Looking back at deal activity in 2018 within the Irish market, there was a strong appetite for deal making as, while the volume of transactions dipped slightly, the 440 transactions recorded by Experian is at the higher end of the typical annual volume, and the value of transactions hit €92bn, up from €31bn the previous year. This was boosted because of an increase in large and mega-deals, with seven €1bn plus deals announced during 2018, up from six in 2017. However, it was the €52bn acquisition of Dublin-headquartered drug maker, Shire PLC, by Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda that dominated the deal landscape.
Not only was this the largest transaction of the year, but it was the biggest corporate takeover in Irish history, in a year characterised by high-value M&A in the global pharmaceuticals space – a trend that looks set to continue into 2019.
This positive outlook for Irish M&A has been affirmed by KPMG’s annual M&A Outlook which surveyed Ireland’s leading M&A executives and advisers. The majority (87%) expect Irish M&A activity for 2019 to be at, or above, 2018 levels as Ireland continues to be a seller’s market due to strong valuations and availability of funding.
While some respondents expect that a no deal or hard Brexit could have an adverse effect on deal activity, conversely, they also noted that there is an increased attraction for UK businesses to acquire Irish companies in 2019 to restructure and de-risk, while Irish companies may acquire UK companies to build a position in the UK market.
Overall, optimism remains despite uncertainty, with the majority of respondents expecting deal volume at or above prior year levels, despite prevailing global macro-economic uncertainties.
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Call Benchmark International today if you are interested in an exit or growth strategy or if you are interested in acquiring.
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Europe: Carl Settle at +44 (0)161 359 4400 / Settle@BenchmarkCorporate.com
Africa: Anthony McCardle at +2721 300 2055 / McCardle@BenchmarkCorporate.com
ABOUT BENCHMARK INTERNATIONAL
Benchmark International’s global offices provide business owners in the middle market and lower middle market with creative, value-maximising solutions for growing and exiting their businesses. To date, Benchmark International has handled engagements in excess of $5B across 30 industries worldwide. With decades of global M&A experience, Benchmark International’s deal teams, working from 13 offices across the world, have assisted hundreds of owners with achieving their personal objectives and ensuring the continued growth of their businesses.