Drop in volume and value of merger and acquisition activity in Irish firms

There were close to 100 fewer instances of merger and acquisition activity involving Irish-based firms in the first nine months of 2013 compared to the same period last year.

New data from international information services provider Experian shows significant declines in both the volume and value of Irish-focused merger and acquisition & activity between the start of January and the end of September. However, a pick-up was noted in the third quarter of the year.

A total of 149 merger and acquisition and equity capital markets transactions were carried out, by or involving Irish businesses, in the first nine months; a 37.1% decline on the 237 deals over the same period last year.

There was a double-digit percentage decline in the value of deals, with the overall worth of transactions coming to €22.15bn; down 11%, year on year, from €24.98bn.

A total of 23 large-scale deals — those with a value of over €120m — were announced, 8% fewer than for the first nine months of 2012. The combined value of such deals fell 8%, from €22.9bn to €21.1bn.

Mid-market deal activity — those with a value of between €12m and €120m — fell 52% in volume terms, with value falling by nearly 50%, from €1.8bn to €928m.

Small deals dwindled in volume by 37%, to 27, with value dropping from €202m to €94m.

The main driver in the third quarter — which saw values rise, year on year, from €3.2bn to €8.6bn — was US generic drug firm Perrigo’s proposed $8.6bn takeover of Irish biotech firm, Elan. This is due for a shareholder vote next month.

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