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EY: Substantial increase in Hungary M&A in 2013

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EY has released its 2013 M&A Barometer for Central and Southeastern Europe (CSE), a region comprising the countries of Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. While substantial year-on-year growth was seen in Hungary’s M&A market, much nore can be attributed to a single player: The central government.

For 2013, 91 merger-and-acquisition deals were publicly disclosed, a slight jump from the 82 of a year previous. However, the EY study’s authors noted the value of Hungary’s M&A “increased substantially” in ’13 to an estimated $1.28 billion, with an average deal worth $9.9 million; these numbers were $550 million and $6.7 million.

Some 54 of the 91 transactions (or 59%) were domestic deals, i.e. those in which both buyer and seller were Hungary-based entities. While the ratio of domestic transactions was close enough to EY’s CSE average of 52%, overshadowing here was one “interesting aspect of the Hungarian transaction market,” namely “that the Hungarian state, both directly and through state-owned companies became an active player” in 2013.

Transactions driven by the state were not included in EY statistics cited above, but at least four buyups by government concerns – those of E.On, Széchenyi Bank, Pécsi Vízmű Zrt., Gránit Bank – totaled above the private sector average.

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