Romania, solution for investors hurt by global crisis

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Matei Paun, owner of BAC Investment, an M&A and finance consultancy, says Romania continues to be a solution for global strategic investors that seek further growth amid the international financial crisis, daily Ziarul Financiar reports on September 9.
“It’s true it’s much more difficult now to raise money for project development, but Romania continues to be a solution for those seeking competitive production,” said Paun.
BAC Investment assisted the owner of Romstal Leasing, Enrico Perrini, in the sale of the company to Belgium’s KBC group in 2006 for 70m euros and aided BNP’s real estate unit, Atisreal, to enter the Romanian market earlier this year.
 
Consumer goods producers are coming to Romania because they are counting on the trend of rising consumption, but the country is also attractive in terms of production, considering wage costs are still 20-25% of those in Western Europe.
Indeed, foreign investors’ interest in Romania has been mounting over the past year, which has seen an international financial crisis. Foreign direct investments reached 4.8 billion euros in the first half of this year, over 60% more than last year, and a record high, of 10 billion euros is likely to be hit this year.
 
BAC Investment is a group of consulting services offices present in Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Belarus and Turkmenistan, with a total number of 50 employees, of whom 11 work in Romania. Matei Paun, who studied in the United States and worked on Wall Street, controls the Romanian office and in the other offices he is accosted with other local partners.
 
The group has annual revenues worth around 10-15 million euros, daily Ziarul Financiar quotes Paun as saying. He said that the deal market in Romania is not frozen, despite the tighter access to financing and the ever more selective buyers. Given business growth potential, Paun has recently recruited 2 young Romanians, who studied at foreign schools and worked with major banks or renowned consultancies, as partners for the Romanian office of BAN Investment. Matei Paun says they decided to return to Romania as the Romanian market is offering major opportunities at the moment. ‘’They feel they can earn as much in Romania as in the West,’’ Paun explained.
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