After a 10-month setback, the telecommunications sector returned as the leader of Russia's M&A market in February making the highest contribution to the overall result for the first time since April 2013. 3 transactions for a total of $1,374.9 million were registered in the sector (32.6% of the total market volume). The largest deal was the merger of Rostelecom's and Tele2 Russia' mobile assets; for our bulletin's statistical purposes it was estimated proceeding from the smaller party's value at $1.37 billion. The first stage of this transaction was finalized in March. However, occasional major transactions do not give birth to a long-term M&A activity growth trend in the sector, according to the recent issue of AK&M Information Agency's monthly bulletin MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS MARKET (no. 194).
The construction and development sector retained its second position in the ranking of economy sectors in February with 7 transactions for a total of $765.8 million (18.2% of the total market volume). The acquisition by Praktika Development of the incomplete River Mall shopping center project in Moscow estimated at $325 million was the highlight of the month in the sector.
For the first time in a long time, the mass media sector reached the third position in the ranking. 2 transactions for a total of $610.3 million were finalized in the sector (14.5% of the total market volume). This result exceeding the whole year's M&A market volume in the mass media sector 3.6 times is attributable to the sale of ProfMedia to Gazprom-Media Holding for $602 million (net of debt).
Owing to the continuing upsurge of the M&A activity, the IT sector ranked fourth among the economy sectors. 4 transactions for a total of $578 million (13.7% of the total market volume) were finalized in February, the largest of them being the purchase of Italy-based Octo Telematics developing software products for transport and insurance companies by Renova Group, estimated at $400 million.
The metallurgy sector rounded the top 5 contributing two transactions for a total amount of $456.8 million (10.8% of the total market volume), the largest of them being the consolidation of a controlling stake in titan producer VSMPO-Avisma by the management team, estimated at $398 million (indicative value).
Just as in the previous months, industrial sectors were not ranked among the leaders of Russia's M&A market (the only exception being metallurgy). Earlier, we noted that investors were drifting from the real economy to infrastructural sectors: construction and development, telecoms, finance, IT. However, there is a risk that the U.S./EU sanctions will hit the M&A activity most strongly in these "hot" industries.
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