The greater part of 2022 was characterised by a strong rebound in corporate transactions in Hungary, with the total value of M&A work up 50% on its 2021 total. This was, in part, driven by corporates seeking to consolidate their positions in light of macroeconomic uncertainty brought on by supply chain issues, rising energy costs and the war in Ukraine. Many are also seeking to shore up their market positions in preparation for a worsening domestic economic situation, with Hungary’s public finances in an uncertain position and a recession expected in 2023. The banking and telecoms sectors have most acutely reflected this trend towards consolidation.
And with such consolidation, inevitably come issues of competition and antitrust. The Hungarian Competition Authority, under Csaba Balázs Rigó, has recently increased its scrutiny of multinational corporations, while allowing greater flexibility to domestic operations. There has also been an increased emphasis placed on consumer protection.
The strong expansion of the Hungarian real estate sector in recent years has triggered a number of entrances into the capital markets, resulting in several newly established real estate investment funds and fund managers operating in Hungary. This has in turn led to numerous high value transactions including restructurings, mergers and acquisitions.
Hungary continues the diversification of its energy supplies as it attempts to compliment the country’s nuclear-dominated market. Project financing has been focused on the construction of photovoltaic power plants and other renewable power projects. As a direct result of the war in Ukraine, firms have reported an increase in mandates concerning employee relocation. Hungary’s proximity and relative stability allows clients with Hungarian-connected businesses or subsidiaries to temporarily or permanently accommodate relocated employees.
On the tech side, Hungary’s economy is in the burgeoning stages of its digital transformation, with businesses on the cusp of embracing the cloud computing and AI technologies which have recently taken root elsewhere in the CEE region and Western Europe.
Prominent full-service firms include Andrékó Ferenczi Kinstellar, Lakatos, Köves and Partners, Hegymegi-Barakonyi and Fehérváry Baker&McKenzie Attorneys-at-Law, Dentons and DLA Piper Posztl, Nemescsói, Györfi-Tóth and Partners Law Firm.