By Suzy Bibko, Content Marketing Manager, EMEA
The current pandemic has affected businesses and dealmakers in a variety of ways around the globe, from dealing with a new type of uncertainty to reshaping strategies to working from home. Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has not been immune from these challenges, but has held up fairly well compared to the rest of Europe: according to Mergermarket data, CEE has had 108 deals worth €7.1bn to date, with Q1 2020 figures on par with Q1 2019. However, like many other regions, Q2 has been experiencing a slowdown. Will CEE be able to bounce back? If so, what will drive a recovery? And how can technology help dealmakers get the deals done? At our recent Deal Drivers: CEE webinar, in partnership with Mergermarket and moderated by Deane McRobie, we asked panellists Mateusz Kacprzak, Richard Clegg, and Zhanina Panova, as well as our audience, for their views on these issues.
It’s all about confidence
Interestingly, CEE dealmakers feel that consumer confidence will most drive market recovery, rather than restructuring as we saw in the UK. Whether this is due to the amounts of dry powder at the ready and availability of liquidity due to record amounts of capital raised prior to the pandemic – with much of it unspent – or where we are in the pandemic cycle and the desire and need to finally get on with things is unknown. But optimism, albeit likely with caution, may be how the region proceeds.
Investing in divesting
That being said, restructuring can’t be ignored as helping drive recovery. In the poll above, it came in second, and many dealmakers are seeing strategies being revised to survive. Companies are looking at their core and non-core assets, which will be one of the drivers of recovery and the type of restructuring they pursue.
A virtual world
Of course, most of this recovery is going to start at home – literally. The ‘new normal’ of working remotely means that dealmakers are clear that they must be able and capable to get the deals done from their desks, whether in the office or at home.
“This is great news for Datasite, because this is what we do,” stresses Zhanina Panova, VP of Sales at Datasite. “Virtual is part of who we are and what we provide, and has been for many years. We have heavily invested in our tools, not just for the virtual data room, but for the entire M&A cycle. So, I’m thrilled to see that dealmakers in CEE understand the value we provide and that we are here to help them get the deals done.”