PE 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.

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

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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ARX Equity Partners acquires Instrumentation Technologies

ARX Equity Partners (“ARX”) has agreed to complete the acquisition of Instrumentation Technologies (“I-Tech”, www.i-tech.si). Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Solkan, Slovenia, I-Tech is the global market leader in the development and assembly of high-specification instrumentation for data acquisition and signal processing used in scientific particle accelerators. Also core to the I-Tech strategy is utilizing the company’s know-how and R&D capabilities to develop instrumentation for medical proton therapy applications as well as broader industrial markets.

The transaction also includes Red Pitaya (www.redpitaya.com), a handheld electronics lab incorporating instruments such as oscilloscopes and signal generators and which is seeing widespread adoption among signal processing engineers, hobbyists and students.

ARX acquired the company from its founders and financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. As part of the transaction, ARX agreed to partner with the company´s existing management team who will lead the future growth and development of the Company.

Genesis Growth Equity Fund

Genesis Growth Equity Fund I (GGEF I), a fund focusing on smaller and mid-size high growth potential companies primarily in the Czech and Slovak markets, reached its hard cap size of € 40 million following the final closing of the Fund in December 2020 with additional commitments from SPM Capital and Sirius Investments.

“We are pleased to announce completion of the fundraising of Genesis Growth Equity Fund I with a final close reaching € 40 million thanks to support of number of reputable institutional LPs. The Fund was despite current challenging market conditions oversubscribed with the investor commitments reaching the hard cap amount.” comments on the successful fundraising of GGEF I Jiří Beneš, Managing Partner at Genesis Capital Growth.

“Regardless of last year being quite a difficult period for M&A transactions, we managed to close the first investments of GGEF I into two well-performing companies – R2B2 and Home Care Promedica. We look forward to deploying the Fund in the coming years as we see a number of high-growth potential businesses. These often face the issue of succession to the founders but are capable of using development capital efficiently.” added Radim Jasek, Partner at Genesis Capital Growth.

Genesis Growth Equity Fund I will invest equity tickets of up to € 4 million into established companies with a significant growth potential mainly in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which plan on expanding their operations, grow internationally or invest into innovations. The GGEF I team sees a large number of exciting opportunities in this market segment and will provide entrepreneurs and companies with additional capital and support to back their business expansion.

During 2020 the Fund already completed its first two investments when it acquired majority stakes in R2B2, a leading provider of programmatic advertising services in the Czech Republic, and Home Care Promedica, an established provider of professional home health care services mainly in the Prague area.

0100 Virtual CEE_The 2nd Edition of PE & VC Virtual Conference in the CEE Region 16-18/3/2021

0100 Conferences are pleased to invite you to the 2nd edition of their Private Equity & Venture Capital virtual conference in the CEE region- 0100 Virtual CEE scheduled for 16-18 March 2021. You can look forward to more than 500 industry professionals including 300+ investors interested in the CEE region. 

You will have a chance to get insights from speakers like: 

•Tomasz Ciborowski, Partner at Enterprise Investors 

•Rustam Kurmakaev, Principal at Mid Europa Partners 

•Paweł Czupryna, Head of Fundraising at Mount TFI 

•Andrzej Bartos, Senior Partner at Innova Capital 

•Brian Wardrop, Managing Partner at ARX Equity Partners 

•Jan Brávek, COO at Jet Investment 

•Michal Rybovič, Partner at Sandberg Capital 

•Michal Tománek, Investment Director at KKCG Group 

•Ondrej Bartoš, Partner at Credo Ventures 

•Kinga Stanisławska, General Partner & Founder at Experior Venture Fund 

•Andris K. Berzins, Managing Partner at Change Ventures 

•Stephane Gantchev, Partner at LAUNCHub Ventures 

•Piotr Sliwa, Investment Director at 3TS Capital Partners 

•Marcin Szeląg, Partner at Innovation Nest 

•Tomas Kemtys, Partner at Contrarian Ventures 

•Evgeny Angelov, Managing Partner at Silverline Capital 

•Maximilian Schausberger, Managing Director at Elevator Ventures 

•Venelin Dimitrov, Partner & Co-Head of the M&A practice at Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski 

•Barbara Nowakowska, Managing Director at PSIK 

and others. 


Panel discussions cover topics such as Fundraising appetite in the Region, LP perspective on opportunities & new market trends, PE firms dealing with post pandemic situation, VC investing in the region and many more. 

Are you a Limited Partner or General Partner? 

Then you can register with a complimentary ticket HERE

 

Enterprise Investors increases its stake in Anwim

Polish Enterprise Fund VIII, a private equity fund managed by Enterprise Investors (EI), will become the majority shareholder of Anwim, Poland’s largest independent operator of petrol stations trading under the MOYA brand. The company is also involved in fuel wholesale. Increasing EI’s involvement requires anti-monopoly approval.

 

Anwim was founded in 1992 by two entrepreneurs and initially it dealt solely with the wholesale of fuels. In 2009 the company launched retail operations under the MOYA brand and created an independent nationwide chain of petrol stations. Anwim is present in all Poland’s voivodeships, with outlets along the main transit routes and local roads as well as in towns and cities. In addition to petrol sales, the chain’s broad offer includes well-stocked mini stores, Caffe MOYA outlets selling food and coffee, car wash facilities and tailored services for business clients. MOYA leads the Polish market in terms of growth dynamics.

 

Enterprise Investors entered Anwim in 2018, when it had 180 petrol stations. Only in the first three quarters of this year the chain expanded by another 29 stations, and it is set to number c. 310 by the end of 2020. Last year, Anwim’s revenues amounted to EUR 900 million.

 

We are very pleased that Mr. Witold Butkiewicz, Anwim’s founder, will remain a significant shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board. The last two years are irrefutable proof of how much can be achieved through harmonious cooperation between an entrepreneur and a private equity fund,” said Sebastian Król, partner at Enterprise Investors responsible for the investment.

 

Live panel discussion| Impact Investing: New businesses for the future

CVCA and Deloitte cordially invite you to join a live panel discussion Impact Investing: New businesses for the future. We will focus on investing in projects which are financially sustainable and, in the same time, have positive social or environmental impact.

When: 4/12/2020.    2 p.m.

Panelists

Silke Horák, Co-founder & Partner, Tilia Impact Ventures,
Cyril Gouiffès, Head of Social Impact Investments, EIF
Philip Staehelin, Founder & CEO, DOT Glasses
Petr Báča, Founder & CEO, MIWA

Moderators

Zuzana Picková, CEO, CVCA
Dušan Ševc, Partner, Financial Advisory, Deloitte

Live stream here:

https://akce.deloitte.cz/watch/?m=M7KpdQJPXdo