HVCA’s 19th conference sees further investment in the region


Participants at the 19th annual conference of the Hungarian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (HVCA) on Private Equity, Venture Capital and Corporate Finance in Central and Eastern Europe agreed that the region is seeing incredible positive sentiment that is expected to linger, according to a press statement sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

“This is one of the great student destinations in Europe, and it has enormous unexplored potential. This country has a heck of a lot to be deeply proud of," said Michael Ignatieff, President and Rector of Central European University (CEU), in his keynote speech at the conference yesterday in Budapest. “This economy is growing at 3-4% at the moment. The smartest thing it can do is invest massively in education,” he added.

According to the EY M&A Barometer, total estimated M&A deal value in CEE/SEE for 2016 was EUR 42.6 billion (USD47.7 bln), an increase of 10.7% on the previous year. Last year saw one huge deal in Japanese brewer Asahi’s EUR 7.3 bln acquisition of the CEE assets of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the conference recalled. Private equity (PE) investment in the region, meanwhile, reached its highest value ever, according to Mergermarket, with 103 deals worth a combined EUR 11.3 bln.

“The CEE/SEE region is still offering better growth prospects than the rest of Europe, and PE investors have rewarded it with record deal value,” said Levente Zsembery, HVCA chairman and CEO of X-Ventures. “Hungary has contributed both advisory support and assets for some of the most important regional deals,” he added.

“Our latest M&A Barometer results show not only a strong M&A year in 2016 for the region as a whole, but also Hungary as a particularly attractive target for financial investors, with 32% of all deals going to financial investors, a figure rivaled only by Slovakia,” observed Margaret Dezse, leading partner of Transaction Advisory Service at EY. 

“Private equity and venture capital played an important role in CEEʼs transition to a market economy, by improving corporate governance and efficiency, rebranding products, and so on,” said Anikó Kircsi, head of corporate, M&A and Private Equity at CMS. “2016 was a record year. It seems to be a consensus among experts that this trend will continue in 2017. There is still high growth potential to be leveraged in CEE,” she added.

“The CEE/SEE region has shown that it can deliver the right mix of major, strategically important deals on a global scale, as well as a strong flow of mid-cap deals,” added Hugh Owen, partner at Allen & Overy, another main sponsor and supporter of the conference. “With VC and PE activity and business innovation in CEE/SEE continuing to grow, and with increased inbound investment interest in the region from all over the globe, prospects look excellent for sustained dealmaking into 2017,” he added.

Established in 1991, HVCA represents the interests of the PE and VC industry in Hungary by supporting its members and promoting adherence to the highest possible professional and ethical standards. 

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