M&A may be down across the region but executives are upbeat about the prospects for 2019 and beyond. Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic lead the way in terms of deals done, while TMT has taken the lion's share of deal value. The key challenges to deals were different working cultures and the availability of financing.
Merger and acquisition activity in CEE fell in 2018, with overall values down 18% to 21.3bn and volumes falling 13% to 445 deals. This was despite good levels of economic growth across the region. The consensus is that most countries have put the global recession behind them – and more recent domestic shocks in some economies. However, there are headwinds from the global economy, with uncertainty over trade disputes between the US and China, the UK’s departure from the EU, and the political and economic direction of major European countries, including Italy.