Number of Irish mergers and acquisitions down almost 50%

Number of Irish mergers and acquisitions down almost 50%

The number of Irish mergers, acquisitions and Equity capital market (ECM) transactions in Ireland declined by almost 50% in the first half of this year, according to figures released today.

A report from global information services company Experian revealed that the total number of transactions in H1 2013 was 90 - a decline of 44.8% from the 163 transactions during the same period in 2012.

Value figures were also down in the first six months of this year with transactions worth €13.2bn - down by 39.2% when compared with H1 2012.

However, values in H1 2013 increased in comparison with H2 2012, during which just €5.7bn deals were announced.

Certain sectors have bucked the trend, such as the post & telecommunications sector, which enjoyed a 60% increase in deal. Three Ireland’s recently announced purchase of Telefonica Ireland Ltd, the Irish unit of Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica SA, was the largest deal in the sector since 2006.

Activity in telecoms is increasing across Europe - overall volumes are up by 11.9%, while deal value has increased by 77%.

There was also a significant spike in transaction value in the pharmaceuticals sector, which saw deals worth €8.3bn announced in H1 2013, up from just €1.6bn in the corresponding period in 2012.

The sector was boosted by US pharmaceutical manufacturer Actavis’ US$8.5bn acquisition of Dublin-registered Warner Chilcott Plc in May – the largest ever deal in the sector involving an Irish firm.

The Republic of Ireland represented approximately 2% of the total volume of all European transactions in H1 2013, and accounted for 5.7% of their total value.

This represents a decrease when compared to H1 2012, in which the Republic of Ireland featured in 3% of deals and contributed 6.8% to their total value.

Transaction volume in Europe declined by 21% compared to H1 2012’s figures, while deals in Asia were down by 28.6%.

“Although M&A volumes in the Republic of Ireland overall have decreased some sectors are further along the road to recovery than others,” said Wendy Driver, business development manager at Experian UK&I.

“For example, the strong activity in Ireland’s buoyant telecoms and pharmaceuticals sectors - which dominated the Irish picture in H1 2013 - looks set to continue as we move into the second half of the year.”

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