Tuesday 24 April 2018

Growth firms attract takeovers

Colm Kelpie and Donal O'Donovan

THERE were 442 deals to buy and sell stakes in Irish businesses in the 12 months to the end of June, new research from global bank Barclays shows.

The report found growing businesses are most targeted for takeover, with industrial, retail and financial sectors the most active.

Deal numbers are up 1pc in the industrial sector and 2pc in the financial sector but down 1pc in retail.

Companies changing hands in Ireland made an average loss of £0.44m (€0.55m) compared with a profit of £1.4m (€1.74m) for firms in the North.

Pat McCormack, head of wealth and investment management at Barclays Ireland, said companies may buy firms, even loss-making ones, with the intention of restructuring.

"The decline in shareholder changes in these companies indicates it is harder for businesses to be sold, mainly due to the continued uncertainty in the global economy," he said.

"Acquirers are less willing to take risks, and business owners themselves are more likely to sit it out until conditions improve."

Ian Talbot, chief executive of Chambers Ireland, said: "There are opportunities in this climate for surviving companies in the market to acquire smaller businesses, which in turn creates growth and employment."

Irish Independent

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