Mergers and acquisitions increase

Ireland has accounted for 14.6% of all European merger, acquisition and equity investment activity in value terms to date, this year, nearly 10% more than for the whole of 2013.

As expected, Ireland’s continued economic recovery and its credit rating improvement to investment grade has spurred merger and acquisition & growth during 2014.

Figures published yesterday from information services company Experian show 259 Irish company-related deals were carried out during the first nine months of this year. That marked a 37% rise on the same period last year.

The big growth, however, was seen in value terms. The combined value of Irish deals, done between the start of January and the end of September, amounted to €112.7 billion — up from €25.1bn for the same period last year. Furthermore, it marked the highest value total for the nine-month period in 10 years.

So far this year, Ireland has accounted for 3.7% of total European deal action, in volume terms, as opposed to 2.4% for the same period last year. The 14.6% value representation compares to just 4.9% for the first nine months of 2013.

“The substantial rise in overall values catch the eye, but while the mega-deals capture the headlines, just as pleasing is strong growth in the number of smaller and mid-market transactions.

In fact, numbers are up across the board, with improving economic sentiment seemingly translating to increased deal activity across a variety of sectors,” said Experian Ireland’s commercial director Declan Murphy.

The volume of transactions in the large deals category — those worth €120m or more — grew by 27%, year-on-year, to 33; with volumes up 80% in the mid-market category (deals worth between €12m and €120m) and by 23.5% in the small deal area (those with a value of less than €12m).

The aggregate value of deals in the respective categories grew by 370%, 77% and 28.5%.

The manufacturing sector has been the main driver of deal growth, this year, with 94 transactions completed, representing a year-on-year increase of 32%.


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