Private equity deals in the CEE region hit all-time high in 2019

Map of CEE countries

Private equity firms invested in 464 companies in Central and Eastern Europe in 2019 – a new record for the region – according to a new study by Invest Europe.

Investment into the CEE countries increased by 7 per cent year-on-year to EUR 2.95 billion the data showed, as the private equity industry boosted its support for start-ups that are fuelling the region’s economic growth.

The report, which is named The 2019 Central and Eastern Europe Private Equity Statistics, demonstrates that private equity investment hit the second-highest total ever recorded at EUR 2.95 billion, with the number of companies up 10 per cent on the previous year to a new all-time record.

“Since the fall of the Berlin Wall three decades ago, Central and Eastern Europe has undergone a remarkable political and economic transformation,” said Robert Manz, chair of Invest Europe’s Central and Eastern Europe Taskforce.

“Private equity is proud to have played its part, bringing not only capital, but also the expertise and skills to help drive the region’s successful convergence process,” he added. 

Estonia was the main destination in terms of investment in 2019,  accounting for 23 per cent of the private equity capital invested in the region, followed by Poland (20 per cent) and Romania (19 per cent), according to Investment Europe. The organisation represents Europe’s private equity, venture capital and infrastructure sectors and its investors.

In terms of sectors, around half of CEE investments occured in the information and communication technology sector, following in the footsteps of Bucharest-based business automation software group UiPath, and Polish online medical appointment booking system developer DocPlanner.

“[The report] paints the picture of a mature investment ecosystem that still has plenty of room to grow. Across the region, private equity and venture capital is supporting innovation and business expansion, which in turn is driving economic growth and job creation,” said Eric de Montgolfier, CEO of Invest Europe.