The value of Romania's mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market dropped by 36% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018 to 258 million euro, according to an analysis by Deloitte Romania, based on public sources and disclosed value transactions.
However, considering transactions with undisclosed amounts, the total value of the M&A market looks similar to the same period last year, reaching between EUR 500 and 600 million according to the consulting firm's estimates.
"After the end of 2017, which was a record year, mergers and acquisitions segment was slow, but we remain optimistic about this year's prospects. We have booked a single transaction with an officially announced value of over 100 million euro during this period, compared to five in the last quarter of 2017" Ioana Filipescu, M&A partner at Deloitte Romania said.
In total 19 transactions have been announced in the first quarter of 2018, including those with undisclosed value compared to 30 in the same period last year.
(The chart includes transactions announced in the relevant period with a public value of more than 5mln EUR)
The largest transactions in the first quarter of 2018 were:
Series B funding granted by venture capital firms Accel. Capital G and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to the Romanian robotic process automation (RPA) startup UiPath (USD 153 million);The funding boosted UiPath's market value to over $1.1 billion, making it the first Romanian unicorn company. 'Unicorn' is a popular term used when a startup company is valued at over $1 billion.
"UiPath confirms the rise of the IT sector, which has been the star of the Romanian economy in recent years. We expect to see many other transactions in this field with a growing number of start-ups," Filipescu said.
Unilever’s acquisition of Romanian ice cream manufacturer Betty Ice at the end of a competitive sale procedure. The transaction, whose value was not disclosed, is subject to regulatory approval by the Romanian competition authority.
The acquisition by GreenGold Asset Management AB/KB of Cascade Empire and forest management division Ocol Silvic Cascade Empire from Schweighofer Group. Cascade Empire owns over 14,000 hectares of forests in Romania (value not officially disclosed).
Deloitte’s analysis does not include the transactions with a value below EUR 5 million. A significant number of transactions below this threshold have been announced in Q1 of this year.
Romania's M&A market grew by 15% in terms of value to an estimated 4-4.6 billion euro in 2017, according to Deloitte.