PRAGUE – A strong performance in the 2016 M&A league table rankings rounds off a successful year for A&O’s Corporate practice in Prague. The league tables published by Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg and Mergermarket confirm the standout position of A&O in the Czech market.
A&O’s corporate team was the lead adviser on six of the eight highest value M&A deals of 2016 in the Czech Republic (excluding real estate sector M&A), cementing our position as a leading adviser on complex high-value M&A transactions. Among the diverse deals our team advised on are:
- Asahi Group Holdings on its EUR7.3bn acquisition of the former SABMiller businesses and operations in the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania from AB InBev. The deal marks the biggest acquisition of a foreign beer operation by a Japanese brewer and includes the acquisition of Plzeňský Prazdroj and its global brand Pilsner Urquell.
- MIH Allegro, a subsidiary of Naspers, on its sale of Netretail Holding, a leading CEE online retailer Mall Group, and Heureka, the Czech online search comparison engine to Rockaway Capital.
- A consortium comprising Macquarie Infrastructure Funds and other global investors on the acquisition of a 30% interest in EP Infrastructure from Energetický a průmyslový holding, a.s.
- Founders and shareholders of Walmark on the termination of their JV agreement with Mid Europa Partners relating to Walmark, and the sale of the remaining 50% shareholding in Walmark to Mid Europa Partners.
In the Czech Republic A&O was first (by value, Thomson Reuters); third (by value, Bloomberg); and second (Mergermarket, by value), and in the CEE region A&O ranked first for 2016 (by value, Thomson Reuters).
The trend continues in 2017 when we advised MTG Broadcasting AB on its disposal of its 50% shareholding in FTV Prima Holding in the Czech Republic, the Czech commercial TV broadcaster.
Global M&A proved resilient in 2016, despite political and economic uncertainties. Key themes included the decline in ‘mega deals’ as mid-size deals dominated, withdrawn deals reached an eight-year high over regulatory concerns, and the flow of outbound Chinese M&A continued.
Prokop Verner, Head of Allen & Overy’s corporate practice in Prague, commented: “2016 was an extraordinary year for our practice. The Czech market has witnessed a number of large deals accompanied by a busy mid-size deal flow and we have picked up a good share of both of these. Sector-wise, in the 2016 most deals were generated in the FMCG and retail, e-commerce, energy and manufacturing sectors. These were accompanied by an increase in IT/Tech and FinTech deals. We expect this positive trend to continue this year.”