Saturday 24 February 2018

Davy shows its dominance with €5bn worth of mergers activity

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

DAVY is the only indigenous stockbroking firm to have had any involvement in more than €15bn worth of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) this year that involved companies from Ireland, according to data prepared for the Irish Independent by Thomson Reuters.

The data showed that Dublin law firm A&L Goodbody has remained the top legal adviser on deals and was involved in just over €8.9bn worth of transactions this year.

The figures also showed that the level of M&A activity so far in 2013 which involves Irish companies is running at the third highest level since 2007. In the corresponding period that year, the level of M&A activity involving Irish firms had hit nearly €16.3bn. In the corresponding period last year it totalled €20.43bn.

The dominance of Davy on the corporate financial advisory front reflects its position as the country's biggest stockbroking group and the hefty price tag that was placed on the business when it was the subject of a €340m management buyout from Bank of Ireland in 2006. That buyout was bankrolled by Anglo Irish Bank.

The data collated for this newspaper shows that Davy, which is chaired by Brian Davy, has been involved in five M&A deals so far this year with a total value of €5.15bn. That ranks it fifth among financial advisers based on the cumulative size of deals in which they've been involved.

The top five are: Citi, which has been involved in €7.7bn of deals involving Irish companies so far this year; Ondra Partners, with €7.55bn; Barclays with €6.3bn; Morgan Stanley with €5.6bn; and then Davy.

While Thomson Reuters noted that Davy has been involved in five M&A deals that related to Irish firms so far this year, the top M&A deals Davy has been involved in have related to drug company Elan.

It was an adviser to Elan on the $6.5bn (€4.9bn) sale of the Irish drug company to US-based Perrigo. That deal was expected to close at the end of the year. Citi, Morgan Stanley and Ondra Partners also advised Elan. Perrigo was advised by Barclays.

Davy was also an adviser to Elan in its purchase of a 48pc stake in Dubai-based Newbridge Pharmaceuticals.

A&L Goodbody has emerged as the leading legal adviser so far this year.

It has been involved in Irish M&A deals with a total enterprise value of €8.93bn, ranking it first among legal advisers involved in such transactions. It has had a hand in nine deals, including the two Elan transactions above.

It was also legal adviser to Elan in its $3.25bn sale of its 50pc stake in multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri to US-based Biogen-Idec.

It also advised Irish Life when the Government sold the insurance unit for €1.34bn this year to Canada Life owner Great-West Lifeco. Dublin legal firm Matheson also advised on that deal. It has been involved in €2.19bn of top Irish M&A deals so far this year.

Irish Independent

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