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Value of acquisitions surges in 2005

WHILE last year Slovakia recorded 12 percent fewer fusions and acquisitions than in 2004, the value of the deals increased by 60 percent, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

WHILE last year Slovakia recorded 12 percent fewer fusions and acquisitions than in 2004, the value of the deals increased by 60 percent, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

Slovakia was the only country in Central and Eastern Europe or the former Soviet Union where the number of fusions and acquisitions dropped.

PWC, an international audit firm, said the number of published transactions in Slovakia dropped from 85 in 2004 to 75 in 2005. However, the 2005 figure is still better than the 61 transactions in 2003 and 51 in 2002.

The report says that the average value of published transactions in the private sector was $81 million, a dramatic increase over 2004 when the average value stood at $28 million.

The authors of the report recorded 1,848 published transactions in the private sector in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

"The estimated value of published transactions increased from $52.1 million to $71 million in 2005," reads the PWC report.

In 2005, there were four transactions published in the Slovak private sector worth more than $100 million.

The largest included the sale of the remaining share package in Orange Slovakia to France Telecom; the sale of the remaining shares in Slovenská sporiteľňa to the Erste Bank; the sale of the remaining share package in Eurotel to Slovak Telecom; and the privatization of power utility Slovenské elektrárne by the Italian Enel.

Telecom firms accounted for a third of all transactions and fusions. The processing industry, financial services and food processing also saw activity.

The share of foreign investors in foreign transactions was 68 percent in 2005, compared to 55 percent in 2004.

The most significant private sector investors were the Czech Republic, followed by Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.

In 2005, Slovak firms carried out six foreign transactions, four of them in the Czech Republic. J&T bought shares in Severočeská energetika and První Energetické. Other transactions went to Hungary and Switzerland.


- Beata Balogová

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