The first six months of 2018 were notably buoyant for Ireland’s merger and acquisition (M&A) market in a continuation of the active market that was evident in 2017. This is according to the William Fry Mid-year M&A Review 2018, produced in association with Mergermarket, which was published today.
The review shows record half-year deal value with 76 deals with a combined value of €70.9bn and 41 outbound transactions with a deal value of €3.5bn, up from €717m in the first half of 2017. Ninety two percent of total deals were in the mid-market (€5m-€250m) bracket.
There were 55 international deals worth €70.7bn, remaining stable with H1 2017 (56) and 17 private equity deals with a value of €1bn.
The most actively-targeted sectors in terms of deal volume were Business Services and Technology, Media, and Telecom (25%), Business Services (22%) and Pharma, Medical & Biotech (16%). William Fry said the Trump administration’s reduction in corporate tax rates – cutting the federal rate from 35% to 21% – as well as speaking out against US companies investing capital abroad, has not yet impacted on outbound US deal flow.
Commenting on the figures, Corporate Partner at William Fry, Stephen Keogh said, "Ireland remains an active M&A market. Although talk of trade wars and Brexit pose uncertainty, there is much to suggest that both foreign and domestic buyers will still be active in the Irish M&A market in addition to Irish buyers continuing to look further afield for attractive acquisitions."