The highlight of Drakopoulos’ work this year would be corporate and M&A, according to Managing Partner Panagiotis Drakopoulos, as a result of the overall Greek business climate and the country’s good position geopolitically, making it particularly attractive for foreign direct investments.
"In 2022, the firm's Corporate and M&A practice had the biggest increase compared to the previous years," Drakopoulos begins. "In terms of mandates, a number of transactions took place in real estate, financial technology, energy, manufacturing, insurance, logistics, etc. We had well over a dozen mandates in M&A, such as SoftOne's acquisition of a procurement platform (CosmoOne) from the OTE-Cosmote Group, Prodea's acquisition of a real estate portfolio from a foreign investors' group, and the sale of a significant stake in the Agro FSRU in Volos to Greek shipowner Dragnis Group. There is quite an increase compared to the previous years."
Drakopoulos notes that, consequently, the firm had to hire new experts and work for longer hours in order to deal with the increased workload. "In particular, we needed senior experts who had specific experience in fields such as insurance and energy, and those who could autonomously lead the teams," he points out.
"In general, such an increase in M&A activity can be attributed to the country’s overall business climate and geopolitics," Drakopoulos adds. "We are the only EU member country in the region with a mature economy and large technology infrastructure centers in development. As a gateway to South East Europe, Greece is attractive for investments for companies from the US, Asia, and the wider Europe region, looking to start operations in SEE and beyond," he says, adding that, "as a firm, we have always been outward-looking, with mostly international clients who have an appetite for FDIs in Greece." According to him, as a result, the Greek M&A market and its different players had to adapt to an increased workload and leverage the fact that, currently, such transactions are working out a lot more smoothly than they did in the past.
As for the outlook for the practice, Drakopoulos says that "there is a lot of volatility globally, therefore, it’s difficult to make any safe predictions." Still, he believes that the growth in M&A activities is likely to continue. "For those same reasons that led to a busy M&A practice, Greece will remain in a good position to attract investors. Additionally, there is a global trend for consolidation of businesses worldwide, and those companies are now looking for local investments. That, together with FDIs, will hopefully keep our M&A practice busy in the long term," he concludes.