Overview of the Baltic M&A Market - Feb 2014
  Dear clients and cooperation partners,

2013 was another positive year for the Baltic mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market. Last year saw a notable increase in market activity (57 transactions with a value over USD 5 million (approx EUR 3.66 million)) compared to 2012 (48 transactions). The number of such transactions is already above the 2007-2008 level, with the market gradually exceeding its pre-crisis achievements.

In addition, the Baltic markets surpassed the European and international average in this regard. According to information provided by international M&A directories Mergermarket and Bloomberg, the increase in the number of acquisitions in the Baltics (16%) in 2013 was fourfold higher than the European (4%) and global (-0.3%) averages.

The recent accession of Latvia to the Eurozone and planned adoption of the euro in Lithuania in 2015 should bring even more optimism and new momentum to the market. As demonstrated by the examples of Estonia and now Latvia, euro euphoria among market participants prompts much more activity in the transaction market about a year before and a year after euro adoption.

Without a doubt, 2014 will be challenging and active. And its footprint on the Baltic M&A market will be checked and measured in the traditional Baltic M&A and Private Equity Forum taking place in Vilnius in autumn 2014.

On behalf of SORAINEN Corporate and M&A Team,

Laimonas Skibarka
Lithuanian Office Managing Partner, Co-Head of Corporate and M&A Team in Lithuania



In 2014, the bulk of larger acquisitions in the Baltics are expected to be performed by strategic investors (as in the last few consecutive years). Activity by strategic investors is also stimulated by the fact that following recovery of Baltic economies local companies have accumulated additional funds and financing conditions have improved. All this should encourage companies to invest in development, acquisitions and technologies.

With regional private equity funds becoming more active, the number of smaller transactions should grow in 2014 as well. On the other hand, companies attracting private equity funds and successfully using them for development often turn into attractive targets for strategic investors. This facilitates larger transactions and the emergence of Baltic companies in the international arena.

The positive performance of the M&A market was largely due to a positive response by market participants to economic growth in the Baltic States, belief in a positive economic outlook and the future of the companies acquired, as well as an improving mood in the Eurozone. In 2014, the mood in the Baltic region is likely to remain optimistic and encourage development, which in turn should contribute to more active and bolder steps in planning and implementing mergers and acquisitions. According to the results of a survey of over 100 companies carried out by SORAINEN in all three Baltic States in September 2013 in cooperation with Verslo žinios, Dienas bizness and Äripäev, nearly two-thirds of respondents would seriously consider expanding their business through acquisition of other companies.

Changes in the number of disclosed M&A transactions in the Baltics (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) in 2007-2013

Prepared by SORAINEN according to information of Mergermarket
(the statistics include disclosed transactions with a value exceeding USD 5 million).

The number of larger transactions (with an indicative value exceeding USD 5 million) in Lithuania grew by a third in 2013 compared to 2012 (from 15 transactions in 2012 to 20 transactions in 2013). In this regard, Lithuania nearly caught up with Estonia (21 transactions last year) which was a clear leader in the Baltics in terms of the number of transactions in 2012 (26 transactions or 54% of all transactions in the Baltics). Latvia saw an even more marked increase in the number of transactions, which surged 60% year-on-year. The rise in the number of transactions in Latvia was stimulated by euro adoption and an improvement in the general economic situation in Latvia.

Changes in the number of M&A transactions by country in 2011-2013

Prepared by SORAINEN according to information of Mergermarket.
TOP 10 M&A transactions by disclosed sale price in the Baltics (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) in 2013
No. Buyer Company (shareholding)
Sale price
(EUR million)
1. Šiaulių bankas Ūkio bankas (assets, liabilities and subsidiaries) 782 Lithuania
2. Fingrid, Elering Estlink 78 Estonia, Finland
3. Mart Kadastik, Toomas Issak, Meelis Luht, Andres Kull, Margus Linnamae (private investors) Eesti Meedia 30 Estonia
4. Clement Power Venture Kauno termofikacijos elektrinė (99.5%) 29 Lithuania
5. Grigory Guselnikov (private investor) Norvik Banka (50%) 28 Latvia
6. East Capital Explorer Starman (51%) 24 Estonia
7. Belaruskali Birių krovinių terminalas (30%) 23 Lithuania
8. Portek International Limited Riga Universal Terminal (80%) 21 Latvia
9. East - West Transit Latvijas Nafta 18 Latvia
10. Trust Carriage Company Goverlus (45.4%) 16 Lithuania
Prepared by SORAINEN according to information of Mergermarket and publicly available data.




Bloomberg has released its Global Legal Advisory Mergers & Acquisitions Rankings 2013 which ranks SORAINEN in 8th place among M&A legal advisers in Eastern Europe and in first place among law firms from Baltic and Belarus region. During 2013, SORAINEN advised on 17 M&A transactions (qualifying for Bloomberg’s criteria) in the Eastern European market earning its high ranking after major international law firms such as CMS, Allen & Overy, and White & Case.

Among the transactions advised by SORAINEN in the period under review were:

According to the Bloomberg report, on a global level M&A volume in the fourth quarter of 2013 fell 27.8%, but still the overall volume for the year increased 4%. The financial sector was the most active in terms of M&A in 2013, while the communications industry exhibited the largest growth by deal volume year-on-year, up nearly 42% from 2012.

“Motivation to expand business in neighbouring markets has returned. More companies looking for potential targets in the Baltics indicates positive expectations for development in the region. In general, the last year brought more activity in M&A transactions and currently we already see many deals in the pipeline for the upcoming months,” comments Toomas Prangli, regional co-head of the SORAINEN Corporate and M&A Team.

Bloomberg is an American multinational financial news corporation, highly regarded in the global M&A industry. See also full report on the Bloomberg rankings (the league table for Eastern Europe on page 35).



Palink sells Iki store chain
Ardian and Resource Partners acquire Baltcom TV shares
GE Money Bank exit from Latvia – the market’s most complex portfolio transaction in 2013
Ekspress Grupp invests in Adnet media, biggest online ad network in the Baltics
Estonian tech start-up Plumbr receives USD 1 million investment
Cathay Investments acquires Wellmar Limited
Controlling stake in Helisota acquired by Avia Solutions Group
Getin Holding acquires Belarusian Bank for Small Business
French Rose Group acquires export potent Estonian planing mill

For other recent transactions please click here.


Toomas Prangli
Toomas Prangli
send e-mail
Pärnu mnt 15
10141 Tallinn
phone +372 6 400 900
Eva Berlaus
Eva Berlaus
send e-mail
Kr. Valdemāra iela 21
LV-1010 Riga
phone +371 67 365 000
Laimonas Skibarka
Laimonas Skibarka
send e-mail
Jogailos 4
LT-01116 Vilnius
phone +370 52 685 040
Kiryl Apanasevich
Kiryl Apanasevich
send e-mail
ul Nemiga 40
220004 Minsk
phone +375 17 306 2102

You have received this e-mail with the SORAINEN news because you are in the SORAINEN database. You can modify your subscription preferences by clicking here or to unsubscribe from all SORAINEN mailings in the future, please reply by clicking here.

Please note that SORAINEN newsflashes are compiled for general information only, free of obligation and free of legal responsibility and liability. They do not cover all laws or reflect all changes in legislation, nor are the explanations provided exhaustive. Therefore, we recommend that you contact SORAINEN or your legal or tax adviser for further information. Electronic versions of SORAINEN newsflashes are available on the SORAINEN website – www.sorainen.com.

All rights reserved