“We think there are interesting opportunities today to acquire good-value assets all across Central and Eastern Europe, including Romania. We believe there will be more private equity transactions generally once access to capital and financing has improved”, said Özgür Önder, Investment Director with CVC's Central and Eastern Europe.
CVC Capital Partners, with a portfolio of over 50 companies will acquire Belgian-based brewer InBev’s operations in the region, including Romania, in a deal estimated at €1.5bln.
CVC representative refused to disclose the value of InBev Romania’s assets, but said Romania was the largest of the eight markets in terms of beer volume (4 million hl in 2008) that the private equity fund entered by acquiring InBev’s operations.
“This transaction demonstrates that we are not in the “wait and see mode”: we believe in Romania’s and the region’s strong fundamentals. We are in a strong position to be able to identify the best opportunities, provide the needed capital, and execute the transactions”, Özgür Önder added.
At least five other funds have expressed their interest in purchasing InBev’s assets in Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia. Among the bidders was also InBev’s rival SAB Miller.
The deal brought InBev around €250-300mln, according to M&A consultants polled by Wall-Street.
The acquisition of the brewing business is CVC's first transaction in Central and Eastern Europe, who said that Romania’s growth potential and prospects remain strong. “Given its significant population and number of large, locally owned companies, Romania has been and remains one of our priority markets,” Özgür Önder said.
According to information in the Romanian M&A market, the Luxembourg-based PE fund have been tapping the local market for potential million-euro acquisitions opportunities, which are usually closed by delisting shares and by the opportunity of buying operations of international groups .
Carlyle Group is another PE giant opened in 2007 an office to serve its CEE deals, including Romania, but it eventually scaled back its expansion plans in the region.
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