How the Debt Market is Shaping up in CEE

Central & Eastern Europe Private Equity M&A Toolkit

At our recent CEE M&A and Corporate Financing Forum, we caught up with Adil Seetal of CVC Capital Partners.

The noteworthy things occurring now in debt finance are the number of large sponsor deals in the last 12 months.  These deals have given investors a good sense of what the market will and will not accept.  Additionally, there has been some convergence in the debt market recently, especially in documentation.   This convergence has reduced the number of differences in trading, and thus the numbers of hurdles to jump over for trans-European deals.  There are still some areas of complexity, mainly currency, amortization, covenants, and ratings.

The following question was about determining how markets compete within the CEE.  This competition is mainly related to size.  Poland, for example, can offer local banks, international banks with a local focus, and institutional investors from London to their businesses.  Smaller countries, and thus smaller markets, can’t offer this range of services.  Another forward-looking question about the high-yield opportunities in CEE followed.  Adil Seetal responded with “the high yield market would be very supportive of a high yield bond in the region.” The issue is deal size limits the number of high yield bonds, as €200m is usually the minimum for justifiable returns.  Additionally, banks have been able to meet requirements up to that level very often so far.   Therefore, it is not a question of whether the opportunities are worthwhile, it is more to do with how many will arise.

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