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Irish mergers hit record levels in H1

Wednesday, July 09 13:26:12

Irish mergers and acquisitions reached record levels in the first half of this year, according to figures from Experian today.

The total number of Irish Mergers and Acquisitions and Equity Capital Market deals in the period was 147 - an increase of 18.5pc from the 124 deals announced in the same period a year ago.

The total value of deals announced for the period was E97.4billion, up from just E14.8billion in H1 2013.

This represents the highest half yearly total recorded for the Republic of Ireland on the Experian database, which dates back to 1993.

Values were up due to a flurry of high value M and A in the pharmaceuticals sector, including Dublin-headquartered pharmaceuticals company Actavis Plc's E18billion acquisition of US firm Forest Laboratories Inc and US firm Medtronic's agreement to acquire Covidien for over E30billion, continuing the strong trend for high value M and A in the sector observed throughout 2013.

The Republic of Ireland represented approximately 3.3pc of the total volume of all European transactions in H1 2014 - but accounted for 17.7pc of their total value. In H1 2013, the Republic of Ireland featured in 2.3pc of European deals and contributed 3.9pc to their total value.

M and A activity was dominated by the manufacturing sector in H1 2014, with 30.6pc of deals; however, deal volumes here were down by 33pc, from 67 in H1 2013 to 45 in H1 2014.

Similarly, the next most active sector, wholesale, retail & repair which represented 19pc of transactions, also saw activity decline by 30pc when compared to the same period last year. Whilst volumes in manufacturing and wholesale, retail and repair declined, the impact was offset by increased activity elsewhere.

Growth sectors in H1 2014 included financial services, where transaction volume was up by 57pc, mining & quarrying (an increase of 66pc) and information technology (an increase of 16pc). In terms of value, the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector saw the aggregate value of transactions soar, while research & development, professional and business services and property all enjoyed strong upturns in value.

While transaction volume fell in Europe, the aggregate value of transactions was up by more than 44pc. European deals worth some E550 billion were announced in H1 2014, making it Europe's most valuable first half to a year since 2007. The bulk of deal value was in the manufacturing sector, with particularly strong performance in pharmaceuticals.

In the USA, deal volumes also fell in comparison with H1 2013, but their aggregate value soared to E623 billion - a 31pc upturn and, again, representing the highest figure for transactions announced in the first half of a year since H1 2007. In the US, there were 82 deals worth more than E1 billion announced for the half year, up by 64pc on just 50 such deals announced for H1 2013 - pharma, telecoms and financial services deals being particularly prevalent.