Sunday 25 February 2018

Brexit slowed Irish mergers and acquisitions

Liberty Global took over UTV Ireland
Liberty Global took over UTV Ireland

Last June's Brexit vote has been blamed for a sharp drop in mergers and acquisitions activity in the second half of the year.

The number of approved deals last year fell 14pc to 67, according to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

"The drop in merger notifications in 2016 may well have been related to the uncertainty generated by Brexit because the drop was very notable in the fourth quarter with a fall from 26 transactions in 2015 to 19 in 2016," Dr Vincent Power, partner and head of EU, Competition and Procurement at law firm A&L Goodbody, said.

As well as overseeing Irish takeovers the CCPC said it participated in wider EU investigations including ABP's deal to buy Slaney Meats and Irish Life's takeovers of Aviva Health and Glo Health. At home, commercial property and hotel transactions were the busiest sectors.

Five media mergers were also notified: Independent News & Media's separate deals to buy Greer Publications and Celtic Media; UK publisher News Corp's acquisition of the Wireless Group radio business; Liberty Global's takeover of UTV Ireland (pictured); and the creation of a BBC and ITV commercial streaming service joint venture called Britbox.

Irish Independent

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