Total deal value is down 66pc on same period last year
The value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) fell in the first quarter of the year compared with the same quarter a year earlier, NCB Stockbrokers said yesterday.
The total deal value in the first three months of 2010 amounted to €445m, down 55pc on the fourth quarter of 2009 and down 66pc from the same quarter in 2009. There were just 37 deals in the first quarter compared to 38 in the final quarter of 2009 and 34 in the first quarter.
NCB said the worst of the declines in M&A activity was probably over as the retail sector generates new deals and distressed companies are forced to sell units.
"We don't believe this year will experience large percentage reductions in deal volumes," said Jonathan Simmons of NCB Corporate Finance.
Some of the biggest deals so far this year were found in the retail sector where newsagents Eason bought airport shops from bookseller Hughes & Hughes and a group of London financiers bought the Irish unit of UK-based Wolseley which gave them control of household names such as Tubs & Tiles.
The largest corporate deal recorded so far this year was the acquisition of Greencore's malt business by France-based Axereal Union de Cooperatives Agricoles for €116m.
Other big deals included STT's €47.6m acquisition of Eircom Limited, Greenstar's €50m acquisition of Veolia Environmental Services and San Leon Energy Plc's acquisition of Island Oil and Gas for €22.8m.