Romania: Big transactions that made the headlines in 2017

Romania saw a growing number of big transactions in 2017 in all local business sectors. Banking, healthcare, industry, IT and real estate were the sectors where the most important deals took place.

Banking: Consolidation in the Romanian banking sector continued in 2017 as Greek banks decided to withdraw from the local market. As a result, three important banks that were part of Greek groups were sold this year. The first transaction was OTP Bank’s takeover of Banca Romaneasca from National Bank of Greece (NBG), a deal whose value has been estimated at some EUR 100 million. However, the deal of the year was again signed by local Banca Transilvania, which reached an agreement to buy Bancpost and the other local subsidiaries of EFG Eurobank. The value of this transaction, which is still pending approval, hasn’t been made public, but is estimated at some EUR 230-250 million, according to mergers & acquisitions journal Mirsanu.ro. When finalized, this transaction will take Banca Transilvania very close to market leader BCR. In December, Greek group Piraeus also announced the sale of its local subsidiary to US investment fund JC Flowers, the first international player to enter the local banking sector after many years.

Industry: Industry also made the headlines with big transactions this year, some of which were quite surprising. One of the biggest deals of the year was the purchase of the Ecopaper Zarnesti and Ecopack Ghimbav paper factories by British group DS Smith from local investor Vladimir Cohn. The total value of this deal, including debt amounts to EUR 208 million. Dutch ship builder Damen also made a surprise acquisition, taking over a majority stake in Romania’s biggest shipyard, Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries. Romanian investor Stefan Vuza won the tender to buy most of the assets of insolvent chemical plant Oltchim, aiming to build Romania’s biggest chemical group. Another big transaction in the industrial sector was German group Xella’s takeover of local brick producer Macon from Polish fund Enterprise Investors.

Energy: The biggest deal in the energy sector was signed by state-controlled electricity holding Electrica, which bought the minority stakes held by investment fund Fondul Proprietatea in its subsidiaries for EUR 165 million.

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