BUSINESS

Disappointingly low M&A activity last year

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

The Marinopoulos supermarket chain was acquired by Sklavenitis.

TAGS: Economy

Last year was definitely not one for the record books regarding mergers and acquisitions in Greece, with PricewaterhouseCoopers describing it as “a period of low investment activity.”

The company on Wednesday reported just 36 M&A transactions in the local economy in 2017, totaling 1.6 billion euros, while there also were three privatizations of state assets, worth 1.7 billion euros, two share capital increases, adding up to 250 million euros, and nine corporate bond issues, valued at 1.9 billion euros.

In total, Greek enterprises attracted investments of 5.5 billion euros, down from 6.5 billion in 2016. According to PwC this activity was mainly driven by the forced divestments of systemic banks and privatization projects, led by the regional airports, which earned state coffers 1.23 billion euros.

It doesn’t look like this year will be any better either.

“Unfortunately,” said PwC Greece partner and deals department head Thanassis Panopoulos, “while there are available assets for investment, there is a considerable imbalance between the expectations of sellers and buyers. Buyers expect a low acquisition price, while sellers expect a high one.”

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