The most groundbreaking transactions in the region during the last 12 months have just been announced at the Baltic M&A and Private Equity Forum 2016 gala event in Riga. The winners are Trilini Energy, Providence Equity Partners and FCR Media Group.

Here is an overview of the winning deals.

  • Baltic M&A Deal of the Year 2016 Trilini Energy’s acquisition of Eesti Gaas from Fortum and Gazprom (Estonia)

Trilini Energy, the Estonia-based investment holding company acquired a 51% stake in Eesti Gaas from Fortum, for an undisclosed sum, and 37% from Gazprom for EUR 24.5 million.

The significance of the deal lies in the strategic importance of the sector, as well as the deal value plus the fact that local capital is buying out foreign investors.

  •  Baltic Private Equity/Venture Capital Deal of the Year 2016Providence Equity Partners’ acquisition of BITË Group (Lithuania and Latvia)

Providence Equity Partners, the US-based private equity firm managing funds with over USD 45 billion, acquired Netherlands-based Bite Finance International from UK-based private equity firm Mid Europa Partners for an undisclosed sum. BITE is among three leading telecommunication service providers in the region, offering mobile telecommunication and mobile Internet services in Latvia and Lithuania.

This major cross-border transaction marks a completed exit by PE firm Mid Europa Partners and the entry of another global PE investment firm in the Baltics.

  • Outbound Deal from the Baltics 2016FCR Media Group’s acquisition of Truvo of Belgium (Estonia)

FCR Media Group, the Estonia-based provider of local search and operator services, has acquired Truvo, a Belgium-based company engaged in publishing telephone directories in print, online and mobile formats, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition, following a bankruptcy petition filed by Truvo, will save 310 jobs as Truvo will be integrated with FCR Media Belgium.

This was one of the few deals by Estonian buyers with targets outside the Baltics.

The winners were selected by an independent pan-Baltic jury:

  • Kristiina Vassilkova, managing director of EstVCA
  • Kristo Oidermaa, portfolio manager at LHV
  • Edgars Pîgoznis, chairman of LVCA
  • Jânis Maršâns, board member of Dienas bizness
  • Dr Asta Klimavièienë, associate professor at ISM University of Management and Economics
  • Valerij Judin, partner at Summa Advisers

In every case, the jury evaluated the strategic importance of the deal for the Baltic market, the deal value and turnover of the target, the complexity and/or innovative nature of the deal, the financing and payment structure, as well as involvement of Baltic stakeholders. The deals under observation were completed within the past 12 months (October 2015 – October 2016).

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 three Baltic private equity and venture capital associations, EstVCA, LVCA and LT VCA. These organisations were acknowledged for their regional leadership, co-operation and vision in the creation of the Baltic private equity and venture capital market and its international promotion.

“The main goal of these awards is to promote and develop the Baltic M&A, private equity and venture capital industry,” said Sorainen co-managing partner Laimonas Skibarka of the awards, now a tradition of several years. Skibarka added that both the nominated and awarded deals are truly significant for the Baltics and involve Baltic stakeholders.

The winning deals reflect much of what Mergermarket’s Baltic M&A Monitor revealed in March. According to the monitor, the energy, mining and utilities sector plus financial services have recently accounted for over half of the deal value in the Baltic States, with 75% of M&A value stemming from inbound deals. The report also forecast increased M&A activity in the telecommunications, media and technology sector.