Poland has record high number of M&A transactions in 2021 - report

The number of merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions in Poland hit a record high of 329 in 2021, 99 more than in 2020, a new report has found.

According to the report by the firms Navigator Capital and Fordata, the largest M&A transaction last year took place in the life insurance sector, with Allianz SE taking over Aviva Poland for PLN 11.7 billion (EUR 2.6 billion).

"The record number of last year's mergers and acquisitions results from the good conditions on the M&A market that have been sustained both in Poland and globally," Karol Szykowny from Navigator Capital, an investment advisory firm, said in a press release.

He explained that for most of the year interest rates were low despite rising inflation, which encouraged investment. "Some enterprises used it as an opportunity to carry out horizontal or vertical integration in order to optimise rising costs," Szykowny added.

Another factor stimulating M&A transactions last year, especially in the technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sector, was the pandemic boost for e-commerce.

"Customers are more and more inclined to choose online shopping, which translates into increased demand for e-commerce platforms and this, in turn, boosted the M&A market," said Marcin Rajewicz from Fordata, a virtual data room company. Rajewicz added that there were 27 takeovers in the e-commerce sector last year, compared to nine in 2020.

Navigator Capital and Fordata also reported that 26 percent of companies that had been taken over last year operated in the TMT sector, 11 percent in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sector and 9 percent in the sectors of biotechnology, health services and industry.

Among other major M&A transactions on the Polish market in 2021, the analysts listed the takeover of Polkomtel Infrastruktura by Cellnex Telecom from Cyfrowy Polsat for PLN 7.1 billion (EUR 1.6 billion), and the acquisition of UPC Polska by Play Communications for PLN 7 billion (EUR 1.5 billion) along with the purchase of the e-commerce platform Mall Group and the Czech logistic company WE/DO by Allegro for PLN 4 billion (EUR 885 million).