Reconstruction efforts, the relocation and diversification of businesses, currency control restrictions buoying the local M&A market, and the restart of privatizations and concessions are among the key developments in Ukraine’s business landscape, according to Integrites Senior Partner Illya Tkachuk.
"Over the past six months, the most active sectors in Ukraine have been IT and agriculture," Tkachuk begins. "These two sectors have consistently shown profitability and, even in the realm of M&A, they continue to dominate with the highest number of deals and movements." He notes that "due to currency control restrictions, it is challenging to transfer money abroad, leading to the accumulation of funds within Ukraine. As a result, businesses in these sectors are utilizing these funds to foster internal growth and development."
Tkachuk reports that agriculture companies, for example, "are investing in acquiring other farms or undertaking new projects such as biomass, demonstrating their commitment to progress despite facing negative impacts." He says the IT sector "has been experiencing similar conditions, although some profits are also accumulating abroad. Well-established businesses in this industry actively seek growth opportunities by acquiring new units, hiring new talent, and exploring fresh avenues locally."
"Another noteworthy trend is the increased interest of private investors and investment funds in the market," Tkachuk continues. "They are displaying heightened activity, with some focusing on distressed assets while others seek out opportunities that were appealing even before the war."
"And positive news is emerging regarding the reconstruction and rebuilding efforts in Ukraine," Tkachuk adds. "The projects underway are progressing rapidly, mainly due to funding from international partners. For instance, the construction of residential houses for temporarily relocated people is already underway. These initiatives aim to stimulate the economy not only through construction but also by creating opportunities in related sectors such as furniture production," he says.
According to Tkachuk, the participation of international and development financial institutions is a significant step forward. "The US DFC is to mobilize over USD 1 billion for investment projects to support the economy of Ukraine," he says. "This positive approach is a reassuring sign for the market. As a part of this support, the DFC avowed its interest in participating in Horizon Capital's new fund and in supporting the Dobrobut chain of hospitals."
"The government is also striving to resume the privatization process to finance the budget and attract more efficient investors for state assets," Tkachuk notes. "Additionally, Russian assets in Ukraine are being confiscated, and most of these businesses and assets are now under the temporary administration of state authorities. Apparently," he explains, "the objective is to transfer them to the management of private investors first and, ultimately, sell them to private companies. This shift towards privatization and asset management will likely contribute to the future growth of the M&A market."
"Finally, despite the availability of remote work, we have noticed that an increasing number of people are returning to the office," Tkachuk says in conclusion. "As a law firm, we have also resumed the educational classes we used to have, as part of our efforts to return to normal day-to-day activities and keep our team members connected and motivated. We understand the importance of personal interactions in maintaining a positive work environment."