According to Sorainen’s study, the amount of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Estonia increased 44% in 2012 compared to 2011.
However, the activity of Baltic M&A market decreased as a whole; the amount of announced transactions decreased 16% after the activation of the market in 2011.
„Last year, Estonian-related transactions accounted for more than usual in the M&A market for various reasons. One of them is that the previous owners of the companies had a wish to sell or to leave the market and/or its sector (e.g. transactions of Vesta ja Vopak E.O.S. terminals),“ explained Toomas Prangli, the leader of Sorainen regional M&A and private equity group.
By far the largest M&A transaction in the Baltics in 2012 was the acquisition of 37.5% stake in the Global Ports Investment by APM Terminals Management. Global Ports Investments is the owner of the Vopak E.O.S., the biggest producer of oil products in the region of Baltic sea, which is located in Muuga. Six out of ten biggest M&A transactions in the Baltics were at least partly related to Estonia.
According to Mergemarket and Bloomberg, international M&A market was in decline in 2012. The decrease in the activity of transactions in the Baltics was sharper than the 10% fall in Europe and 4% fall in the world. Nevertheless, the latest study of M&A market, which was conducted among the Baltic companies, showed that the expectations of the stakeholders and investors overlap more and more in Estonia and Lithuania, which can lead to more acquisition transactions in 2013.
„We believe that the activity of M&A market in 2013 will at least remain the same as in the previous year. This cannot be compared to the best years in 2007-2008, but it has developed into a decent indicator of the economic situation in Europe,“ added Prangli. „We can already see active preparations of companies for the sale, but the success, as usually, depends on the interest of the buyers and both sides’ expectations of the price.
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