M&A Value Increases 800% Through H1

12 Aug 2021 | 10.13 am

M&A Value Increases 800% Through H1

William Fry tallies 106 deals

12 Aug 2021 | 10.13 am

M&A activity in Ireland has skyrocketed this year, according to a report from William Fry.

The previous year was mightily challenging due to the pandemic, but in the first half of 2021 the value of deals soared to more than eight times the value of all deals in H1 2020.

A total of 106 deals were recorded in the first half of the year, a 33% rise on the same period in 2020 and the most of any half-year period since 2006. The value came to €19.6 billion, compared to 2020’s €2.4 billion.

Head of M&A Stephen Keogh (pictured) said: “Irish M&A deals reached a new record high in the first six months of 2021, continuing to build on the momentum experienced in the final quarter of 2020.

“International buyers – both corporate and private equity – have been a key driver of this activity, with the value of M&A conducted by overseas bidders totalling €15 billion, nearly twice as much as the whole of 2020. Competition within high-growth sectors such as TMT, healthcare and consumer served to push up valuations, and activity shows no signs of slowing down.”

There was a a steep uptick in activity at the top end of the market, with nine deals valued at more than €500m and six securing a price tag of over €1 billion. The largest was Allied Irish Banks (AIB)’s acquisition of Ulster Bank Ireland’s commercial lending business from the Royal Bank of Scotland for €4.1 billion.

The mid market range (€5m to €250m) continued to perform well in the first half of the year, accounting for 73% of deals with disclosed value. The largest mid-market deal of the year was Swedish medtech company Addlife’s €240m purchase of Cork-based medical equipment supplier Healthcare 21.

Of the top 20 deals, 18 were inbound transactions, with US buyers spending €10.7 billion on Irish firms. They were also most active in terms of volume, securing 26 deals, while the UK came in second place with 16 deals worth €1.29 billion.

Technology, media and telecom yielded the largest number of deals, 27% of the total, with financial services and the consumer sector in second and third place by numbers, but with financial delivering the highest deal value – 32% of market share.

As noted in William Fry’s 2020 report, a growing trend has been the number of deals in the renewable energy sector. Solar and wind assets have been in high demand, as seen in Norwegian sustainable investment company Aker Horizon’s €675m acquisition of Mainstream Renewable Power and the €35m sale of a 14.1Mw wind farm to Greencoat Renewable, the largest domestic deal of the year so far across all sectors.

The full report is available here.

 

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