By number of transactions, the most attractive sectors were the IT, energy and mining ones, with 13 M&As each. Real estate followed in closely, with 12 deals, while the healthcare segment came in third with 11.


The banking sector had its own contribution, registering the largest acquisition to the total posted in 2015, where the Italian UniCredit group bought the 45 percent shares Ion Tiriac held in UniCredit Tiriac Bank for some USD 771 million.


As for transactions for which the value was undisclosed, in healthcare there was the acquisition of the Regina Maria network by Mid-Europa Partners, estimated at USD 148 million. In constructions, there was the takeover of Lafarge and Holcim Romania by Irish producer CRH for a whopping total of USD 7.1, of which USD 439 million for the Romanian assets.


As compared to 2014, when 36 percent of the acquisitions were made public, in 2015 there were 39 percent.


Over 60 percent of the mergers taking place last year were made by foreign investors either entering the local market or aiming to consolidate their position. According to the study, Slovakia is the only country in the region that managed to surpass this level.


Compared with 2014, when investors were predominantly from Germany and Austria, the most important foreign investors in 2015 came from the USA. Thus, they were responsible for 10 percent of foreign investment, followed by Ireland and the UK, with 8 percent.


Similarly to 2014, only 6 percent of transactions were made by Romanian investors who have purchased foreign targets, one of the lowest rates in the region, standing at a draw with Bulgaria and Hungary.


In 2015, the overwhelming majority of investors were strategic (83 percent), the number of transactions they carried out increased by 18 percent compared with 2014. This was a trend present in all the region, where overall 78 percent of transactions were made by this type investors.


“Given the macroeconomic forecasts and developments thus far of certain sectors or investment portfolios, we expect cross-border transactions to increase amid strategic solutions chosen by some players in the sectors active in M&A, to keep up with competitors who have already solidified their position through acquisitions,” concluded Florin Vasilica, head of the transactions assistance department wih EY Romania. (source: