On 4 October, the winners of the Baltic M&A and Private Equity Awards were announced as part of the Baltic M&A and Private Equity Forum. The most prominent deals of the year were awarded in three categories.

  • Baltic M&A deal of the year 2017 – Nordea and DNB transaction of combination of operations in the Baltics

DNB, a leading Norway-based financial services company, and Nordea, the largest financial services group in northern Europe, have agreed to combine their Baltic region operation, creating the leading bank in the Baltics with strong Nordic roots.

This is the biggest transaction in the history of the Baltics – the value of combined assets is EUR 13 billion. The significance of the deal lies in challenging regulatory aspects: the merger had to be approved by the EU Commission and the European Central Bank.

  • Baltic Private Equity/Venture Capital Deal of the Year 2017 – PAG Capital and Meridian Capital Management investment in Food Union

PAG Capital (Hong Kong) will invest EUR 161.6 million and Meridian Capital (Russia) will invest EUR 52.4 million in Food Union. The transaction will enable Food Union to expand and build a strong dairy products business in China. Food Union operates in nine countries and employs 2,500 personnel.

The deal value is EUR 214 million, a major PE investment from the Asian region, which will provide an opportunity for a Baltic company to expand its exports to the Asian region.

  • Outbound Deal from the Baltics 2017 – European Lingerie Group’s acquisition of Felina (Germany)

Latvian-based European Lingerie Group (former name Lauma International) has acquired Felina, a Germany-based manufacturer and retailer of lingerie, from Palero Capital, a private equity firm also based in Germany. Citadele Bank and Baltikums Bank provided financing for the transaction. The acquisition of Felina will enable European Lingerie Group to expand its operations involving underwear production and trade, creating a new, vertically integrated group with total revenue exceeding EUR 75 million and with a workforce of 1,250 employees.

Felina reported minimum revenues of EUR 41 million in 2016 and has a workforce of more than 700 employees, ie the size of the target is similar to or bigger than the size of the bidder.

You can read more about previous years’ award-winners here: 2016, 2015, 2014.

The winning deals for the 2017 awards were selected by an independent pan-Baltic jury:

  • Jûratë Aþelionytë, European Investment Fund
  • Kristiina Koort, Estonian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association
  • Prof. Enn Listra, School of Business and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology
  • Jûratë Majauskienë, Association of Financial Analysts, Summa Advisers
  • Jânis Janevics, Imprimatur Capital
  • Rûdolfs Krese, ZGI Capital

The committee selected the winning deals according to criteria such as deal value and strategic importance to the Baltic region, complexity, innovation, financing structure, and involvement of regional representatives.

In addition to the deal awards at the Gala, the European Investment Fund also announced the Annual Achievement Award for the Baltic private equity and venture capital industry. This award was taken home by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The organisation was acknowledged for its “Baltics Integrated Approach – capacity building for fund managers”.

About The Baltic M&A and Private Equity Forum 2017

In cooperation with Sorainen, the leading business publications in three countries – Verslo Þinios (Lithuania), Dienas Bizness (Latvia) and Äripäev (Estonia) – organised the 7th annual Baltic M&A and Private Equity Forum. Every year, the forum gathers over 200 representatives from private equity and venture capital funds and investment banking, consultants, lawyers, and business executives and owners from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. This year, the forum was held on 4-5 October in Vilnius. Read more here»