alike.

Kerim Turkmen, Partner of Mid Europa, said: “The acquisition of Pigu and HHG demonstrates Mid Europa’s continued focus on supporting established e-commerce leaders in the CEE region, such as Allegro, the major e-commerce platform in Poland. We are excited to team up with Dainius, Taavi and our co-shareholder MCI, as the combined Group follows a similar path of accelerating investment into innovation and customer experience. We believe the combination of Pigu and HHG will mark a new chapter in the development of e-commerce in the Baltic region.”

Rustam Kurmakaev, Principal of Mid Europa, added: “The rapid growth of Pigu and HHG is a testament to what the vision and hard work of ambitious entrepreneurs can achieve. We believe that now is the right time for these two exceptional companies to join forces and we look forward to supporting the combined Group during the years ahead.”

Dainius Liulys, Co-Founder and CEO of Pigu, who will serve as CEO of the combined Group, said: “The combination of Pigu and HHG creates a true regional champion and represents a unique opportunity for us to accelerate e-commerce growth in the Baltics and Finland. We are putting together two incredibly talented teams and expect to leverage our joint fulfilment and technology infrastructure as well as highly complementary product selection to further improve the online shopping experience for our customers. I am delighted to welcome Mid Europa as an experienced and strong partner and look forward to working with them to lead the combined Group through its next phase of growth.”

Taavi Rajur, Co-Founder and CEO of HHG, said: “We are very excited about joining forces with Pigu as we share a common mission of constantly improving the value and convenience of online shopping for our customers. I am also pleased to welcome Mid Europa and look forward to working with them and Pigu on building a world class online marketplace in our region.”

The transaction was executed by Rustam Kurmakaev, Aleksandar Dragicevic, Dragos Ardelean and Bogdan Bunea.

Mid Europa was advised by Porta Finance (M&A), Dechert and Cobalt (legal), OC&C (commercial), Palladium Digital (technology), and EY (financial & tax).

Mid Europa Partners LLP is registered in England, company number OC310725. Its principal place of business and registered address is 120 Regent Street, London W1B 5FE. Mid Europa Partners LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It is included in the FCA register and its registration number is 425836.

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