The recently announced multibillion-dollar purchase of a Slovak gas group by the Czech investment fund Energetický a průmyslový holding (EPH) was, reports noted, the largest-ever foreign acquisition by a Czech company.
The $3.5 billion deal, which saw Prague-based EPH secure a 49 percent stake in Slovenský plynárenský priemysel, while notable for its scale, was not an isolated case: Analysts say it appears to reflect a trend in which local capital is increasingly used in major regional acquisitions.
EPH’s mega-purchase comes in the face of a severe downturn in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic, as the effects of the eurozone debt crisis spill over into neighbouring countries.
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(Photo: Jayesh Nair)